To Whom Does Your IT Department Owe Its Allegiance?

Executive Summary

  • SAP investments tend to have negative ROI in companies where they over-invest in SAP.
  • We cover the issue of mixed allegiances of IT departments.

Introduction

The conclusion of our research in this area is that IT departments are insensitive to this exact thing. That IT departments, particularly those that buy a great deal of SAP and Oracle have sold out the interest of business users for their own interests. This is covered in detail in the article From IT to the Business: Go Jump Off a Bridge.

The Common Problems with Agency Outside of IT

The claim we are making sounds very controversial. However, selling out the interests of the individuals you are supposed to represent is quite common outside of IT. Let us discuss two very prominent areas where this occurs.

  • The US Political System: It is challenging to look at the voting record of US politicians and see it as anything more than representing the interests of financial contributors. No one would think that their representatives in government look out for the voters. Voting is how the political system is made to look legitimate. The entire concept of representing the interests of the overall population (the vast majority of which are not financial donors) is no longer really a feasible hypothesis by those that are both honest and know how the US political system works.
  • Financial Advisors: In the area of financial advising, it is far more common for the financial advisor to look to maximize their income and to sell out the interests of their clients. Financial firms that provide financial advisors often provide higher compensation to move lower quality financial products. And only around 10% of financial advisors are “fiduciaries.” That is only 10% of financial advisors sign a fiduciary statement that they will put their client’s financial interests above their own.

This issue with financial advisors is explained in the following quotation.

“If you’re looking for a financial adviser to give you advice on saving for retirement, you’d probably want one that looks out for your best interests. But finding such an adviser may be more difficult than you’d expect. Some advisers are just as concerned—maybe even more concerned—about their own financial interests.

Those that look out for your best interests are known as fiduciaries. Such advisers invest your savings, say, in low-cost funds for a fixed fee instead of comparable funds that charge more in commissions. They promise there won’t be any hidden fees that surprise you later. And if your adviser has any conflicts of interest that could sway his judgment about which investments are best for you, he’s required to tell you.

Savers also have the option of turning to commission-based advisers who may not be fiduciaries. These advisers are only required to make investments on your behalf that are “suitable” for your needs. That means that while the investments your adviser chooses could be appropriate for your financial goals, you could end up paying him more money in commissions and other fees than if you had hired a fiduciary.”

So why should IT departments be immune from agency issues? Virtually no one will write on this topic, because they need to flatter IT decision-makers to gain business from them.

The financial advising industry has repeatedly fought against law requiring financial advisors to be fiduciaries. The reason is quite simple. Financials firms want to continue to make the most money off of those they advise, which means putting them into investment vehicles that primarily benefit the financial advisor.

Are IT Departments Fiduciaries?

The concept of a fiduciary is that the entity places the interest of a party above their own interests. However, this argument would be very difficult to make for IT departments that we have worked with. Furthermore, SAP has sold so many non-functional or semi-functional applications and databases to IT departments, that whose interests the IT departments represent is a very natural and quite logical question to ask.

Our Advise to IT Departments

We maintain probably the largest store of information on SAP products for what works, what does not work, and so on. We disclose this to clients.

What might be surprising to readers is that even after we tell clients that they are buying a problematic or failed item, they go ahead and do it anyway. It is strange, but they don’t seem to care. It is as if they have a certain amount of SAP they need to buy, and they are going to buy it.

One of the significant observations from these interactions is that IT departments do such a tiny amount of research before they buy.

Testing The Hypothesis of IT Department Indifference to Facts Which Contradict their Favored Vendor

Brightwork Research and Analysis specializes in research that fact checks SAP and Oracle. However, when we reach out to IT directors to connect, our acceptance rate is low. Less than 10%. Our acceptance rate from sales managers at vendors that compete with SAP or Oracle is around 30%. (I change the text a bit for the sales managers to focus on competitive intelligence).

This is reinforcing other datapoints from other areas we have gathered, that IT directors at SAP or Oracle accounts are not actually looking for fact-checking. They think they are getting good information as is. IT decision-makers are not the market for research and services. And that competing software vendors and procurement, that is trying to get a better value is actually a far better market or audience.

