Companies use only two thirds of ERP system functionality

Most organisations use only 64 percent of their enterprise systems core functions, according to a recent Accenture survey.

"About half said they don’t need all the capabilities while a fifth explained that they didn’t make use of all the functionality due to lack of time to learn how to apply them," said Accenture.

The survey, which polled 300 senior IT professionals in UK and US at large enterprises, found that around one third (37 percent) of UK firms – and 27 percent of US companies - have little or no data sharing with their customers.

UK firms also lag behind their US counterparts in terms of usage and adoption of enterprise systems, and appear more sceptical about the impact of web 2.0, software as a service (SaaS), and service oriented architecture (SOA).

For instance, 15 percent in North American firms said that emerging technologies will replace almost all of their current enterprise systems compared to only seven percent in the UK. Still, most respondents believe new technologies will replace more than half of current enterprise systems.

Overall, 87 percent said they would increase or continue with spending on enterprise systems, including the use of new technologies like SaaS.

“Most senior IT professionals see the value offered by their organisation’s enterprise systems in terms of enabling them not only to manage core business processes, but to distinguish themselves from their competitors,” said Jeremy Oates, UK head of systems integration and technology consulting, Accenture.

While for some, a traditional perspective of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems as "monolithic and inflexible" still persists, three of every four senior IT professionals believe enterprise systems provide a competitive advantage and strategic value for their organisations.

“For those organisations that have been expanding their systems and making strategic investments by honing in on the business processes they support, now is the time to work those investments even harder,” concludes Oates.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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