You've often heard the expression: "It takes money to make money." Unfortunately, that saying holds true for reaping value from IT investments. I recently had a discussion with the CIO of a large global company, and he told me that his company was spending $80 million annually on its enterprise reporting function alone. For some very large companies, the figure could easily surpass $100 million.

What triggers these massive expenditures? Common cost-inflation issues I've encountered include nonintegrated source systems used for enterprise reporting and the lack of a common interface for accessing critical information. These two issues often lead to inconsistent information and the inability to glean a single version of the truth about enterprise performance, which, in turn, can require companies to spend millions of dollars on information reconciliation efforts.

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