In our just published 2010 ERP Report, we evaluate actual data from 1,600 ERP implementations across the globe. One of the more interesting metrics buried in the study relates to end-user and executive satisfaction.

Among companies that have recently implemented enterprise software initiatives, we found that an underwhelming number are at least somewhat satisfied with the end result. According to the study, 32% of executives are dissatisfied with their ERP software. Perhaps not surprisingly, end-users are even more dissatisfied (39%) with their enterprise software solutions.

Because companies invest such large amounts of time and money in their ERP software (as outlined in more detail in the report), it is surprising that there is only a 2 out of 3 chance that they’ll like what they end up with. This data underscores some of the key contributors to ERP software satisfaction:

  1. Companies too often pick the wrong software. Many companies in the study underestimate the need for a thorough ERP software selection process. As a result, organizations often choose and implement solutions that are not good fits for their unique business requirements. It is simply not possible to be satisfied with software that doesn’t fit your needs.
  2. Executive expectations are often misaligned with ERP implementations. The fact that executives are too often dissatisfied with their enterprise software investments, even though they are typically infrequent users of the system, suggests that their needs are not being met in providing more visibility and transparency to their organizations. Reporting and business intelligence, which are usually afterthoughts delayed until the last weeks of an implementation, often determine executive satisfaction.
  3. ERP implementations too often go over budget and miss milestones. When an executive sees that his or her organization has just sunk an average of 6.9% of annual revenue in their ERP software, it better be worth it. Implementations generally take longer and cost more than expected, and executives will only be satisfied when they see clear and tangible paybacks on those investments.
  4. Employees are often left behind. Best-in-class enterprise software initiatives include effective organizational change management activities to ensure employees are comfortable, efficient, and productive in the new system. However, companies that neglect this important activity are more likely to have dissatisfied employees. This issue is even more pronounced in today’s climate of layoffs, uncertainty, and declining employee morale.

Companies that effectively address the above areas are more likely to complete their ERP implementations on time and under budget and, more importantly, are also more likely to have satisfied executives and end-users. Read more detail in our 2010 ERP Report.

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