​Top 3 ways businesses can drive value from IT investments

“There can sometimes be a disconnect between the IT team and business departments."

It’s common knowledge that technology can deliver strong business benefits, so it’s no surprise that many businesses are rushing to implement new and emerging technologies.

But without first understanding the business value that these technologies can deliver, companies may be wasting both money and time.

“There can sometimes be a disconnect between the IT team and business departments,” says Alec Gardner, General Manager of Advanced Analytics, Teradata.

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

Going forward, Gardner has identified three steps designed to help businesses drive value from IT investments:

1. Prepare and plan:

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

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

2. Evaluate and recommend:

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

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

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

3. Refine and confirm:

Once a solution has been chosen and is up and running, Gardner adds that it can be tempting to forget about it.

However, Gardner believes 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,” Gardner adds.

“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.

“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.”

Looking ahead, Gardner claims that for businesses 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,” he warns.

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