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1/30/2013
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U.K. Government CIOs Unhappy With ERP

More than 60% IT decision makers in British local government feel their electronic resource planning (ERP) investments haven't delivered, says poll.

U.K. public sector IT buyers are frustrated with their enterprise resource planning (ERP) purchases.

That's the implication of a new poll of 100 IT and finance managers at U.K. organizations including local and central government, police, healthcare and the armed forces.

According to the study, 63% of respondents said their ERP system hasn't met their expectations in at least one area. It also suggests that more than 33% of respondents have spent more than they had expected on their ERP implementation, 20% are disappointed by how their platform met their needs out of the box, and only 20% would be prepared to go through a similar ERP project a second time.

[ Government IT purchase reform nets cost savings for U.K. Read more at IT Cost Control Measures Pay Off For U.K. ]

What's behind this serious buyer's remorse? The report's authors suggest that a mismatch between expectations and the reality of ERP has given such systems a bad name. Customers either did not clearly understand the real cost of such implementations, or their goals for the software were too high.

The study further alleged that some buyers may have mistakenly looked to ERP as a solution to issues they hadn't adequately defined before going to market. In such cases, a better approach would be to look for a wider set of possible solutions. "It's therefore key for the public sector to start with an open mind when choosing an IT system, as a large-scale ERP implementation could simply be unsuitable and far too costly for their needs," the study concluded.

Iain Gravestock, public sector technology consulting business lead at consultancy firm KPMG U.K., said that organizations convinced ERP is the answer need to "take a step back." Instead, he recommended that CIOs start by fully understanding what it is they want to achieve. "What value will be delivered -- defined both qualitatively and quantitatively? This is crucial. Then the organization needs to consider all the options for meeting their objectives," he advised.

The survey was carried out by an independent market researcher but paid for by a local U.K. ERP supplier Advanced Business Solutions.

InformationWeek is surveying IT executives on global IT strategies. Upon completion of our survey, you will be eligible to enter a drawing to receive an Apple 32-GB iPad mini. Take our 2013 Global CIO Survey now. Survey ends Feb. 8.

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