This is reinforced by the following quotation from Rolf Paulsen.

“This matches my experiences in the statutory health insurance. IT departments built their kingdoms over years and SAP connections are an important corner stone. Questioning SAP weakens their position and even might disclose their failure to get familiar with state of the art software technology.”

The Example of the Acceptance of SAP’s ABAP

The whole ABAP acceptance by IT departments shows this passivity. One does not have to use ABAP to customize SAP — in fact, many custom applications “legacy” should have never been ported to SAP. SAP is a highly inefficient system for development. Instead, these applications should have been maintained, and then integrated to SAP. These IT departments greatly damaged their companies and took on large technical debt by listening to SAP on this subject. And after they did, now SAP and their consulting firm had far more account control then if these native applications had been kept as is and integrated. IT departments also suffer from the Dunning Krueger Effect. They think they are experts in IT, but in reality, they have no research capability and they are normally divided into a Director and other management and then workers who have narrow and specific skills and are not involved in decision making.

Anyone who uses the Brightwork Research & Analysis TCO Calculators will find that SAP has the highest TCO applications in the IT industry. The reason for this is several-fold. However, one reason does not only do SAP (like virtually all vendors) follow an application data model, but SAP uses one the worst development languages that any customization can be performed with (ABAP). The ability of SAP to force a report writing language onto customers is covered in this article Why SAP Customers Followed SAP’s Advice on Coding in ABAP.

The very concept that an application vendor can choose the development language demonstrates, that IT decision-making capacity and leaders in SAP accounts are seriously either corrupted or incompetent or both. The technique used by not only SAP but many other vendors is to fake a requirements match, with the help of a corrupt consulting firm, then begin large scale custom development after it is learned that the packaged software is a weak match for requirements. This is an algorithm at this point. Yet buyers still cannot seem to figure out this simple fraud. Deloitte and Accenture and so on have been ripping off customers for decades with this same strategy.

This brings us to the quote of Christian Kaul.

It seems to me that many it departments are more like parasites feeding upon the host company instead of actual parts of the whole.

Obviously, if the IT department does not represent the interests of the company, the IT department is a major part of the problem. The argument is, and it has some validity, that in the US at least, companies provide so little in the way of job security, that the management of IT feels they are better off aligning themselves with a vendor or consulting firm. They can then find another job with that technology if they lose their job at their current employer. I have presented so many analysis to various companies telling them to not buy certain SAP applications and they went ahead bought them anyway. It is just bizarre that so many IT departments have little concern as to whether the software they purchase is even desired to be used by the business.

A following important observation is provided by Markian Jaworksy.

Definitely in large organizations IT dept. Is a business within a business. Run as a BlackBox so only those in charge have the ability to communicate the “truth” to the company at large. From experience, any leakage of “truth” is a disciplined offense. HR does not compute that rank and file could be ever so wise.

This is quite curious because I have observed IT rigging information, or presenting inaccurate information to the business in a very frequent fashion. IT departments claim great knowledge on information technology topics, but this knowledge is not apparent to me from interacting with senior members of IT departments. Far more often they seem to be swayed by vendor salespeople and they only in very rare instances fund any research function within the department. Their main interaction with research is to purchase research from Forrester or Gartner. However, the problem is that Forrester or Gartner are paid by vendors and consulting firms, and only provide information within a very narrow framework, which is profit-maximizing to these two firms as is partially covered in the article How Gartner Opposes Open Source for its Own Benefit.

The IT Department’s Concern for What is True

The issue with enterprise software risk management is that the risk for software buyers is not actually the risk of the project failing. Rather the risk of project failure must be balanced in the buyer’s mind against other risks. One equally important risk is buying software that is not a major brand name.

“I used to think that marketers in companies were trying to be better marketers, and then I realized that many of them were mostly just trying to move themselves forward. This is a jaded view of things but in reality it often rings true. If a marketer is working in a large company their goals are probably to move up and impress the boss, if they work in a small company or are their own boss their goals most likely revolve around increasing revenue and making more money.

