THE ROL E OF THE Leslie P. Willcocks and Richard Sykes B RICHARD DOWNS IT FUNCTI O y early 2000 the ERP revolution1 generated over $20 billion in revenues annually for suppliers and an additional $20 billion for consulting firms. However, for many organizations ERP represents the return of the old IT catch-22 with a vengeance: competitively and technically it s a must-do, but economically there is conflicting evidence, suggesting it is difficult to justify the associated costs, and difficult to implement to achieve a lasting business advantage. Critical success factors, and reasons for failure in ERP implementations, have now been widely researched [4 8]. However, what is more noticeable is how the difficulties experienced in ERP implementations and with their business value are not atypical of most IT projects, especially when they are large and complex, expensive, take over a year or more to install, use new technology, and impact significantly on the organizational culture and existing business processes [5, 6, 10, 11]. Our own work on ERP success and failure factors differs in one essential respect from all previous studies. We have identified serious neglect in ERP implementations in securing the most effective roles for the
Communications of the ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Published: Apr 1, 2000
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