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"Most IT projects don't pay"

The implementation of IT projects leaves a lot to be desired, feels John Roberts, Research Vice President, of Information Technology (IT) and Research firm, Gartner (Asia-Pacific).

Kushan Mitra        Print Edition: December 30, 2007

Roberts: Not impressed by IT
John Roberts
The implementation of IT projects leaves a lot to be desired, feels John Roberts, Research Vice President, of Information Technology (IT) and Research firm, Gartner (Asia-Pacific). But why does Roberts reach this damning conclusion? It’s because, according to published data, over 50 per cent of IT projects implemented by corporations are failures or delayed. And, there is often no empirical evidence to prove the benefits that companies implementing these projects receive from technology.

Roberts does not argue that all IT is bad, but he thinks it can be done a lot better than it is. “Many companies like quoting strings of three-letter IT acronyms to impress people, but when you ask them how these IT projects actually help them, they will mumble streamlined processes or productivity enhancements,” Roberts says.

According to him, herein lies a problem. “When companies say that an IT project has saved time or money, they very rarely have a baseline measurement before the project was implemented. More than 90 per cent of companies do not take a base-line measurement of their business processes before implementing a project,” he says.

Roberts argues that companies can benefit more if they measure processes before implementing them. “This can lead to better utilisation of IT funds, targeting areas where companies can actually see improvements. This will also help IT vendors and consultants because they can actually enter revenue share agreements if certain criteria are met.”

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