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Fighting the Trillion Dollar Bonfire is an international campaign launched today by the independent consultancy Hadley Grant, to redress the unsustainable levels of unexpected cost and disappointment often associated with major IT investments.

Hadley Grant has invested a great deal of time and effort into understanding the underlying causes and behaviours behind the situation and not only drawn some very interesting insights from the experience but has also identified practical remedies for the primary cause of large-scale IT failures.

As a cornerstone of their vision, Hadley Grant will present a summary of their findings and solutions at a number of key venues, with the first being presented as a half-day seminar in London on 21 June at the Magic Circle Headquarters.

These sessions promise the audience straight talking and practical approaches, with the assurance of no smoke or mirrors.

Despite vast investments and hugely expensive alliances with leading technology partners, for the past twenty years the UK public sector has witnessed a pattern of rapidly escalating costs, serious delays and endemic operational problems associated with public new technology initiatives – frustrating policy makers and taxpayers alike.

Public watchdogs and other interested parties continue to scrutinise the local symptoms of unexpected cost and disappointment as they emerge, but the litany of incredibly costly problems shows no sign of abating and continues to affect Government computing in a diverse range of operational areas. For example: Health (National Programme for IT, Medical Training Application Service), Agriculture (Farm Payments), Welfare (Child Support, Tax Credits), to name but a few of the more widely known ”hot topics”.

Although Government computing naturally has the higher public profile, commercial organisations frequently suffer similar problems with their technology initiatives. Cost over-runs, extended delivery deadlines, disappointing functionality and unexpected consequences have never been the exclusive domain of the public sector.

Likewise, these issues are by no means local to the UK. Other countries and economies are susceptible to exactly the same obstacles.

“We believe that the prevailing IT-centric paradigm, with its narrow focus on technology, is by far the major contributory factor to the high level of unexpected cost and disappointments - which are still the most likely outcomes of investment in IT” says Colin Beveridge, CEO of Hadley Grant.

“The worldwide market in IT goods and services now runs at trillions of dollars so we think it’s essential to put an appropriate name to the problem of wasted IT investment - we have identified it as The Trillion Dollar Bonfire.”

“It really is like a worldwide bonfire that sizzles away and explodes in our faces regularly, throughout the year, every year. You have to wonder why we keep feeding IT with huge amounts of cash.”

“Until we change our ways, the Trillion Dollar Bonfire will continue to do far more real harm to the UK Government than Guy Fawkes and his little gunpowder plot ever could.”

“We have to realise that many initiatives will continue to fail, as long as people are still answering the wrong questions and still fighting the wrong battles. The first step in making anything better is to start asking the right questions.”

“We have devised a distinctive approach, which gets to the heart of the Trillion Dollar Bonfire and combines proven industry best practices with acknowledged academic frameworks and our own highly original (but well-founded) insights. This creates a powerful recipe for a successful organisation.”

If you or someone from your organisation would like to attend the session on 21 June please go to for further details.


Notes to editors:

1. Hadley Grant is an independent consultancy specialising in helping larger organisations to facilitate their strategy, organisation and business relationships.

2. Hadley Grant consultants have worked with many world-leading corporations, including: AWG, Barclays, BP, BT, DHL, HSBC, ICI, Kellogg’s, Mobil, Norwich Union, Powergen, Shell, Siemens, and Wolseley. Clients have also included Government Departments and Agencies.

Further information on Hadley Grant is available via:

Media enquiries to:

Colin Beveridge
Hadley Grant
Telephone: +44(0)7770 590848 or +44 (0) 870 9220515

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