West Virginia wasted $5M on enterprise-class gear

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We reported late last year about how California State University saved $100 million by ditching Cisco. On the flip side, the legislative auditor for West Virginia has released a report that accused officials of overspending at least $5 million of federal money in 2010 on Cisco equipment. At the heart of the matter were 3,945 Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) routers geared towards mid-to-large deployments, many of which ended up being deployed in small facilities with only a single Internet connection.

The auditor's office says that the 3,945 routers were not appropriate for most of the deployments in West Virginia, and asked for an explanation as to why the vendor believed they were "not oversized and misconfigured for hundreds of locations." The response from a Cisco rep was that "The state had reviewed the spreadsheets and not objected, and that they were adequate for "future expansion."

The report noted that a proper study was not conducted prior to spending the funds to purchase the routers and that improper procedure had been used to purchase the items.The report also cited "wanton indifference to the interest of the public," on the part of Cisco.

The takeaway for businesses is simple: Unless there are compelling reasons not to, "right-size" IT equipment appropriately. And never take vendors' recommendations wholesale, but subject them to scrutiny by one's IT departments or external experts first. You can read the story from Ars Technica here, or peruse the entire 45-paged report here (pdf).

For more:
- check out this article at Ars Technica

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