What that means is whoever you’re selling to probably isn’t buying your products or services for anything but themselves. If you sell shoes, they’re probably buying them to look good (hence why every clothing commercial features people looking good and being admired), if you sell business services then people are probably buying to make themselves richer or more successful.” – Interact

The Shop Concept

Most companies are “SAP shops” or “IBM shops” and show extreme loyalty to major vendors. Loyalty should be translated in this instance to choosing products that are a bad match for the business requirements.

In a regulatory environment, which is similar to IT departments as they are in a way to regulate the purchases from various vendors, the phenomena of selling out your interests for the interests of outside parties is called being captured. There is quite a bit of research into capture. Wikipedia has the following definition of capture:

“In economics, regulatory capture occurs when a state regulatory agency created to act in the public interest instead advances the commercial or special interests that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating. Regulatory capture is a form of government failure, as it can act as an encouragement for large firms to produce negative externalities. The agencies are called “captured agencies.”

Through receiving consideration, sometimes in the form of job offers, or ego stroking or financial contributions, the individual making decisions is corrupted. Regulatory capture is more blatant than the capture that occurs between large vendors and IT departments. Large vendors are not able to make direct financial contributions to companies to influence policy, and while there is some job movement between IT departments and the large vendors, it is nowhere near as prevalent as it has become in the various regulatory bodies where the senior positions are literally a revolving door between the regulatory body and the companies they regulate.

The largest vendors like SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and IBM, one way or another, have so captured the interests of IT, that at sometimes it appears as if the IT department works for these vendors, rather than for their employer. This is actually a subtle form of corruption, is the ultimate objective of any account manager for a major software vendor (that is to get the IT decision makers to be more loyal to the software company they buy products from than the company that actually pays their salary) and is part of the reason that large enterprise software vendors have little incentive to innovate.

Vendor Capture of IT Departments

The topic of software vendor capture of IT departments is much less investigated or researched. However, it is essential to understand how capture works in regulatory bodies as the behavior is substantially similar.

The interesting question is large software vendors can accomplish this goal. Here are a few of the ways they achieve this goal. The quotation below is one of the few that can be found on the internet for what is a significant problem. It’s uncommon for this to be discussed.

“The purchase of software, consultants, and IT services to those NOT most qualified, but to those that provide the manager with tickets to games, vacations trips, potential new job opportunities, and other ‘loop holes’ in corporate policy. This can cost companies millions of dollars down the road on failed integration projects, extra contractors, and unneeded services and software.  I never thought much about this as a young developer, but as I advanced higher into the ranks as a senior developer, I would be invited to attend manager meetings for ‘technical support’.  Here I would see Directors spinning products that were total crap and way over-priced.”DoodleKit.com

Buying off the decision-making inside of IT organizations has an interesting precedent in an ongoing legal case. However, in this case, it was a consulting company, Deloitte, which clearly wined and dine and eventually hired an internal project auditor for Marin County, a mere two months after he approved $3 million in consulting charges for what ended up being deficient work. This topic is covered in this article.

Pushing Lying to New Heights

In some cases, the methods used by vendors and consulting companies are straight up corruption. However, the slick salesmanship within large vendors and large consulting companies, is, in effect to help companies make poor decisions that are against their interests. These companies would not employ so many salespeople who so commonly lie unless it was understood that they would be using this skill of lying against prospects and current customers. This extreme form of lying is evident from any of the quarterly calls from the major vendors, where the executives like Mark Hurd or Bill McDermott lie on a regular basis and are sort of the special forces of liars. That is they produce a level of lying that is the ultimate goal of many of the sales reps within these companies aspires to.

What Happened to IT Departments?

IT departments at this point share similarities with the health care system. They are highly inefficient, highly bureaucratized, and more about its narrow interests than serving the customer (in this case the business).

