Although we have only looked at the financial losses when information systems fail there can also be other very serious implications.
In 1992, just 21 years ago a failure in the information system of the London Ambulance service resulted in the death of numerous people. The London Ambulance service attempted to develop an Information System which aimed to miminise the the human intensive functions such as call taking, information management,resource management and resource identification.
An error in the system one evening meant that many calls to 999 were being wiped from the system due to large numbers of calls. With some ambulances taking as long as 3 hours to come to help people in difficulty, when the recommended wait is 17 minutes, it estimated that between 20-30 people died over the period of one night.
This case has been seen as the greatest failure of Imformation systems in recent years and caused a wide variety of responses to occur.