I believe your question is one that challenges CXO's and business unit leaders in many corporations. It's evident from market studies and research across the industry that for competitive advantage, ongoing process improvements and process enhancements are key; along with leveraging the technology improvements available in software products. The challenge is typically extracting this in hard dollars.
Products like SRM and CRM have definite business process improvement and enhancement opportunities. The question is, which of these are important enough for your industry and business? Quite frankly a business case is required for each of these to see the appropriate fit for the organization. For example, APO is a great planning and optimization solution for your supply chain, but even more so if you're in a manufacturing environment. An organization in the service industry would have a tough time with a business case justification.
Based on the solution you are recommending to the client, I would start with a detailed benefits analysis of the solution and then align it with the industry needs. Once that is complete I would map it against the specific organizational needs, requirements and possible process improvements.
This was first published in February 2006