Half of Asia's IT projects miss targets

Common problems include delays in timeline, budget overrun, and higher-than-expected maintenance costs, a new study reveals.

Nearly half of IT projects undertaken in the Asia-Pacific region fail to meet performance expectations, a new study reveals.

Commissioned by India's Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the study unveiled that 48 percent of IT projects in the region underperform, compared to one in three (or about 33.3 percent) of projects globally which fail to meet expectations.

The study, which was conducted by Dynamic Markets, polled 800 middle and senior IT managers in large companies across eight countries worldwide. These include respondents from Singapore, India, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Sweden.

According to TCS, despite the "general poor performance" of IT projects globally, these results do not "evoke a sharp reaction from management". Some 69 percent of respondents said their managers and board members continued to provide the necessary financial support for these projects.

Common problems cited by respondents included overruns in allocated time (62 percent) and budget (49 percent), and higher-than-expected maintenance costs (47 percent). In addition, one in four companies said business users were reluctant to adopt the new systems once implemented.

As a result, TCS said businesses need to "rethink" their IT services and outsourcing strategies. "Organizations need to work with partners that can explain the value of their work at a board level, and provide key performance indicators to show the benefit of the investments made", said the Indian outsourcing giant.

"Businesses should look at how their partners operate before signing on the dotted line," N. Chandrasekaran, COO and executive director at TCS, said in a statement. "They should consider longevity of partnerships, repeat business, and organic growth of relationships."

According to Chandrasekaran, financial credibility and global reach are also important in today's world economy because ultimately, businesses should look for the ability to "provide the right services, at the right cost, in the right timeframe".

In addition, they should work with businesses that can demonstrate a clear ability to execute on time, on budget and to plan, he said.

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