A perfect example of capture is this video from Florida Crystals at an SAP ASUG conference where the CIO is lying about his project with S/4HANA. The CIO here declares an impossible migration to S/4HANA of 3-4 weeks. How did the vendor, SAP, in this case, motivate this CIO to lie is such an obviously falsifiable way? The Florida Crystals case study is covered in detail here. and was one of the many case studies used at part of Brightwork’s research into the implementation history of S/4HANA.  

Why IT departments have become so insular is an interesting question, however, if we look at for instance the marketing department at companies, they are quite frequently wholly unconcerned with how their policies affect operations. That is marketing sees its role to excite demand as much as possible, the accuracy of the information provided usually is not a concern. Therefore insensitivity between departments is indeed nothing new. IT departments have reached a state where they are unconcerned as to whether the business derives value from the applications they support. IT departments cause a major drag on economic efficiency because they tend to steer enterprise software selection decisions away from applications with high functionality that meet the business need, to high maintenance applications that meet IT needs.

The Battle Between Business and IT

The inflexibility on a host of issues, including IT offering up the same old lagging edge applications from large vendors that sub-optimize the business has helped deepen the discord between the business and IT. The business often views IT as not having an interest in providing them with solutions which help the business meet their objectives, and as an independent consulting who often is hired by IT and works with the business, I have to say this view is quite often accurate. Many IT departments show utter disdain for the business, implementing software in a way that has little regard for how the business benefits, something which has quite a bit in common with how IBM tends to implement software.

I have been at companies repeatedly when the IT resources that the IT director loves so much turn out to be incomprehensible to the business. I have seen many instances where the IT resource provides convoluted and false answers (often to protect software weaknesses or flaws) and the IT director supports the IT resource in essence “snowing” the business resource. For the IT director unintelligible resources who play fast and loose with the truth help get the business resource to “go away.”

Who Cares About IT Efficiency?

Our primary focus has been SAP and Oracle and consulting firms like Accenture and Deloitte. We have recently concluded that IT does not care much about the actual benefits of software to the business. Instead of the benefits to the customer, the careers of the IT decision makers is placed above the business user. And the larger vendors have convinced IT departments that it is in their best interests to align with the vendor.

“Look, we draw a paycheck, but we don’t really work here.”

Is there any love as pure as that between a sales rep and their customer? If you have any type of decision making authority over IT dollars, prepare for some out of the world treatment. You are “brilliant,” “bold,” “forward thinking” and you know the best software is offered by that sales rep. 

Lessons in Extreme Flattery

If you sit outside of an IT director’s office and listen to vendors and consulting firms visiting, (as we have) it is rather sickening. Many of the conversations sound more like a discussion on a golf course than any serious business. The sales rep butters the IT director up, and this is often quite readily accepted by IT directors who feel underappreciated.

Finally, someone who appreciates them, and who shows them the respect they deserve! Not at all like their business counterparts that only complain about the poor systems they are forced to use. If the IT director continues to buy from the vendors, they can expect an unending sequence of flattery and free goodies as well as resume enhancement that can stretch on for years. SAP takes the most compliant CIOs that have wasted the most of their company’s budgets and gives them jobs in ASUG when they are between CIO gigs.

Sales reps know how to get the decision makers to put their own interests ahead of their company’s interests that they represent. The game these reps are playing is one of corruption. They are not simply offering information about a product or a service, rather they are engaging in a velvet glove handling of an IT decision maker, making them think that their lifestyles will improve if they align themselves with a particular vendor. This is why so many reps have expensive hobbies. Sailing, playing polo, golf, all of these things create an illusion of a lifestyle more exciting than that of the IT decision maker.

Switching the Allegiance of the IT Decision Maker

The objective of the sales rep is to get the IT decision makers to put their own interests first, and their company’s interests second. Any sales rep can sell a good quality solution, it takes an exceptional sales rep to sell a barely functional solution. And this is why they are paid the most, and why Oracle and SAP have the highest paid sales reps.

And it is perhaps surprising how easy this is to do. Sales reps have done their job so well that they have completely screwed up IT. They have promoted massive waste due to a combination of technological ignorance on the part of customers and sales reps getting IT decision makers to throw the interests of the company out the window in exchange for more “personal benefits.” Sales reps may have created “great relationships with IT directors and VPs,” but IT is suffering from these “relationships.”

