World Cup IT deadlines are non-negotiable


World Cup IT deadlines are non-negotiable

Ross Bentley
Despite leading the huge IT effort to support World Cup 2002, the last thing Gerard Gouillou, head of IT projects at football's world governing body Fifa, expects is recognition.

"Here football is the only thing," he said. "Nobody cares about what goes on behind the scenes - they only care about who scores the winning goal. It is something we in IT have to deal with."

Former EDS operations manager Gouillou described the pressures of setting up IT support for a one-off event. "We have worked with six official IT partners to install an IT infrastructure across 20 locations in two countries dealing with project teams made up of different nationalities - all in nine months.

"All the stadia were new which meant that we were the first to use the facilities and had to test it all to make sure it all worked," he said.

Gouillou said the global focus on the event showed what could be achieved in IT. "We in IT are very good at delaying projects but this was one deadline that could not be shifted. But if people are really willing to get it done then they will overcome the hardships," he said.

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