Business transparency top priority for management: IDC
03/10/2012 - A recent global study carried out by IDC on behalf of IFS reveals how businesses can get sustainable ROI from ERP implementations.
The survey — based on interviews with IFS customers globally — lists business transparency as the most important factor, followed by efficient infrastructure, enhanced data access, and improved customer relations.
The study is based on interviews with executives at seven companies that have implemented IFS Applications in the US, the UK, Australia, Poland, Spain, Norway and the Netherlands.
According to IDC, thousands of organisations are running legacy systems, which might support day-to-day business, yet fail to deliver business transparency, accommodate process changes, and support automation initiatives.
These legacy systems typically make it very difficult to gain greater business insight and to expand the business internationally. Among the companies that have implemented IFS Applications as a single, fully-integrated business platform, IDC identified four effects:
The ability to make actions performed across the enterprise visible to all stakeholders. This was identified as the single most important benefit of implementing a comprehensive solution.
One central application platform effectively eliminates the challenges presented in running multiple systems.
Business data access
Improved access helps drive faster and better decision-making at all levels in the company.
A fully-integrated ERP solution provides improved visibility in customer relations, allowing the company to react faster and more effectively to meet customer requirements.
"It is interesting to see that the benefits of implementing a fully-integrated solution outweigh the perceived difficulties, especially since thousands of organisations are clinging to old legacy systems," Anders Munk Ebbesen, Research Manager, IDC Nordic, said.
"The benefits revealed in this study will give food for thought for any IT decision maker evaluating a change in business software."
Visy Paper, a division of Visy operating seven paper mills across Australia, took part in the study.
The decision to implement a new system across Visy Paper was prompted by the realisation that the accounting department and upper management had a system where they could report on the year's activities and spend; however the maintenance department did not have such information, nor did they have control or visibility on spending and no ways to justify the need for budgets and improvement work to increase reliability.
"The tangible effects of implementing IFS include an optimisation of resourcing and an improvement of forward indicators including planning and scheduling efficiency," Paul Murphy, Reliability Systems manager, Visy Business Solutions Group, said.
"This study clearly proves that implementation of a fully-integrated ERP system should be viewed primarily as a business project rather than purely as an IT project," Rob Stummer, managing director at IFS Australia and New Zealand, said.
"The potential ROIs are certainly substantial enough to warrant a business-oriented approach. In an increasingly globalised business world, it is an immense competitive advantage to be able to overview and access all processes and transactions in one single system."
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