For CIOs it is “In and Out”

CIOs have an average tenure of 3 years at companies in the US. The objective is to get in, make announcements of change, but leave before the changes can be tested. This tenure is an example of the way in which IT has developed a culture of irresponsibility where they are unable to perform the fundamental aspects of their jobs as decision makers. This would include evaluating project risk, holding bad vendors responsible, keeping the company from being leveraged by audits and lock-in.

The current model of choosing CIOs does not work. Companies end up with highly ambitious individuals with little concern from what is true. Ambition is what leads them to care little about the outcomes of IT decisions versus their own personal outcomes. 

Companies don’t seem to understand, switching out one compliant and brainwashed CIO for a new compliant and brainwashed CIO will not do anything to change the outcomes. It is the structure of IT and how IT is controlled by vendors that is the problem. Each new CIO comes with their own vendor relationships before they assume the new job. CIO’s are often chosen because they have “experience” in various items. However, CIOs don’t touch systems, so their domain expertise in a particular application or database is far less important than their ability to look at the new situation objectively.

IT as the Inside Man

I have been dissuaded by IT to censor analysis that would end up pointing a finger at their bad decisions. I have witnessed behaviors that clearly demonstrates IT decision makers being the but back pocket of these vendors. Truth has little currency in most IT departments, the rule is exaggerating one’s knowledge to IT, and covering up previous decisions that went sour because the IT decision maker spent more time listening to sales reps than doing any research. IT departments have become extremely hierarchical with a clear segmentation between executive decision makers and worker bees. And the worker bees, those with the technical knowledge, are normally not even asked for their opinions as to the various claims made by sales reps.

None of this corruption could work without compliant IT departments. Why? This would empower them, and display the lack of understanding of technology on the part of executives to the people that work below them, and earn far less money than they do.

In many bank heists, there is an outside team and an “inside man.” The title of the 2006 movie Inside Man is a nod to this feature of heists. So while the sales reps for the software vendor and the consulting firm is the outside man — IT decision makers are the inside man, or their willing accomplice.  

The best way to break into something is to find someone who can be bought who is already inside. If you can compensate them, they can let you in after hours, without having to actually break in.

Accepting Information for Bad Sources

IT in the vast majority of cases does not look for independent entities to advise them. IT departments do not want their favorite vendors and consulting companies fact-checked. This same pattern applies to both SAP and Oracle, but let us keep it to SAP for the sake of simplicity.

  1. SAP immediately points the customer to several partners.
  2. A partner selection commences and there is a winner.
  3. SAP sets up the partner as the goto trusted advisor. It is like they are assigned a dance partner

Recently someone at a client told me..

“SAP and Deloitte both sat there and lied to them.”

But there is a problem in this interpretation. The clear implication in the statement is that SAP and Deloitte are separate.

They are not.

Deloitte’s SAP practice is a consulting arm of SAP. Deloitte and SAP jointly coordinate against the customer. If SAP is negotiating with the customer and shares information with Deloitte, Deloitte will immediately share that information with SAP, to score brownie points and to allow SAP to gain the upper hand in the negotiation. All of the SAP consulting partners complete to show themselves as more compliant than others to SAP. SAP distributes various goodies (referrals, ramp up programs) to the partners that do the best job kissing up to SAP. And SAP is to never be questioned, only promoted.

And there are no repercussions for lying or being caught lying.

A System Rigged Against Companies and Business Users

This is the problem. SAP and their consulting partners rig information against these customers. Neither of them provides accurate information, and the customer is repeatedly fooled that these are good sources of information.

The extent of mind control is simply bizarre. Customers will catch SAP or Deloitte lying to them…..in fact, I point these lies out to multiple clients, but in the end, they say..

“These are the sources we have selected.”

So they live with the lying.

Outcomes do not matter to them much except for the appearance of outcomes. Resume building and vendor relationships and comfort level are all higher priorities.

