IT managers blamed for CRM failures

IT managers are being blamed for the high failure rate of ERP and CRM implementations.

Pointing to Gartner figures for the Asia-Pacific region which show more than 70 per cent of CRM (customer resource management) projects failed to deliver positive returns, the CEO of software vendor Staffware, John O'Connell said problems are due to a lack of integration between front- and back-end systems.

"Until organisations learn to bring together the technology and processes, implementations will continue to fail," he said.

The company's Asia-Pacific region managing director, Angela Gregory said IT managers need to be educated on the importance of their role in CRM implementations.

However, Volante Group manager, Tony Mezzina said technical staff are aware of their role but not always involved in the project from beginning to end.

He said business units need to involve IT staff throughout the life of the implementation because it is typically handled by sales and marketing staff who do not see integration as a priority.

"It is an ownership issue; business units undertake the project so some issues are out of IT hands," Mezzina said.

"We are left to sort out these issues at the end of the implementation, but in reality refining external and internal processes is a technical issue."

Mezzina said CRM is a hot priority for the company as an implementation is expected to commence in the next couple of months.

"IT staff are responsible for making the implementation occur so they need to work with business units to ensure it is effective," he said.

Bayer Australia technical projects specialist, Darren Piltz said organisations are asking for "huge trouble if IT is bought in [only] at the end".

He said units have to work together and support new technology with effective in-house policies.

"User processes for new systems need to be kept simple; it's no good having a new system in place if it takes the user for ever to go through a series of options and approvals; sometimes company policies can be more frustrating than the technology," Piltz said.

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