Cadbury Schweppes is rolling out a strategy to reduce the risks major IT projects pose to the business by creating a library of reusable software components.
The confectionary and drinks maker has established a company-wide standard, known as an enterprise architecture, that will ensure that IT components are re-used across software systems.
Cadbury Schweppes developed the strategy following difficulties with large IT projects, including the implementation of a global SAP system in 2004. Two years later, the company blamed problems with the SAP implementation for a £12m loss in its UK business.
Cadbury Schweppes said the aims of the strategy were to improve the way IT delivers projects to the business, to reduce the risks associated with large roll-outs, and to enable the business to adapt more easily and quickly to change.
It is developing a scorecard to measure how the enterprise architecture, due to come into use next year, will reduce the cost of delivering IT projects.
"Our aim is to derive solid business value," said Sadie Legard, global director, enterprise architecture at Cadbury Schweppes. "We can move IT from being a support function to a trusted partner in the business."
Cadbury Schweppes has made its enterprise architecture mandatory across the company, which is preparing to de-merge into separate beverage and confectionary divisions.
Each IT project is put through a six-stage review - covering definition of the initial idea, refinement, development, validation, refinement and implementation - to assess the project's compliance with the enterprise architecture.
Last week, company chairman John Sunderland stepped down following a meeting with shareholders about the company's performance. The company has also announced job cuts of 15% of its IT workforce.
Advice on implementing an enterprise architecture
● Manage the institutionalisation - rolling out enterprise architecture is just like other change programmes
● Link benefits to business objectives that are real and relevant
● Form a powerful coalition of supporters in the business
● Communicate wherever and whenever you can, and keep it snappy
● Plan for the long-term, but look out for short-term wins
● Demonstrate how investing in enterprise architecture creates value.
Source: Cadbury Schweppes