Analysts at Gartner Group are noticing a curious phenomenon: Even companies that are usually IT followers are racing to be the first to implement e-procurement systems. But then the pioneering projects get bogged down in technical and political issues. What's wrong here?
The problem is that "there is no first-mover advantage in e-procurement," as the title of a Gartner bulletin puts it. Being a pioneer in this market is a huge hassle. The projects grow out of control, the software vendors are immature, the e-procurement software itself is immature, and very few consultants have much experience with it. Worst of all, early e-procurement implementers face high prices for software and transaction fees, while "later entrants can expect to have many more attractive offers available", the bulletin said.