IT projects on a budget – why IT projects fail already in the design phase |

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IT projects on a budget – why IT projects fail already in the design phase


The implementation of new IT technologies into businesses provides system integrators significant challenges. Clients expect the highest possible benefits at the lowest possible costs.


In a recent survey COMPRiS asked 392 system integrators and resellers what are the causes influencing IT investments to halt already in the design phase. In addition, we also found out what sort of support partners desired from manufacturers and/or distributors.

Cost benefit analysis the biggest challenge for IT projects

According to the interviewed system integrators and resellers, cost benefit analysis is the biggest challenge in implementation of IT projects.


Over half of respondents (54%) indicated that IT budgets were too low compared to the high expectations for the project, which resulted in the project no longer being pursued. This suggests that the added value of IT changes is not outlined in detail, is not clearly worked out or is not effectively communicated throughout the organisation.


A quarter of partners (25%) indicated lack of staff and resources as a major challenge, 20% see lengthy project periods as problematic, whilst 15% argued poor measurability of the cost benefit approach. Other mentioned barriers include poor project planning (12%) and end user concerns as well as inadequate IT skills of employees (11%).



All responses are summarised in the chart below:


© COMPRiS August 2013

© COMPRiS August 2013


The results indicate that positioning of IT projects with management still needs improvement. IT structures are gaining strategic importance within businesses and the focus for solution providers is to support their clients with holistic advice, oriented towards their clients’ business challenges.



This type of advice, mainly aimed at senior management, is increasing but the opportunities are not utilised to their full potential. Solution providers should position themselves as an ‘external CIO’ to senior management, getting early involvement in the strategic and tactical planning phase, thus successfully positioning the right solutions to the outstanding challenges. 

Partners want manufacturers and distributors to provide ‘temporary professionals for IT projects’ for technical support and assistance in implementation phase

When 392 system integrators and resellers were asked what kind of support they want from manufacturers and distributors, most respondents mentioned technical support or assistance in planning and implementation as a top priority (44%).



21% of respondents think everything is fine and can’t name any additional support they want whilst 19% of partners want better contact and more personal support, with a further 18% mentioning reliable solutions as a focal point.  All responses are summarised in the graph below, offering manufacturers and distributors ideas about potential differentiation to better position themselves with the partners. 


© COMPRiS August 2013

© COMPRiS August 2013





IT projects fail for many reasons.


The results of our survey show that cost is the main obstacle in the implementation of IT projects. Budget constraints prevent or delay the introduction of new IT projects within organisations, which indicates that the need, the benefit and the added value of an IT investment is not sufficiently identified by businesses.

Staff shortages and lack of resources also play an important role in the introduction and implementation of IT projects. This is why it is important to partner with manufacturers or distributors, so partners can ‘borrow’ professionals for upcoming projects.


In general, the importance and further development of IT should be emphasised by new IT projects. Different approaches are emerging to help partners tackle the challenges associated with new IT projects.



The survey also highlighted the want from partners for technical support and assistance in the implementation phase. Manufacturers are encouraged to actively engage with partners to uncover their specific needs, as this gives manufacturers an opportunity to differentiate and build partner loyalty. It is evident in this study, as has been seen in previous studies, that personal contact and support for partners is an important component in building a strong manufacturer-partner relationship.