Ariba’s May 2009 White Paper-“Next Generation Spend Analysis” invests heavily in examining the limitations of inexplicit data, and the paralysis by analysis factor as major reasons why spend analysis “fails” to deliver the desired result.

This issue stand alongside the why SAAS (software as a service) isn’t producing the ROI that so many SAAS suppliers pitch. It amazes me, though that sourcing experts still focus on the data and the tools as the reason clients never realize the expected ROI from the data and the tools.

When considering the investment in tools and visibility we have to ask ourselves; what is the desired output? In almost every case, the output is cost-savings.

Cost savings take more than analysis, they require action. Last I checked, data sits quietly by itself. Software can make phone calls, but it doesn’t make deals. As the techies like to say, it’s not a technical problem, it’s a user issue.

Now you can call me a cynic but, IMHO, marketing amped up tools and analytics is not a problem solver when it comes to cost savings. It’s just another thinly veiled effort to sell amped up analytics and tools.

Not that I don’t loved amped up analytics and tools, I love new toys. But let’s put the lack of ROI squarely where it sits, in the hands of humans.
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