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9 Latest Software Failures in Enterprise Applications 2011-2012

Year 2011 and 2012 have been full of software failures contributing to major loss to enterprises. Such failures have a negative impact on the firms’ reputation. Also sometimes business owners have to compensate their customers. Enterprise application needs more attention and extra care in software performance testing and functional testing otherwise they have to face serious circumstances. It is to remember, if software testing can take a company to its business heights it is the same testing (if not conducted properly) that can ruin not only its reputation but the entire company. In this article we will review latest software failures in enterprise application, how did they fail and what were the causes behind such failures.

“The first rule to understand software testing is that it makes happen that does not exist.”

Nobody can deny form the fact that software failures in Enterprise application is due to the following error in software development life cycle.

1. Incomplete documentation

2. Business requirements are not comprehended properly

3. Standardized format is not followed while designing the test cases

4. Illegibility to define defect density in software

Why does it happen?

2011-2012 is filled with such software failure examples in Enterprise application. That does not cost heavily to the stakeholders but it severely effect the end user(s).

1: RBS Software failure causes loss of £125m:

The RBS software failure in the C7A batch process scheduler affected 12 million people this June. This is the biggest enterprise application failure in the history.

This software failure hampered the business of RBS for three weeks. It has adversely affected its millions of customers as they had to face irreversible difficulties due to this enterprise application failure. In return RBS and other top line banks were instructed to maintain their manual accounts.

This software failure cost RBS £125m, it was reported that the problem can be resolved with a patch upgrade, as the problem is related to system maintenance that results in error in batch scheduler.

2: AXA Rosenburg Group software glitch cost investors $217M and compensation of $25M:

The investment group didn’t let the investors know that the software had bugs. The software deals with client’s business portfolios and manages their assets. Investors complained but the company didn’t take any notice and claimed that it’s because of market volatility and not a software flaw.

As a result the company had to pay $25 million to SEC and $217 million to investors as compensation who suffered heavy loss due to the computer application failure.

3: Automatic machine bug benefits customers by overdrawing the cash: 

Commonwealth bank of Australia faced a bug, when its officials were operating the ATM on standby mode. Due to the bug, customers were allowed to draw more amount than they entered in the machine. The situation last for more than five hours, officials seem helpless as they were unable to identify the account balance of the customers due to this bug.

Enterprise application failures cost the organizations heavily but prove to be beneficial for the customers.

4: Knight’s Capital Computers Glitch causes $440 million loss:

As mentioned earlier in this article, due to software failure an enterprise can suffer huge financial losses. A bug in Knight’s Capital computers resulted in a chain of automatic orders. Millions of shares were transferred and as a result the company suffered huge loss which was even more than company’s profit of year 2011.This minor software failure ruined the company financially and further led to bankruptcy in just one hour. Later on the issue was resolved when a group of investors provided the funds of $400 million as a support. On the other hand software analysts are considering it as the biggest software glitch of the history.

5: Facebook App bugs found by users:

Users are the main stakeholders in software and mobile app testing, but most of the times they are ignored. When the application or software is launched, it’s the users who face difficulties in using them. That is the big question mark on the usability of mobile application. This is what happened with a Facebook application developed for iPad. It was reported that Facebook application had minor bugs and posting of comments was not allowed while clicking through panel icons.

6: Telecom Company compensates $2.7 million due to software glitch:

The biggest telecom company of New Zealand had to compensate $2.7 million to its 47000 customers. Due to a software glitch, customers were overcharged i.e. they hit their data limits too early. However, Telecom Company reached to an agreement with the concerned authority and transferred$2.7 million as compensation to its 47000 customer’s accounts.

7: Software bug used by Army halted the operational activity:

A software developed for intelligence sharing with troops failed to perform simple analytical tasks. The computing network system worth $2.7 billionseemed to be incompetent when multiple users used the system at once.  As the speed of the system was too slow, that’s why searching of reports, data sharing on this cloud -based network had been too difficult. The software contained so many bugs and was considered incompatible with the army’s current search software.

8: London Olympics security is affected due to bugs in software:

It was reported that the security staff of London Olympics 2012 was underestimated.

Sources of Security Company said it was only due to software failure that caused security fiasco, the software G4S faced problems in its internal computer system and hence failed to calculate the strength of staff.

It’s being reported that security details for the London 2012 Olympics are woefully understaffed, yes, because of a computer glitch.

However, the issue was resolved that cost company £50m along with loss of reputation.

9: Mobile application failure restricted the services of a Smartphone Company across the world:

Blackberry confronted with the failure of mobile application in October 2011. Although the software was designed to failover to a backup switch but it failed to work. However, it was working properly during testing.

It indicates that there had been some flaws while conducting software performance testing. This testing failure totally blocked the services of blackberry across Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America and last for 3-4 days. The bug was fixed later on by the company. The company apologized to its customers for the inconvenience, as internet browsing and email services were stopped due to this application failure.

This application failure greatly affected the reputation of blackberry across the world as the flaws in testing leads to loss of reputation for enterprises and entrepreneurs.

Software failure happens only when there is insufficient testing done for the system. To avoid such software failures a sound software testing strategy should be developed. A quality software will give your business a competitive edge, attract customers, win new proposals, reinforce and improve business relationships and eventually will save time and money to operate the entire IT infrastructure.

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