I went to visit IT supplier Atos at the Technical Operations Centre (TOC) for the London Olympics this summer. This was an opportunity to get an update and be reminded about how complicated and pressurised the IT environment supporting the Olympics is.
There will be 900 servers, 1,000 network and security devices and more than 10,000 computers deployed to support London 2012. There will have been over 200,000 hours of testing of systems before the first athlete begins their pursuit of gold. You get the picture? Pretty pressurised, but I have to say meticulously planned.
I live not far from the TOC in Canary Wharf and have to use London Underground’s Jubilee line to get there. The same line that thousands and thousands of spectators will be using to get to Olympic venues in Stratford. If my journey that morning was anything to go by there could be real problems.
I had to let seven trains pass me before I could find room to squeeze into one. And this is on the average day with workers flocking to Canary Wharf. Now imaging the small matter of the Olympic Games thrown into the mix.
I asked the chief integrator at the Olympics, Atos’ Michele Hyron, what would happen if the TOC staff, which monitor IT 24:7 get stuck on the train? Her answer was simple: “If the worker in the next shift does not arrive, you do not leave your desk.”
So the IT will not be impacted by the failures of the Jubilee Line and the athletes won’t because they will be staying near venues in the Olympic Village. I am sure VIPs will have the roads cleared for their cars.
So that just leaves the likes of us, the rank and file, to suffer the consequences of the dreaded Jubilee Line. Well that’s if I had any tickets.