To ROI or not to ROI?

Thursday, 12 August 2010 11:10 Ayman Abouseif
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The recent economic crisis coming after a number of growth years forced many organizations to take a much closer look at both their operational and capital expenditure.  Obviously business large and small needed to eliminate non-essential spending and conserve cash in order to survive. While some may argue that the pendulum may have swung too far in some instances, you can’t fault managers for being overcautious in uncertain times. Areas like travel budgets, hiring, marketing plans and IT investments were probably hit the hardest.

One example where the pendulum has swung too far is perhaps the resurfacing of the long forgotten term ROI in titles of IT articles, conference agendas and internal budget meetings. It is not like I am advocating uncontrolled spending on IT projects, but I do not support using exceptionally fuzzy and lengthy process as a means of controlling IT spend.


Acquisitions - Good or Bad for the CIO?

Saturday, 11 September 2010 12:07 Ayman Abouseif
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Technology companies, with an unprecedented amount of cash on hand have turned to acquisitions not only to stay on top of rapid technological changes but also to broaden their offerings and eliminate their competitors. The alternative for cash rich companies would have been to either return the cash to their share holders or to re invest it in their operations in order to speed up organic growth.

An analysis of Bloomberg data on S&P 500 technology acquisitions shows that Hewlett-Packard was the most active buyer over the last three years, with $19.2 billion in disclosed M&A spending, followed by Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM. There's more where that came from: S&P 500 tech sector companies generated $137.6 billion


Why Is Business Intelligence So Difficult?

Thursday, 12 August 2010 13:30 Ayman Abouseif
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In 2003, IDC released the results of a study titled The Financial Impact of Business  Analytics that evaluated the ROI of business analytics projects at 43 leading organizations in North America and Western Europe. Each of the resulting case studies was accompanied by in-depth ROI calculations, which showed, for the group as a whole, a median ROI of 112%. Notably, the median ROI for projects that IDC classified as incorporating predictive analytics was 145% versus 89% for those projects that did not.

A Gartner survey of 1500 Chief Information Officers (CIOs) published in 2008 shows that Business Intelligence (BI) ranked as the number one technology priority.   I guess it is no surprise that the idea that businesses of all sizes should have real insight into their operations and their customers  in order to be able to enhance their planning, forecasting, modeling and resourcing based on information that is cohesive, current, accurate, secure and accessible - is at the core of today's expanding BI market.


Making the Case for Self Service Applications

Thursday, 19 August 2010 16:36 Ayman Abouseif
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 Here is a scene from an old movie, the manager is sitting in his large office, not a single piece of paper on his clean and shiny desk, his good looking secretary (now known as PA) knocks on the door and enters carrying a folder in her hand. She places it politely in front of the manager who takes his expensive pen and starts signing letters. The next scene usually has the manager confidently dictating a letter, the secretary probably using shorthand (if you do not know what that is never mind keep on reading) to take down what her boss is saying before she goes back to her desk to type the letter!

A stark contrast from today’s self serving modern manager who types his own email messages, dials his own calls and uses self service web based applications to claim his


Suite Versus Best of Breed - The Debate Continues

Thursday, 12 August 2010 11:10 Ayman Abouseif
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Almost ten years ago, the main players in the ERP market (Oracle,JD Edwards and SAP) found themselves under attack from a number young and dynamic companies that have introduced a new wave applications like online procurement, online market places and believe it or not customer relationship management, areas where traditional ERP vendors were not particularly strong.

With streamlined processes, friendly user interfaces and energetic sales tactics, companies like Ariba, CommerceOne, i2 and Siebel did capture the imagination of business and IT professionals alike. Many CIOs were forced by their business users (or just felt it was cool) to adopt a best-of-breed business applications strategy (or let us just call it approach). It was not so uncommon during the dot com era to hear CIOs talking about


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