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Transparency is the most important factor for businesses today, according to a recent IDC survey commissioned by IFS that reveals how businesses can get sustainable ROI from ERP implementations. 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. The potential ROIs are certainly substantial enough to warrant a business-oriented approach.

This is not so strange, actually, when you consider that Olivia Parr Rud, a leading business intelligence guru, describes business intelligence in her 2009 book, Business Intelligence Success Factors: Tools for Aligning Your Business in the Global Economy, as an organization’s ability “to take all its capabilities and convert them into knowledge.” This produces large amounts of information that can lead to new opportunities. Identifying these opportunities, according to Parr Rud, “can provide a competitive market advantage and long-term stability within the organization’s industry.”

The global IDC study is based on interviews with key IT decision-makers at Visy Paper (Australia), BW Offshore (Norway), Willamette Valley Co (USA), Hertel Sealings (NL), Vitec Videocom (the UK), Powen Wafapomp (Poland), and Grupo Farmasierra (Spain).

According to IDC, many organizations 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.  This echoes an article in Forbes observing that “far too many companies spend far too much of their time and far too much of their IT budget scrutinizing, rationalizing, and ultimately reconciling the past.”

The solution? 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.

“It is interesting to see that the benefits of implementing a fully-integrated solution outweigh the perceived difficulties, especially since thousands of organizations are clinging to old legacy systems,” said Anders Munk Ebbesen, Research Manager, IDC Nordic.

In an increasingly globalized business world, it is an immense competitive advantage to be able to overview and access all processes and transactions in one single system.

So, hands up, who doesn’t want new opportunities, effective strategies, a sharper competitive edge and long-term stability?

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