Investing in New Technology? Don’t Forget These 5 Value-Adding Steps

By Data and Analytics Staff

IT departments are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest technological advance that will change the way their company works. But striking a balance between IT’s desire to implement a new technology, and the impact of said technology on the company’s bottom line, often can be tricky. For organizations in the processes of determining whether or not big data is right for them, comes the important task of identifying value.

This is why the Teradata Business Value Services team offered some helpful insights to attendees of the annual Teradata Partners Conference last month. Determining the business value of a certain technological undertaking can be a hefty load. During the process, it’s important to consider current environments, processes, and pain points to help nail down exactly what the new technology should be and, more importantly, what it should be achieving. It’s important for organizations to project what could be achieved in the future, and remain focused on identifying those potential future benefits.

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There are certain steps that can be taken to ensure that ROI is successfully realized and captured, and that the whole organization is driven to create business value:

  1. Prepare and Plan. While it may seem like an obvious first step, too often companies attempt to dive head-first into a new business technology, without proper preparation. In this stage, organizations should take a step back to get a better understanding of what’s going on within the business, collecting important data to further prove the need for a new technology project or improvement. This could be financial data of the company to-date or business data that will give IT leaders a better sense of what shape the company is in and where further technology investment can take it.
  2.  Evaluate and Recommend. Once this pertinent data is compiled, take the time to digest all of the information, make sure it’s understood, and double-check that all the necessary information has been collected in order to put together a solid business case, including metrics, for the project to come. Backing new IT projects with fact-based recommendations surrounding business needs and the current environment can help to validate the business value to the C-suite.
  3.  Educate the Business. It’s important for executives and decision makers to be educated on a new initiative so that IT can gain a better understanding of whether or not an idea under consideration makes financial sense for the company as a whole. The marriage of IT to business and finance departments is important, and educating the masses is crucial. IT should be listening to the needs of the businesses from the very start to deliver value to the organization, not just new technology.
  4.  Develop a Roadmap. Various business improvement opportunities can be achieved by understanding, articulating and quantifying the impacts of a new project. Developing a project roadmap makes it easy to prioritize opportunities and optimize results.
  5.  Refine and Confirm. Once a new program, project or technology has been implemented, people often take a back seat and let it run its course. But when an organization is making such a critical investment it’s crucial to track these processes and make sure they’re reaping the planned value. Teams should start with a solid foundation of metrics upon implementation to make regular analysis a smooth process, and use those metrics to adjust if goals aren’t being met.

By taking these steps, IT teams can better understand the long-term value of a new technology advancement and work to convey that message to the C-suite and the organization overall. By taking an inclusive approach to a technology investment, IT teams are able to display business value, upfront, and make effective technology use a reality for their organizations.

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