Over three quarters of UK IT directors are frustrated with the lack of visibility and input into vendor product roadmaps, according to a survey by the UK & Ireland SAP User Group.
Up to 82 per cent of respondents would consider changing vendors if more information regarding roadmaps was offered. Meanwhile, 83 per cent of IT directors would also like more information about future updates to hardware and software so they can make better decisions, the survey found.
The key issue is that UK IT directors want visibility and the power to influence product roadmaps, which is something that SAP is doing well, according to Craig Dale, chief executive of the UK & Ireland SAP User Group.
"It can be very frustrating for IT departments when they can't plan ahead effectively. At a time when budgets are increasingly tight, IT departments need to be able to make sure they are fully maximising their IT investments," he said.
"Therefore, it is understandable that [people within] organisations become frustrated when IT vendors aren't very forthcoming when it comes to sharing product roadmap information."
Some 82 per cent of IT directors also stated that lack of communication from vendors and organisations is having a detrimental effect on IT planning and strategy. This is especially apparent when there is a merger or acquisition, the User Group noted.
This lack of information can sometimes force organisations to look for alternatives and spend money on costly customisations or alternative products to meet their needs, the survey found. Some 68 per cent of IT directors admitted to wasting time and money on customising products.
Vendors produce products in such as way as to make them useable for large organisations, Dale noted, but this makes the software unusable for the rest of the customer community, and vendors need to cater to businesses globally to address this.
SAP has promised to provide customers with roadmaps and keynotes, as part of a one-day event dedicated to BusinessObjects at the SAP UK & Ireland User Conference 2010 in Manchester from 21 to 23 November.
The firm will also try to win over businesses to its recently relaunched Business ByDesign platform at the event.
Customers will be on hand at the conference to share thoughts on the software, which will be demonstrated on the iPad as SAP looks to deliver on its nine-month mobile expansion target.
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