When the British Airway’s computer system failure threw the travel plans of 75,000 passengers into chaos last week, we were presented with another example of the disruption thrust onto our lives when complex computer systems fail.
Despite airline bosses insisting that the problem was due to a power failure, after a power surge at a Heathrow data centre caused the whole system to cut out. Experts have understandably pointed out that power management is an essential element of any well-planned IT system, making it still an obvious IT issue.
Last months ransomware attack is another example of a failed technology system that left organisations around the world affected, including the NHS here in the UK.
Our lives are dependent on vast computer systems, systems that have become essential to industries from banking to travel to healthcare and they are helping these industries in a positive way, helping them to become more efficient. However, we are so dependent that when we lose this accessibility to the technology needed, we realise how helpless we are without it.
It is tempting to sometimes ask whether it would be simpler to just return to paper and abandon computers altogether. But it is apparent that technology has been developed to such an extent that, in terms of air travel, it will just not work without IT.