How much can an IT system cost?

Finland, as you know, claims to be at the forefront of public IT systems. We have long enjoyed net banking (I used it first in 1993 via an IBM minicomputer link from the office, before there was a WWW service for that) and many other services such as the sterling Tax Office system. Most companies and public offices offer ways for the consumers to view and alter their own data held in the IT systems.

Still, I was a little miffed when I saw the cost estimate for the next generation patient data management system that the healthcare sector is beginning to put together, because the price tag rests at 1.8 billion euros. Wow. Just wow.

Don’t get me wrong. I know it is a big system, it must be very robust and secure, and all data must be stowed away in storage that just will not fail. But for 1.95 billion euros, NASA put Curiosity onto Mars just now, and a patient data system is not rocket science. 1.8Bn euros is just such a bunch of cash that one has to wonder what we will get with it. (more…)