Fifty one percent of business integration projects in Australian organisations were not delivered on time last year, according to a survey by InterSystems Corporation.
Despite Australian organisations allocating 20 percent of their IT budgets to business integration projects, the survey said 46 percent had not or were not expected to deliver the targeted return on investment (ROI).
The in-depth survey --conducted on 87 CIOs and IT managers at 73 Australian organisations in September last year--showed that 56 percent of the CIOs and IT managers could integrate fewer than 40 percent of their IT applications with other applications in their organisation.
InterSystems' previous integration survey 12 months ago revealed that CIOs and IT managers struggled to meet integration requests. However, the situation this year was even worse, with 18 percent more CIOs and IT managers saying they were able to meet fewer than 40 percent of integration requests within the timeframe required by the business.
"The difficulty in meeting integration requests appears to be increasing more rapidly than the ability of available solutions to meet them. It is possible that early integration requests represented 'low hanging fruit' and CIOs and IT managers are now facing greater challenges meeting requests for the more difficult integration projects which remain," Denis Tebbutt, managing director of InterSystems Australia, said.
Some of the challenges revealed in the survey include internal resource constraints, cost involved during implementation, length of time required to complete, cost involved in maintaining the systems, and the lack of experts.
"With 'internal resource constraints' and 'additional expertise required' cited as concerns, it was not surprising that the survey found CIOs and IT Managers expected, on average, to expend three times as much money on services as software costs," Tebbutt said.
The survey revealed that CIOs and IT managers were still under significant pressure to integrate information held in disparate systems. While respondents had to deal with frequent requests for projects involving information integration, the survey said the number of requests did not appear to be increasing year on year.
Around 97 percent of the CIOs and IT managers needed to integrate information at least once in the last 12 months. Around 49 percent needed to integrate information at least six times, and 16 percent of all respondents had more than 20 requests for this kind of project in the last 12 months.
Another major concern by Australian organisations is the failure to deliver the targeted ROI.
"With nearly half of business integration projects not expected to deliver target ROI, it may be time for many organisations to consider alternative approaches.
"There is a clear need for solutions which are easier to use, less costly to implement and maintain, and faster to deploy. Business integration technology must become more integrated itself, enabling companies to focus more on business process and change management issues rather than making the technology do what it was supposed to do in the first place," Tebbutt said.
The top three drivers for integration this year concerned cost reduction, return on investment and efficiency improvement. The same three drivers were all selected in the top four choices of InterSystems' survey in 2003.