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Conclusion 04: Process Automation
Internal process automation has long been the domain of large-scale ERP systems, but the new breed of Net-based services is starting to gain traction. Human resource information systems are the most widely supported, with 63 percent of companies already implementing or planning to implement.
Product development and management systems, marketing program automation and sales force automation offerings are all within a few percentage points of each other, with companies implementing or having intentions to implement from 54 percent to 57 percent. In most cases, smaller businesses were more likely to be implementing or planning to implement such systems; they ranged from 56 percent to 62 percent, while large companies ranged from 44 percent to 51 percent.
Once again, larger businesses had more reasonable expectations for their offerings. Though they were unrealistic in their expectations that profit margins would be increased by process automation systems30 percent hoped for vs. 19 percent achievedfor most other attributes (except for operating cost reductions and faster product/service to market) large companies actually achieved slightly better results than expected.
Small businesses were once again radically off the mark with many of their expectations. Sixty-nine percent thought they'd get better use of business intelligence, while only 41 percent succeeded.