Most Enterprise Computing Efforts Fail

FRAMINGHAM (03/22/2000) - Only one in three enterprise application initiatives is successful, according to a study from The Boston Consulting Group Inc. in Boston.

The company surveyed 100 executives about the outcome of enterprise initiatives including enterprise resource planning rollouts, supply-chain management, customer relationship management and e-commerce. Only 33 percent of projects can be considered successful, BCG reported. Fifty-two percent of respondents said their business objectives had been achieved, and only 37 percent could point to a tangible financial impact. However, 60 percent said they believed their enterprise application initiatives had delivered sufficient value to justify the effort.

BCG also found that initiatives based on a clear strategic vision and strategic assessment had positive outcomes 53 percent of the time, vs. only 22 percent for projects lacking such vision.

"Companies need to be more clear about what their strategic objectives are," said Barry Saeed, a manager at BCG. Saeed said that smaller, more focused projects have better chances of success than broader ones.

He said companies should focus on "smaller, high-value chunks" of their business, where big returns can be gained from modest IT investments.

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