Business transparency top priority for management, IDC survey says
MELBOURNE, SEPTEMBER 19, 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 U.S., the U.K., 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 the following effects:
Business transparency. 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.
Common infrastructure. 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.
Customer relations. 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," said Anders Munk Ebbesen, Research Manager, IDC Nordic. "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," said Paul Murphy, Reliability Systems Manager, Visy Business Solutions Group.
"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," said Rob Stummer, Managing Director at IFS Australia and New Zealand. "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."
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 47 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company.
About the study
The IDC study summarises the findings of seven case studies. Interviews were conducted with Visy Paper (Australia), BW Offshore (Norway), Willamette Valley Co (USA), Hertel Sealings (NL), Vitec Videocom (the UK), Powen Wafapumps (Poland), and Grupo Farmasierra (Spain). IDC was given access to a key IT decision maker within each company, and they were interviewed over the phone during the months of January and February 2012. The seven case companies are representative midsized to large companies that have implemented a solution from IFS.
IFS is a public company (OMX STO: IFS) founded in 1983 that develops, supplies, and implements IFS Applications™, a component-based extended ERP suite built on SOA technology. IFS focuses on industries where any of four core processes are strategic: Service & asset management, manufacturing, supply chain and projects. The company has 2,000 customers and is present in approximately 60 countries with 2,800 employees in total. Net revenue in 2011 was SKr 2.6 billion.
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