Foster's IT revamp saves $21m

Foster's Group has seen $21 million in benefits this year from an extensive IT transformation to simplify its disparate systems.

Foster's Group has seen $21 million dollars in benefits this year from an extensive IT transformation to simplify its disparate systems.

The global information technology project is a set of initiatives, including the development of a common business platform, which are expected to be mainly completed by 2011.

"We are developing common, integrated information technology systems as a major enabler for greater efficiency, better performance monitoring, accountability and transparency," said the brewer's annual report, released this week.

Foster's CIO Andrew Leyden was not available for comment on the project. According to the Australian IT, in addition to tinkering with its core systems, the company is also moving globally to a common Oracle ERP system and has cut down the number of vendors it deals with from 100 to 12.

The company's report said that Foster's was on target to deliver savings of $100 million in annual cost savings by 2011. This comes at a price. IT development costs, including purchased software and labour to develop software, were $25.8 million this year compared to $2.1 million last year, while capital expenditure, which also included costs from the IT project, has also been higher than the previous year.

The company recently signed a global deal with Indian outsourcer Wipro which will see most of its internal IT function being moved over to the outsourcer. Foster's has said there will be job losses due to the move, but has yet been unable to name a figure.

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