Have you ever deleted a file, only to realize that you needed it? Once I was shredding documents (always makes me feel like Oliver North when I do that) and I shredded somethings I needed to send to an insurance company. I ended up losing $30 or $40 because of that mistake.
Well this case was a little worse. This guy ended up deleting a file that contained details on $38 BILLION. That's right. $38 BILLION. With a "B".
Now even folks like Ross Perot and Bill Gates would miss that kind of money. To make matters worse, the guy was very thorough. He deleted the backup too! Plan B down the tubes.
Plan C would have been the backup tapes. Remember those tapes that everyone says aren't needed anymore and are too cumbersom and too expensive? Plan C.
Trouble is, they weren't usable. No idea why, the article says they were unreadable. I've seen that happen when they were stored to close to a magnet. Wiped the data right off those suckers.
Fortunately, the ultimate backup (paper) still existed. Plan D. In 300 boxes. These had to be re-scanned. Quality Control had to review (I guess the scanners aren't perfect). And then someone had to manually link the scanned images to the individuals named on the documents.
Overtime, weekends, temp help, etc. Total cost - $220,700.
When you think about it, $220,700 is cheap. That's slightly over 2/100 of 1%. That's like losing $100 and paying 2cents to get it back. But I bet it will be a long time before that guy formats another hard drive. The article says they've already done extra testing on their backup techniques.
Note the names of the companies involved. Now if they had only used a mainframe computer.....