IT managers looking for a return on their investment should consider investing in business intelligence software, new reseach claims.
The findings emerged in a report on the best and worst IT return on investment areas for 2003, from Nucleus Research, based on customer case studies and supplier information,
Nucleus vice-president of research Rebecca Wettemann said there was a strong potential for return on investment from investment in business intelligence tools, especially as pressure mounts on suppliers to improve the usability of these packages in anticipation of Microsoft making a bigger splash in the market.
Wettemann warned, however, that companies had wasted money on other areas of technology investment, such as CRM. "We've seen companies throw a lot of money at CRM with minimal results when they fail to separate out the business objectives."
To avoid that scenario, Wettemann suggested two rules of thumb when approaching CRM projects: Never spend more than twice on consulting what you've paid for the software and be sure to achieve project deliverables within six months.
The report also found technologies in the manufacturing and retail sectors with the potential for excellent pay-back on investment.
For instance, big manufacturers with high-volume operations should consider investing in radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to manage inventories and supply chains more effectively. However, the entry costs for RFID are still high per tag so it might be wiser for smaller manufacturers with lower production volumes to invest in other technologies in the short term, the report advised.