Our Exposure

We repeatedly tell companies not to buy applications that they go ahead and buy anyway, in part because IT does not care if the solution is good for the company. They are in our experience buying items that they can place on their resume or that allows them to strengthen their relationship with a vendor.

Employing companies are a big part of this by making the job market so insecure that the employee or executive feels they have to put their interests ahead of the company that they work for.

The Problem of Corruption in IT Matches That in US Politics

  • This video explains the problems with the US political system.
  • With some slight adjustments, it can be used to explain a similar problem in the IT industry.

The Problem With the US Political System

In shorthand, the US political system has been hacked by monied interests who have succeeded in converting a government that was supposed to have a degree to participation to where the participation is facia. The fascia of participation is maintained because, without a facia, the system would lose its legitimacy, which is, of course, a major part of its power.

The video does a superb job of showing that the percentage of the electorate that favors a law being passed has no correlation with whether it is passed. This is because legislation is passed based upon financial power.

The Corollary with IT

The state of IT is very similar, all that is necessary is to move around the primary interest groups, and the video could just as easily be applied to IT.

Voters = Business Users

We need to convert voters to business users. Business users ultimately have to use the software that is purchased but has close to no control over what software is purchased. This is because the decision making has been delegated to a specializes group called IT.

Representatives = IT

The US was never a democracy and the term democracy is not used in either the US Constitution or the Bill of Rights. It is a representative system of government or a republic.

The founders of the US opposed democracy on the grounds that it would lead to the masses being able to be lead by a demagogue to execute policies that were popular, but ultimately bad for the system. The only democratic aspect of the US political system are referendums that have direct voting. But these are rare compared to the decisions that are made through the representative process.

  • A representative is someone who is elected to execute the will of the electorate. That is in theory.
  • Similarly, the business has IT make decisions for technology under the idea that IT has specialized knowledge. In the US political system, the problem is that the representatives are responsive to money rather than to the electorate. A representative system only works if that system cannot be gamed by non-electorate based forces — which is unfortunately exactly what has happened.

Lobbyists = Sales People

Lobbyists are instruments of corruption. In a system that was about the representation of the electorate, lobbyists would not exist. There is already a system for influencing representatives, it is called voting. However, lobbyists and lobbyist money is designed to minimize the influence of voters on their representatives.

They bring the interests of the elite to bear on the representatives, pivoting the representatives away from representing the electorate to representing whoever is paying the lobbyists. Lobbyists don’t care what is true, they push any message in return for money.

In the IT space, lobbyists are salespeople. Salespeople are hired to get customers to buy things that are bad for the company, but good for the people that work in the IT department. Their role is to corrupt the IT decision makers by any means necessary. Salespeople frequently talk about how they are the voice of the customers. However, having worked with them, this is clearly false. Salespeople are expert at highlighting areas that are strong and hiding areas that are weak in applications from customers. Like lobbyists salespeople will laud their relationship with their customers, but these relationships have a specific purpose — to sell software, and the stronger the relationship, the less appropriate the software needs to be to get purchased.

As a lobbyist, it is virtually impossible to keep one’s job without lying, and then lying about lying, and the same is true of sales people. Their job is to get the sale, by any means necessary. Both lobbyists and salespeople see their roles as essential and normally have a blind spot about lying, preferring to adopt the idea that either “everyone is doing it,” or “there is no objective truth.”

However, the end result of their activities is that the entire system is pivoted away from the representatives (IT or political) from representing the interests of either the voters or the business users. Like lobbyists, those salespeople that are most successful in turning IT decision makers against the interests of their companies are paid the most.

What it All Means

If one takes stock of this behavior by IT departments, it almost appears as if the IT decision-makers are agents for the vendors, as if they have sold out the interests of the companies they work for to these powerful vendors. One possibility that has been brought up to us is bribery. We don’t have the evidence for this, but there are various benefits that powerful vendors like SAP can provide to IT department decision-makers. SAP has been involved in several bribery scandals in South Africa and Panama. There is no doubt that SAP has paid bribes. It is a matter of public record. However, the broader question is how widespread is bribery.

