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Managing the NICS Project at the Royal Canadian University

Managing the NICS Project at the Royal Canadian University
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Author(s): Charalambos L. Iacovou (Georgetown University, USA)
Copyright: 1999
Volume: 1
Issue: 1
Pages: 12
Source title: Journal of Cases on Information Technology (JCIT)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Andrew Borchers (Lipscomb University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-56-8.ch016


This case describes the installation of an IBM mainframe computer at the Royal Canadian University. The goal of the described project was to establish a Numerically Intensive Computing Service (NICS) in order to provide “first-class” computing facilities to the researchers. Due to a number of factors, NICS failed to meet its objectives and the university abandoned the project within the first two years of its operations. The factors that contributed to its failure include: advancements in computing technology and changes in the computing style of end users; political and other nontechnical considerations in selecting the system; and the weak and adversarial relationship between the computer center staff and the senior university administrators. These factors, with a special emphasis on organizational issues, are discussed throughout the case. At the end of the case, the reader is invited to provide solutions for managing the current failure situation and minimizing its negative consequences.

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