Companies Are Not Using IT Tools, Despite Recession

Software

Even when competition is more intense, companies are not making the best use of technology, according to two surveys just released

Up to a third of companies still rely on spreadsheets and other basic software tools to manage customer information according to research from BT.

In a survey released this week, the telecoms and IT services specialist said that despite tough economic conditions, few companies are making use of software tools to improve the performance of their business.

According to BT, only just over half of companies use customer data to understand their clients and improve the service they offer. Furthermore only 16 percent of companies use CRM software for sales planning.

“Marketing theory is that it costs up to 10 times more to win a new customer than to retain an existing one. By understanding wants, needs and buying patterns, businesses can tailor what they offer to give their customers exactly what they want,” said Chris Lindsay, general manager at BT Business applications. “This will help firms to be more competitive, work through the recession and be in a better position for the upturn when it comes.”

BT cites research from analyst Gartner which estimates that companies could save between 25 and 40 percent of the cost of an project by using hosted CRM applications.

And it is not just managing customer data where companies are falling behind. According to separate research from the global Enterprise Content Management Association (AIIM), which represents the interests of content management companies, companies are generally failing to manage all forms of data.

In its annual “State of the ECM [Enterprise Content Management] Industry” report, the organisation claims that managinng electronic documents is still a challenge for 47 percent of companies.

In particular, the report states that some companies are still failing to get to grips with communication channels such as instant messaging, text messages, blogs and wikis – and fall foul of compliance issues as a result.

“For many organisations, poorly managed and out of control information represents a huge potential source of bottom line savings in this tight economy — if only organisations would just take this cost saving seriously,’ said John Mancini, president of AIIM, comments. “Uncontrolled content represents a lost opportunity – and a major compliance risk.”