Conclusion

  • Here we are decades into computing, and IT departments are the impediment because they are not set up to care about outcomes.
  • IT departments have proven extremely easy for sales reps at vendors and consulting companies to manipulate. Sales reps are promoted and compensated based upon their capabilities at manipulation, and never evaluated on the basis of the accuracy of the information they provide. Accurate information is bad for quota attainment.
  • The corruption in the enterprise software space is off the charts. Yet, in the popular media coverage of IT, it may as well not exist.
  • It is not entirely clear why IT decision makers are so unwilling to challenge software vendors and consulting companies even when they are robbing their companies blind. But if they are not held to account by the business, they quickly become captured by outside entities.

Our analysis of the decision making by IT departments for companies that use SAP is that something strange happens when SAP offers software to companies. IT departments perform very little research, are easily swayed by claims made by SAP sales reps, and disregard warnings about SAP software, even when that software is declared by us as not capable of being implemented of being extremely difficult to maintain. IT departments routinely bypass far more mature non-SAP applications, and applications which are far better fits with business requirements in favour of SAP applications.

The problem with the fact-checking services that we offer is that IT departments are not interested in having the facts checked of the major vendors. The IT departments are “in on the fix,” they are compliant in providing substandard solutions to the business if it feathers their own bed.

This is why the only real market for fact-checking services is not IT. Instead, it is either the business side of companies or the procurement department.

  1. For marketing to procurement, this means communicating that IT will not help them fact check the vendor.
  2. For marketing to the business, this means communicating that without an outside party, many or most IT departments will sell out the interests of the business for their own IT interests. This means that business departments cannot trust IT to get them the best solutions from the market. If business departments can recognize they need their own fact-checkers independent of IT, then they can see the need to fund this type of work.

A final end state of corruption is attained through decades of small incremental degradation of the system. After enough decades pass, eventually, the system becomes so obviously corrupt that it requires reform. This is where both the US political system and IT is currently. Those inside of the system is so used to corruption that they barely question it. Those looking inward toward the system can’t believe how the people on the inside who benefit can’t see how dysfunctional the system has become.

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

Neither this article nor any other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle, SAP or their competitors. As part of our commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research; no paid media placements, commissions or incentives of any nature are allowed.

Search Our Other IT Department Failures

References

https://www.consumerreports.org/retirement-planning/make-sure-you-get-the-best-retirement-advice/

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sap-safrica/germanys-sap-admits-misconduct-in-south-africa-gupta-deals-idUSKCN1GK19M

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/jeanette-buis/sap-has-shown-us-that-bribery-doesnt-happen-in-a-vacuum_a_23261113/

Enterprise Software Risk Book

Software RiskRethinking Enterprise Software Risk: Controlling the Main Risk Factors on IT Projects

Rethinking Enterprise Software Risk: Controlling the Main Risk Factors on IT Projects

Better Managing Software Risk

The software implementation is risky business and success is not a certainty. But you can reduce risk with the strategies in this book. Undertaking software selection and implementation without approximating the project’s risk is a poor way to make decisions about either projects or software. But that’s the way many companies do business, even though 50 percent of IT implementations are deemed failures.

Finding What Works and What Doesn’t

In this book, you will review the strategies commonly used by most companies for mitigating software project risk–and learn why these plans don’t work–and then acquire practical and realistic strategies that will help you to maximize success on your software implementation.

Chapters

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 3: The Basics of Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 4: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
Chapter 5: Software Sell-ability versus Implementability
Chapter 6: Selecting the Right IT Consultant
Chapter 7: How to Use the Reports of Analysts Like Gartner
Chapter 8: How to Interpret Vendor-Provided Information to Reduce Project Risk
Chapter 9: Evaluating Implementation Preparedness
Chapter 10: Using TCO for Decision Making
Chapter 11: The Software Decisions’ Risk Component Model

Enterprise Software Risk

See our free project risk estimators that are available per application. The provide a method of risk analysis that is not available from other sources.