Wednesday, 29 May 2013

What are you buying? Software, Valueware or Vaporware…

Authored by Sara Omer 

Working with all those clients that I collaborate with, I noticed their increasing demand for acquisition of ICT solutions, hardware, upgrades, and so on. In some instances it can reach up to 35% to 45% of the total value / transaction number of requests that are managed by the procurement function. In my last two blog posts on the implementation of an IT system, I tried to share an in-depth assessment of the difficulties that arise and of how best to overcome them, now I ask the question what added value do the acquisition of new ICT solutions bring to the table?

Recent studies show that more than 75% to 80% of ICT projects are classified as “shelfware”, a term used to describe a solution that is not being used or utilized, virtually sitting on the “shelf”. Looking at these numbers in comparison to the actual amount of transactions we see on daily basis within organizations across the region, something must be going amiss. The fact that organizations invest so heavily in ICT, to the point where procurement loses focus of the strategic objectives of the business, surely should prompt us as procurement strategy enablers to analyze those requirements and challenge them.

There has to be more effective mechanisms within procurement to evaluate realistic ‘needs’ and not ‘wants’ of ICT solutions and acquire strategic input in solutions’ ROI in the short and long term, avoiding letting these organization fall into the trap of paying for wrongly selected “shelfware” or even “vaporware”( software or hardware that is announced publicly and actively promoted by a vendor even though it does not yet exist)

At this point in time, where procurement is gaining momentum and strategic focus within organizations, we should ask ourselves as ICT sourcing professionals or procurement leaders in general, are we actually buying “valueware” or in fact we are falling into the trap of acquiring and spending valuable resources and time on “shelfware”or even “vaporware”

Is your organization’s spending on ICT solutions warranted or is it just a case of money sitting on the shelf?


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