Strategy vs Utility
Martin Fowler, one of the most influential people in the IT area, voiced once again an interesting opinion. You can read the full article here: http://martinfowler.com/bliki/UtilityVsStrategicDichotomy.html
In short, he says that you should be aware whether an IT project is just a utility or an strategic differentiator. The part that made me write this was his opinion on utility software. He phrases it like this:
> My view is that for a utility function you buy the package and adjust your business process to match the software.
I haven't heard it that radical. But after some thinking, I agree. I guess in many cases it is easier and cheaper to make changes to your processes than to develop the perfect software for your current process. I would even expect that utility software is designed to support best practise. You might implement best practise in an non-strategic area just by adjusting your processes around standard software.