Risky business

As the six case studies in this special report show, homeland security-related information technology projects come in many shapes and sizes. There are regional emergency alert networks, first responder communication systems, federal data-mining programs, law enforcement data-sharing systems and many more. The systems can involve one agency or multiple ones, focus on a single discipline or span several, and

use technologies that range from conventional to cutting-edge.

It is also true that not every IT project is a success, a fact often abundantly clear given the high visibility of most government programs and the extra scrutiny a nervous nation directs to homeland security initiatives in particular.

So what are the factors that determine whether a project succeeds or fails, and what are the best ways to manage those risks? The purpose of this special report is to address those questions by taking a closer look at the lessons learned in a handful of projects.

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