IT’s the pivot for global firms

IT will play a pivotal role in the development of global companies during 1999, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

PwC consultants have put enterprise resource planning applications and the Internet among the top ten issues facing organisations in the year.

‘The Internet has an attraction for companies of every size, even three-to-four-man bands,’ said Roderick Roy, leader of the Oracle team in PwC’s global ERP practice.

Roy warned, however, that Internet access raises security headaches: ‘You may not know who’s ordering things like month-end accruals,’ he said.

Choosing the right ERP system could also affect a company’s profits.

While similarities between ERP giants’ products grow, industry-specific applications for ‘vertical’ markets, such as oil and retail, are thriving.

‘These applications can provide a much better fit, but they’re still pretty new,’ said Roy. ‘The golden rule is “never be the first”.’

PwC also predicts increasing take-up of performance measurement techniques such as the balanced scorecard, which assesses business performance on ‘soft’ criteria such as customer service.

This will be music to the ears of software vendors such as Gentia and CorVu, which offer products designed to extract and analyse data from ERP systems to a daily overview of a company’s performance.

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