Software simplification is the corporate tech boss’s greatest challenge, according to an October Morgan Stanley survey of 225 CIOs.
In fact, simplification is rapidly becoming a proxy for the one issue that unites all CIOs — cutting costs in a sluggish economy. Using fewer software suppliers — and fewer software packages — is one way to achieve that, albeit in an environment where any sweeping alteration in the back-end systems of a major company is going to cost millions of dollars.
CIOs want to streamline their supplier list, in part, to save money on systems integration — the job of making new software work with existing systems at a cost equal to 40% to 60% the price of the software itself, according to research firm Gartner. Even though, long-term, CIOs risk losing the leverage to bargain over price with their big suppliers, they’re increasingly shunning small, specialty software companies in favor of the names they feel sure will be around for the long haul — SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft , Siebel, Microsoft, and the like.