Sara Sause

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Conclusion: Organisations that take the approach that they are just buying a software product rather than a solution to a business problem are under-estimating the complexities of technological change. Occasionally organisations find it tempting to take this approach at the end of the financial year when they may have a small budget available and a compelling interest in ensuring they achieve perfect budget performance.


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Conclusion: When executive decision makers review business cases and observe a ‘J' curve investment pattern, it generates immediate doubts regarding the project's value. On the other hand, ‘S' curves, which represent competitive advantage or increasing profit, generate enthusiastic responses. Unfortunately, too many IT infrastructure business cases are presented with ‘J' curve profiles due to high initial investment costs. In many cases projects with high initial costs and delayed profits can be legitimately restructured to reflect a better commercial outcome with forethought and strategy. Not every project can be transformed, but two methods of cost structuring and ROI analysis have demonstrated successful results.


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Conclusion: BPM solutions essentially separate the business logic and activity flow from transaction management.  The latest generation of software applications operate through two key components, which are:


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Conclusion: Contact update services attract users with the promise of instantly updating their contact details with almost no effort. Often free or at very low cost, their value proposition is they offer the potential to reduce every day contact management effort. These services effectively distribute the labour of updating contact details from the user to their contacts. The concept is attractive and the service easy to use.


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Conclusion: Customer relationship management, business rules, and portals are typical examples of expensive technical solutions that require strong business leadership to deliver their promises of return on investment. Many IT executives have become aware of such solutions and seen their potential well ahead of their operational counterparts. However, many of these innovations have failed to achieve traction in the first instance as a result of poor socialisation prior to project initiation. Often, organisations shelve these projects for several years after initial failure and kick-starting them again is difficult.


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Conclusion: Reference checks are rarely a key differentiating factor in an evaluation, but they can prevent unpleasant surprises. Use reference checks when evaluating new or unfamiliar technology. A good reference check can be helpful in substantiating claims of viability, validating specific functions or capabilities, and reducing risks of unknown or unforeseen problems related to a technology or architectural design. Poorly executed reference checks fail protect the organisation from sub-standard service and support, poor quality control, and chronic understaffing.


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Conclusion: The predicted business software consolidation marches forward. Eighteen months after initial advances, the U.S. Department of Justice(DOJ) approval has finally paved the way for Oracle to complete its hostile takeover of Peoplesoft.


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Conclusion: Help Desk systems are a mature technology, but capabilities between systems differ widely. Ironically, IT departments are even more likely than other business units to choose systems based on unrealistic and misunderstood business requirements. Often their technology savvy leads them to overestimate the ability of technology to overcome the difficulties of people and process management.  In theory, help desk systems are the obvious choice.  However, if the motivation behind the implementation of a new system is to "manage" an undisciplined, unhappy or untrained team, then a help desk system is unlikely to help.


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Conclusion: Despite increasingly affordable prices, basic workflow management systems are  still not widely used in Australian businesses. E-commerce, intranets, websites, corporate email and other desktop automation trends appear to have obscured the basic usefulness and wide application of one of the most powerful technologies brought to market in the last twenty years.


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Conclusion: The pay as you grow benefits of Application Service Providers* (ASP's) are finally approaching critical mass in Australia as a result of greater penetration of broadband technologies (cable internet, DSL, satellite and wireless) and more substantive vendor offerings.


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Conclusion: For years many organisations have ignored best practice advice in evaluation and selection.  Inevitably, the choice is to move forward after a couple of vendor demonstrations, or to fast track, do an abbreviated version of a hierarchical methodology. This, unfortunately, can introduce subjectivity, or at least an assertion of personal bias.


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