After Hours

London 2012: Olympic IT systems clear final hurdle

The Olympic IT infrastructure gets ready for operations - but are the rest of us ready for the disruption the games will bring?

The IT infrastructure for the London Olympics has cleared its final hurdle - the completion of the second technical dress rehearsal.

In a dry run called Technical Rehearsal II, about 1,500 staff from London 2012, the IOC, tech integrator Atos and the other IT suppliers simulated three of the busiest three days of the Games across 33 of the Olympic venues.

Of the staff involved, 73 were from the shadow team who created and triggered 750 scenarios, ranging from power failures and floods in the server rooms to employees being taken ill.

Michele Hyron, chief integrator at Atos for the London 2012 Games, told TechRepublic: "Unlike other IT projects, the Olympics are delivered and executed under the eyes of the world and there are no second chances. This makes all the testing - and especially the final technical rehearsal that we complete - absolutely critical to our preparation."

The tech team will grow from 220 today to more than 330 by the time of the opening ceremony a month from now.

However, the Olympic back-end infrastructure will have been busy for some time before the opening of the Games. Some 14,700 athletes will need to complete the athlete qualification process, while London 2012 accreditation will generate credentials and assign access privileges for 200,000 people involved in the sporting events.

The volunteer portal, workforce management, accreditation and the sport entry qualification systems are now live, while the information systems for the world's media will go live in early July.

The next milestone for the Olympic IT infrastructure is when it switches to 24-by-seven operational mode on 13 July.

However, while the Olympic IT infrastructure may be up and running, not all London's businesses are ready for the disruption the event is expected to create.

After testing alternative working plans ahead of the Olympic Games, just under 80 per cent of companies said they were confident that their business could cope with the impact.

A test organised by Canary Wharf Group and Deloitte involved 100 companies testing their plans to cope with the transport disruption the Games is likely to cause.

While most of the companies - some 85 per cent - that tested home working found it to be effective or very effective, another 11 per cent said it was not very effective or not effective at all.

Deloitte said staff already used to working from home had no issues, but those who tested it for the first time experienced some connectivity problems.

Nevertheless, working from home was seen by businesses as a better option than changing work hours and routes to work or setting up alternative business locations.

About

Steve Ranger is the UK editor of TechRepublic, and has been writing about the impact of technology on people, business and culture for more than a decade. Before joining TechRepublic he was the editor of silicon.com.

2 comments
Gisabun
Gisabun

I wonder if Lost Wages has any betting open for when Anonymous will claim they have shut down the web site [when it was in fact a glitch].

dogknees
dogknees

They've tested the impact 500,000,000 simultaneous hits on their websites will have on normal activity on the UKs internet backbones and overseas connections. And added adequate capacity so as not to inconvenience those for whom it's a normal week/month. But, I doubt it.

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