The study's authors reported that they found companies fairly evenly split among a variety of different lifecycle management initiatives, including deploying an enterprise resource planning (ERP) or other system to manage the aftermarket business, product data management, customer self-service, supply chain management and inventory management initiatives.
"We conclude that companies don't see one clear advantage to the use of e-business in [lifecycle management] capabilities and therefore have not adopted e-business for [lifecycle management] as quickly as they have for other functions such as back-office transaction processing," the authors write.
In other survey results:
- Some 60 percent of respondents in this year's survey said their companies view information technology as an investment, versus 40 percent that view IT as a cost. That compares with the 70 percent in last year's survey that saw IT as an investment.
- In response to a follow-up question, 10.7 percent of respondents reported that their companies view IT as a source of revenue, and 31.0 percent said that IT represented a source of strategic differentiation. While another 35.7 percent said that IT was a cost control mechanism, fully 22.6 percent saw IT as none of these, "leaving unanswered questions as to how these companies classify their IT investments," as CSC wrote in its report.
- Companies in general feel pretty good about how well their IT strategy is aligning with their overall business strategy. Fully 80 percent of respondents said that their two were either very well or fairly well aligned. Just 2.4 percent of respondents said that they weren't sure what their company's business strategy was in the first place.
- Cost cutting remained the top criterion for evaluating the value of IT investments, with about 40 percent of the survey respondents ranging "cuts operating expenses" as the key benchmark, followed distantly by "enhance operating revenue," "remain competitive" and "reduces lead time," each with less than 20 percent. "Reach new customers" and "investment meets financial metrics" were the least-cited criteria.