Vinnie Mirchandani posted an insightful comment on this blog related to software implementation time and cost. He correctly points out that even so-called “successful” implementations often run substantially over-budget. In most fields, a project that has run 2-3 times over-budget would be considered a failure, but the expectations around software seem to be different. Why do otherwise rational, sane people find huge cost overruns acceptable on software-related projects?
I recently spent an afternoon consulting to a group of senior executives from an important enterprise software vendor. Their challenge: reducing implementation time as a means to increase customer satisfaction. This is easier said than done, given complexity around both the software and the customer environment. To some degree, definitively solving the implementation problem requires that software products and related services be designed with implementation in mind. This is not easily accomplished, but in the long run lowering implementation costs almost always helps a software company sell more product.
Hey software vendors, this is a simple concept: make your products easier to deploy and you will sell more!