Return on investment (ROI) –­ it's the big buzzword in information technology (IT) these days (actually, it always has been). However, the big question that accompanies the buzz is "How do you get ROI from a corporate performance management (CPM) system?" Most of the leading CPM products show enormous potential, yet remain largely untested. Furthermore, a CPM system will save you millions of dollars if you do it right, but cost you millions more if you do it wrong.

According to Gartner, CPM technology is at a dangerous watershed. CPM is hyped by the media and industry pundits alike, but the high-flying expectations for the technology remain largely unfulfilled. In its annual study, "Hype Cycle for Business Intelligence, 2003," Gartner analysts describe CPM technologies as being in the "peak of inflated expectations" phase of the technology hype cycle.1

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