Organisations are only running 50% of the functionality implemented in their enterprise resource planning system, and are paying for functions they never use, according to research published by Butler Group.
The report, Exploiting Enterprise Applications, was based on data collected on ERP usage in 60 large organisations. It found that a significant portion of the unused functions had been coded specifically for the individual business.
Teresa Jones, senior research analyst at Butler Group, said, "ERP is complex and getting end-users in the business to use it is still a big challenge."
She urged IT directors to conduct a health check of ERP usage every six months to audit which parts of the system were being used and identify any additional end-user training that might be required to ensure the system's full functionality was exploited.
Without regular audits on usage, Jones warned that IT directors could find that ERP users request modifications because they have never used the built-in functionality of the system.
The Butler Group study follows a report last year from analyst AMR Research which found that 46% of ERP licences were unused, leaving many users with unnecessary support and maintenance bills.
AMR puts this down to companies buying licences up front, attracted by volume discount deals, but overestimating their requirements. It also points to the impact of economic slowdown.