Economy slowing enterprise software; implementation troublesome


The National Computing Centre said that "the current state of the economy is having a major impact on investment levels in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and enterprise systems", with 24% of respondents stating that projects are on hold and 41% reporting delays, compared with 29% who are not experiencing cutbacks and 6% who are increasing investments.

For those that are in a position to go ahead, the path is not always smooth. The implementation costs have exceeded expectations in 53% of cases, with an additional 18% "greatly" overrunning. But an even greater cost comes in terms of time of implementation: 24% of companies said this was greatly above expectations, 53% said it was longer than anticipated, only 12% said that projects were completed on time, with 6% lucky enough to have beat the clock.

These implementation delays have obviously also impacted the time to cost-benefit, with 48% stating that this had exceeded anticipated timeframes, compared with 24% who said that expectations had been met.

Still on the implementation theme, to achieve the full value 12% undertook "very significant" modifications to products, with 46% making significant changes. This compared with 24% making minor changes, and 6% no changes at all. These bespoke implementations have also caused problems when it comes to upgrades; 14% have experienced "major" problems, with significant issues in 57% of cases.

Perhaps most surprisingly, there was a high level of unhappiness with deployed technologies. Fewer than half (47%) of respondents felt their solutions were meeting the majority of their requirements, with 41% stating that solutions met only "some" of their requirements, and 12% stating that only "a few" requirements are being met.

The survey polled more than 100 UK companies, with the largest single sector represented being manufacturing (30%) -- the sector that was the original base for ERP systems. Other well represented industries included public sector (24%) and retail (12%).

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