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Driving value from IT investments

By Shannon Williams, Fri 5 Feb 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Implementing new technologies could be a big time and money waster without the proper understanding of the business value tied to them.

That’s according to Teradata, who says that while it’s no surprise businesses are rushing to implement new and emerging technologies, they first need to understand the business benefits these technologies can deliver.

“There can sometimes be a disconnect between the IT team and business departments,” explains Alec Gardner, general manager, Advanced Analytics, Teradata.

“Organisations need to bridge this gap and clearly understand the capability and impact of new technologies before committing to projects,” he says.

Gardner says there are three steps that will help businesses drive value from IT investments:

Prepare and plan

“This includes gathering and aligning all the relevant data and speaking with subject matter experts,” he says.

“It is also important to collect and analyse data (both financial and business), to pinpoint existing challenges.”

Evaluate and recommend

Business leaders should take time to digest the data and insights, and ensure that all the relevant data has been taken into account, Gardner explains.

“Specific, measureable metrics for the project should be in place,” he says.

“This helps businesses understand the need for new technology, as well as understanding what type of technology will be most appropriate.”

Refine and confirm

According to Gardner, once a solution has been chosen and is up and running, it can be tempting to forget about it.

However, he says it is important to track the success metrics and progress of the solution to make sure it is actually delivering the intended value. This lets the company make changes if needed.

“There are also three key success factors that organisations need to keep in mind,” says Gardner.

“The first is whether the project has executive support. If not, then perhaps the project isn’t important enough to pursue.

“The second factor is whether the project team has access to industry thought leaders and experts to help maximise their understanding of the technology and how best to leverage it,” he says.

“The third success factor is whether the business can financially support the project. This means running a realistic business case through a detailed review by the company’s financial team to make sure it all adds up,” Gardner explains.

“If you’re committing to new technology projects, determining business value is key. New technology investments won’t pay off unless they contribute to your bottom line or top line revenue growth.”

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