IT should focus on collaboration tools, not enterprise systems, says CEB study


By Frank Hayes

CIOs are spending too much on large enterprise ERP and CRM projects and not enough on business intelligence, analytics and collaboration tools that will help transform the way users work, warns Andrew Horne, managing director at United Kingdom business advisory company CEB.

"People know that work is becoming more collaborative, but the surprise is that 50 percent of successful performance now depends on this--where 10 years ago 80 percent of the outcome of any task would have been down to the individual," Horne notes. "It is the magnitude of the shift that we didn't expect."

Based on a major research program late last year by CEB that surveyed 8,000 companies, Horne recommends that companies spend at least a third of their IT budgets on collaboration tools. He recommends that really aggressive companies spend up to two-thirds of IT budgets, at the expense of spending on large enterprise systems.

The survey of CEB's members also suggests that strategic plans should be reviewed quarterly, not annually, and that IT departments rarely have a clear understanding of how end users actually do their work.

"Someone needs to take responsibility for this, and find new ways to discover what users need from technology," Horne said, "beyond asking their line managers, who are likely to be so removed from day-to-day activities that they aren't actually in the best position to judge this."

For more:
- see Sue Tabbitt's article at InformationWeek

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