The end of 2015 is a time to reflect on the year overall. Those within the IT community have certainly had their work exposed on a world stage, and Q4 has been no exception. The year has been less than lucky for some, and they’ll be hoping that the New Year sees a turn toward less turbulent times. Here is a review of the most staggering software failures and some top tips on how you can avoid the same mistakes.

staggering software failures

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Proving that software choices are only as good as your people choices, the US government ordered a recall of more than a million cars after it was discovered that their software was being used to cheat emission tests. Their CEO was forced to resign, and the company is expected to lose more than $86 billion.


November 2015 saw the bank fined £56m by UK financial services regulators with no obvious mention of the offshoring IT problems that had contributed to massive failure. An error in a batch processing update left customers unable to bank and made us all question if we truly have sufficient controls in place, especially where that development is out of time zone. Perhaps automated software testing solutions might have assisted in identifying the bug.

Talk Talk

Whilst the Gemalto index shows that the last quarter has been quiet in terms of data breaches, that didn’t stop headliners such as as Talk Talk. If nothing else, this has proven that IT security should be at the top of everyone’s agenda at all times.

Windows 10

The nightmare started in Q2, but following a November update, Microsoft had to admit that the software was installing itself on the systems of Windows 7 and 8 users without their knowledge. The behemoth attributed this to a bug in its automatic update system. It appears their testing was simply not robust enough. You might not have the resources of the IT giant, but it would certainly pay to check out automated software testing solutions such as to avoid the same glitches in your own development work.

Starting 2016 in the right way might entail asking yourself if you have the right controls, testing and people in place around your IT development capability. Hopefully your company won’t replicate these massive failures.