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Network execs struggle to rid their shops of shelfware

Nobody wins when must-have technology morphs into dreaded shelfware, collecting dust in IT closets.

By , Network World
January 17, 2007 02:47 PM ET

Network World - No IT executive plans for new hardware or software purchases to wind up as shelfware -- unused and collecting dust on a rack somewhere. But it happens all too often.

“I'd be lying if I said I've never talked a boss into letting me buy a shiny new piece of software or hardware… only to realize that going from opening the box to an implementation that was anywhere near as good as the demo was not trivial and sometimes outright impossible,” says Kamal Jain, director of ASP operations at Kenexa in Waltham, Mass.

While it may be embarrassing to admit making these purchasing errors, it is best to own up to them, learn a lesson and move on, say those who have gone through the process. In the interest of helping, Jain and others offer here their personal experiences with shelfware, how they were drawn in by it and how the experience has made them better decision-makers.

Read on to find out how shelfware took five network executives by surprise, and learn how they managed to defeat the lazy beast in their IT shops. Also see the tips executives gave for staving off shelfware.

What do you do with your shelfware? Discuss below:

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

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