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Pressure to get to market at the lowest possible cost means that much software is released too early and in an unfinished and untested condition. This, according to The Corporate IT Forum (tif), is the view of three-quarters of its members, many of whom are senior IT managers and directors across Europe.

Although tif has around 3,000 subscribers, only 66 responded to this particularly survey, making it tricky to draw any solid conclusions from the results. Unless IT managers are a particularly homogenous breed, which is not something we are prepared to assume.

However, the vast majority (we calculate there were only four dissenters) wouldn't expect software to be perfect on its first release, and would be happy if only proprietary code was free of known vulnerabilities. Terminal optimists, all.

The other main gripe of the research posse is the tendency of IT suppliers to over-egg the pudding. This, they said, created false expectations around what it can accomplish, ease of support (47.5 people), ease of installation (46 people) and performance (43.5 people).

According to tif, the findings indicate a "widening gulf between users and suppliers". Something must done about the "patch-and-mend" culture in software development.

David Roberts, chief executive of tif, says the only way to address the problem is to get talking.

"Corporate IT must not be a testing ground for unfinished products but it's not something that suppliers can fix alone - user attitudes and procurement processes have played a part in where we are today," he opined.

"It is time to start working together more effectively if we are to have any hope of breaking the cycle of suppliers over-promising and users catching every sort of virus but a cold." ®

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