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Managing Olympic Risk: How to deal with it

It has been a few weeks now since we successfully completed the second (and final) technical rehearsal for the world’s most visible IT systems weeks before the opening ceremony.

The meticulous planning and on-going dedication for our teams paid off with all systems in place, and we switched from the testing to operational phase without a hitch. Unlike other IT projects, the Olympics are delivered and executed under the eyes of the world and there can be no delays.

We could not afford to leave anything up to chance and for this final technical rehearsal, we had to create an environment identical to the Games experience, so the core of the IT equipment was deployed to all 33 venues.

The final testing rehearsal involved more than 1500 people from the IOC, LOCOG, Atos and the other technology partners and represented the culmination of more than 200,000 hours of scrupulous testing of the IT systems.

It simulated the busiest three days of the Games with more than 20 competitions going on at one time meaning we often had to deal with more than one scenario at one time.

A shadow team involving the IOC, Atos, LOCOG and other partners implemented more than 700 different pre-defined scenarios to test the team to ensure they were ready for every possible eventuality.

The scenarios included everything from power and telecommunications failures through to floods in the server rooms and staff being unable to get to work due to illness and prior to the games, our team grew from 220 today to more than 330 Business Technologists.

Michèle Hyron is the Atos Chief Integrator for the Olympic Games in London.