In a recent white paper, Cindy Jutras (pictured, left), founder of Mint Jutras LLC, a tech firm “specializing in analyzing and communicating the business value enterprise applications bring to the enterprise” collected over 900 responses to a survey of companies’ enterprise solutions. Today we’ll reprise just two major conclusions from their report entitled “New Realities of Replacing Your Accounting System.”
First, they asked the question: Why Might Companies Replace [Their Current] Solution? Here’s what survey responses revealed were the driving forces:
- Seeking more functionality was cited by 49% of all respondents
- Outdated technology: 46%
- Cost advantage (seeking to lower TCO): 44%
Those were by far the three main drivers for system replacement. Other factors cited included:
- “Our business is changing” by 26% of all respondents
- Integration issues: 24%
- A (new) consolidation strategy: 21%
- Current system cannot scale with our growth: 20%
Given these incentives to change, when asked to define their selection criteria, survey respondents chose the following [on a scale from 0 (“not a consideration”) to 4 (“must have/most important”) ]:
- Fit and functionality: 3.51
- Ease of use: 3.49
- Flexibility to address changing business needs: 3.41
- TCO (Total Cost of Ownership): 3.28
- Quality & availability of vendor support services: 3.25
- Integration technologies and capabilities: 3.21
- Ease & speed of implementation: 3.12
- Ability to tailor functionality without programming: 3.10 (*)
(*) Note that the survey respondents specifically excluded manufacturers – for whom customization and tailored functionality tend to be key, critical factors in selection.
The report’s author noted the ongoing importance of fit and functionality (always the top priority of selection committees) along with the increased importance today of ease of use. Fitting future needs was deemed more important than ever, logical today given the changing face and pace of the business environment.
Finally, two items were notable for not ranking high on the list:
- Deployment options (2.26), and
- Mobile access (2.19)
Despite “mobility” and “cloud” (or SaaS) being hot topics today, most surveyed SMB companies showed minimal concern for these two characteristics. Industry pundits continue to opine that ‘it’s only a matter of time’ before these opinions change, but so far, that’s what companies are saying today.
The Mint Jutras white paper can be found at the proformative.com website here.