Ten years ago, “where’s the meat?” was the political slogan of the day and research by the Cranfield School of Management confirmed that companies were failing to reap financial rewards from IT projects. This and similar findings no doubt helped to fuel a decade of outsourcing, off shoring and ERP investment. This October, Cranfield has run a similar survey, with less than spectacular results.
Of the more than 1,000 IT and business managers surveyed, 57 per cent are not satisfied IT investments are adding value to the business and nearly a third can’t say whether their IT investments are benefiting the business or not. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said significant improvements within corporations would be necessary in order to derive value from IT investments – exactly the same figure as the survey conducted 10 years ago.
So why are businesses stuck in this valueless void with IT? The new survey found most enterprises still do not make the kind of process changes – such as altering the organisation of IT projects – necessary to enjoy full financial benefits from the new technology. Managers are not learning from their mistakes either, with four-fifths reporting that their review and evaluation of completed projects is inadequate.
Professor John War of the Cranfield School of Management said “it’s disturbing to find so little difference between the two surveys, conducted a decade apart.” He added that few organisations appear to be doing anything to increase the value they obtain from IT.
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