When all that glittered was gold

Remember when all that glittered was gold? No, I'm not recalling childhood here, I'm reminiscing about the dotcom age when everything in IT seemed shiny and new. Every week we were alerted to the "next big thing". Alas, today it all seems almost mundane.

Today, IT sits in meeting rooms alongside financial controllers secretly wishing IT budgets were rising higher than inflation.

So where's the creativity? Ask the accountants and they will tell you there are plenty of "imaginative" ways to cut costs.

But no doubt you have been doing this for a few years, and it's all becoming a tad repetitive.

It's time to find ways to really make a difference but, with minimal spend, those opportunities are few and far between.

One project that always sets the standard for all others is data integration, but that's about as exciting as it gets.

Sure it's not the kind of makeover that will set the reality TV ratings on fire, but it's the facelift your enterprise must have if it wants to remain competitive.

This is particularly true for well-established, large organizations that have been around for a while (to put it tastefully).

Integration allows a company to have truthful BI tools, a revenue-raising CRM system, visible supply chain and an ERP system boasting automated reconciliation processes. And these are applications that matter.

These apps benefit every part of the enterprise from internal productivity gains to customer satisfaction.

With organizations doing everything on the cheap, IT needs to support the retention of every single customer the company has - let's face it finding new ones is expensive. Here we are in 2006, where bold and beautiful IT plans are out, unless of course it is a way to increase efficiency.

Very few IT shops want to support a new technology, but in the 24x7 age wireless and mobile solutions do count. That's one project likely to get support.

Another is compliance which hasn't turned out to be much of a crowd pleaser. As we reported last week, large public companies are spending upwards of $3 million a year on compliance along with 22,786 staff hours. Certainly no razzle-dazzle or pizzazz to report here.

What technologies and projects are providing a glimmer of hope for you? E-mail sandra_rossi@idg.com.au

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