The User Group commissioned some research through Vanson Bourne about the effect that access to vendor product roadmaps is having on UK organisations. Unsurprisingly, the majority saw having insight into product roadmaps as critical, with 82% of IT directors ready to vote with their feet and change vendor if another provided them with better visibility into their upcoming product roadmaps. 83% of IT directors also called for better foresight in order to make more informed decisions about future updates to hardware and software.
Currently, a lack of visibility is making it difficult for many organisations to plan effectively especially as the demands on IT to support the business are greater than ever before. At a time when budgets are increasingly tight, IT departments need to be able to make sure they are fully maximising their IT investments. Therefore, it is understandable that organisations can become frustrated when IT vendors aren’t very forthcoming when it comes to sharing product roadmap information.
The research found that, a lack of communication was the main obstacle for organisations and vendors to overcome, with 82% of IT directors stating that this was having a detrimental effect on their IT planning and strategy. It has also forced many companies into costly customisations or purchasing alternative products in order to meet their immediate needs. Over two-thirds (68%) of IT directors said they had wasted time and money on customising products only to find that vendors updated products a few months down the line with the functionality they required.
The User Group, as part of SUGEN, is working closely with SAP to ensure that SAP users are ahead of the game. Through a joint working group we are helping users get better visibility of product roadmaps and get them involved at a much earlier stage of the product development process. In addition, through our SIG meetings members can access previously confidential information about the future shape and direction of SAP’s products. At this year’s annual user conference there will dedicated sessions delivered by SAP experts highlighting the future product roadmaps for a number of SAP modules and industry solutions. To find out more go to www.sapusers.org/conference2010.
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