Billions of pounds are being wasted by UK businesses every year on unnecessary new IT systems. But the channel can help plug a hole in the financial dam.
A joint report by the British Computer Society (BCS) and the Royal Academy of Engineering claimed the overall UK spend in 2004 will be £22.6bn. The UK public sector spent an estimated £12.4bn on software alone last year.
Dr Mike Rodd, director of external relations at BCS, said the public sector often comes under the microscope more than the private sector because spending is subject to intense media scrutiny.
"But there are just as many failed projects in the private sector that are kept quiet," he said.
"Customers have to understand what the technology can do from the outset because it is easy for them to believe the hype. Resellers have to make sure their customers know what they will get for the money."
Mike Lawrence, managing director of reseller Bentpenny, agreed the channel has a major role to play. "Projects are insufficiently specced at the start with no set pricing. Not enough time is spent working out what the customer needs," Lawrence said.
"A lot of firms or government departments go for the cheaper option and need to learn that you get what you pay for. Until that happens not a lot will change."
Shaune Parsons, managing director of VAR Computer World Wales, said: "There is an inability on the part of customers, particularly in the public sector, to learn from past experience. Contracts need to be tied down more securely and the channel needs to admit when it can't do something."
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