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IT projects: it’s all about the outcome

Hadley Baldwin

Hadley Baldwin, Partner at management consultancy The Berkeley Partnership, argues that engaging suppliers on outcome-based contracts can help keep large IT projects on track and deliver better results.

Delivering large IT projects on time and on budget, and achieving the results and benefits originally envisaged, is one of the hardest things for a CIO to bring off. Indeed, a study of 5,400 large scale (>$15 million) IT projects carried out by Oxford University in 2012 found that on average large IT projects run 45 percent over budget, seven percent over time, and deliver 56 percent less value than predicted. I doubt that very much has changed since.

There are many reasons for this, not least that IT projects are, by their very nature, complex – and the degree of complexity is often underestimated at the outset.