Among the many problems that bedevil the IT industry in 2003, that of enterprise applications looms large.
After the heady days of the late 1990s, when spending on applications reached profligate levels, reality has set in with a very large thud. For application vendors it has become a tough world. For IT managers it can be even tougher.
You don't have to dig deep into industry reports to uncover some horrifying statistics.
For example, according to the US Department of Commerce, poor software quality costs the US economy some $60bn. Analyst Gartner estimates that some 20 per cent of IT budget is wasted, much of it on poor applications.
The software quality specialist, Mercury Interactive, believes that some 98 per cent of applications suffer critical performance problems.
In the enterprise application area there is a belief that much of the money invested in software because of the millennium bug was wasted.
That can be because the systems were 'fixed' at great cost and have since become redundant anyway, or they were replaced in haste - and at enormous cost - with software that in 2003 doesn't quite fit the business anymore.
But this is taking the horror stories at face value. Egged on by analysts, the software industry has been quick to point out the problems, no doubt in the hope that they can once again supply the solution.
The IT industry is feeling the pinch and wants its customers to come to the rescue.
In this Special Report we look at what's in store for your core systems and ask: where's the next killer app?
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