This may be one of the stories that got away: I have this hunch that the launch of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is going to cause some major IT problems for the publishing and retail industry.
The expected pre-sales and regular shipments have got to be beyond what most of the back-end systems are used to processing, and could probably cause some overloads. I tried following up with Indigo, because a year or so ago it formed partnership with SAP to improve the way it handles inventory and retail orders. Unfortunately, the CTO at Indigo has left and I can’t track anyone down.
You could see the Harry Potter thing as a great reason to use a utility computing model, and just scale the systems when a big whopper of an event like this happens. The problem is a Harry Potter phenomenon doesn’ t come along very often, so it might not seem worth it. One thing’s for sure: if the book succeeds the way everyone seems to think it will, IT managers in the publishing and bookselling worlds might need to perform some magic tricks of their own.