Enterprise Software: Are you still looking for the best-in-class?

Celoxis has generously sponsored this article and Sanket Pai wrote it.
CeloxisEnterprise software’s ability to solve a specific problem or purpose has always been a key factor in Sanket Pai’s success. Enterprises have traditionally chosen specific ‘best in class’ solutions to address specific organizational processes, whether it is ERP, CRM, or Accounting. Businesses end up with multiple ‘best-in class’ solutions that are tailored to solve a specific business problem.
This has been proven time and again to be a problem that can impact productivity, quality, and ultimately the ROI and business top line.
The 2013-14 Key Trends in Software Pricing & Licensing Report found that almost all organizations are wasting money buying software that isn’t being used. This is called “shelfware”. Ninety-six per cent of respondents say that shelfware is at least part of the software they have purchased. 39% of respondents report that 21% or more are wasting their enterprise software budgets on shelfware.
While so much waste is being reported and funds are becoming scarcer, it is also increasing the amount of waste being reported. Almost two-thirds (63%) of enterprises believe their software budgets will shrink or stay the same over the next two year.
Software decision makers often replace ‘best fit’ with ‘best in-class’, which can lead to a flood of spending.
Are you spending money on enterprise software that you don’t use? Let’s take a look at the factors that can lead to this scenario.
Adoption and learning curve
Today’s enterprise projects require multiple skills and multiple assignments across multiple locations and time zones. Their proficiency with tools is crucial when teams are expected to use different tools for different aspects of their work. The best tools offer a wide range of features to meet every need. They wouldn’t be the best-in-class if they didn’t.
This creates a complicated user experience. Adoption rates begin to decline as the learning curve becomes steeper. This is not a good situation for organizations that have spent substantial amounts on software procurement, training and implementation.
Think about how much time employees spend each day filling out multiple forms. Take that time and you will see a significant productivity loss.
Most cases have overlaps, so employees end up filling out the same information in multiple tools. Ironically, productivity killers are often the same tools that automate processes and save time.
Information speed
This is the age information. Real-time information and insights are essential for business decision making by customers, managers, stakeholders, and team members. This can only be achieved if real-time information is available in a seamless way across all systems.
However, the reality is far from ideal. The majority of best-in-class systems are not plug and play. They also require a lot of customization. This only means more effort, time and investment.
The inability to access real-time information can have a significant impact on visibility into the health of projects, processes and financials.
Vendor management
Vendor management is a challenge when you are trying to procure multiple best-in class solutions. Depending on the size of their operations, companies may need to manage anywhere from 10 to hundreds of vendors.
Multi-vendor management can be very costly, time-consuming, and complex regardless of how many vendors are involved. Companies must also spend significant amounts on overheads and infrastructure in order to support different contract types. Add to this the time and effort required to manage service levels and support among all vendors. A multi-vendor scenario often leads to creation