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Finishing massive SAP project in current form may not be 'feasible,' study says

Chris Kanaracus | March 8, 2013
It may not be "feasible" to complete a gigantic SAP software project meant to unify California's many public employee payroll systems, according to a report issued this week by the state's Legislative Analyst's office.

California is in a position where it will "have to play the ball where it lies," said analyst Michael Krigsman, CEO of consulting firm Asuret. "You've got to assess where you actually are today [with a project]. Everything you've done before is a sunk cost. Just because you've spent the money and the time doesn't mean you've got anything to show for it."

However, there's some hope. For example, if California has already decided on satisfactory new business processes as part of the project, those can "probably" be reused if they aren't dependent on something specific in the software, Krigsman said. This is not insignificant since developing new processes is "an expensive component" of IT projects, he added.

Meanwhile, California has a broader problem on its hands, as MyCalPAYS is not the only major IT project by the state to stumble in recent times. Last year, the state created a task force that is supposed to figure out how California can "ensure that the right vendors can be hired at the best price and to hold those vendors accountable for their performance," according to its mission statement.


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