Many organizations are continuing to tighten their financial belts. IT budgets are often sizable, so it’s more important than ever to maximize these technology investments and return on investment (ROI) for long-term success even in challenging economic conditions.
Technology Environment Resources
Technology needs to be aligned with the business, so make sure you understand business goals and needs. Talk to your business partners to understand their pain points, challenges and opportunities. What are their strategies and priorities? How does technology affect the achievement of these goals? Organizations are more effective when they don’t operate in silos, so if some teams do embrace these individual opinions, they should engage with business partners (e.g. finance, operations and marketing) to incorporate their insights and perspectives, so that you can fully understand.
External sources can also provide valuable information. You can attend conferences and read trade magazines to learn about emerging technologies and industry trends. Leverage industry trends and benchmarking research, such as Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report, which provides a comparison of different vendors to help align a vendor’s strengths and challenges with your organization’s needs.
There are many different strategies you can use to maximize your technology investment, improve operational efficiency, and realize cost savings concretely.
Start with a technical review
One strategy is to do a technical audit first. (Note: It may be helpful to consult with internal audit, who can be business partners with valuable insights.) Create an inventory of key areas, including software (on-premises and cloud), hardware, network infrastructure, and security. After completing the checklist, inspect and assess these areas to understand the environment. Then develop an action plan that identifies specific changes, timelines, and required resources. Some considerations are:
1. Rationalize and consolidate systems. Identify areas where technology is redundant, underutilized, or obsolete. Eliminating underutilized software licenses or retiring unnecessary components can generate cost savings by reducing licensing and maintenance costs. For example, make sure you don’t have to pay for Adobe Cloud-based subscription licenses for departing employees.
2. Evaluate new technology initiatives based on their potential impact on revenue generation, cost savings, operational efficiency, or risk mitigation. Workflow automation and robotic process automation (RPA) solutions can improve operational efficiency by streamlining processes or automating repetitive tasks. Additionally, when you automate these types of tasks, you minimize errors and reduce manual work, freeing those resources to perform more value-added tasks.
3. When reviewing different solutions, consider cost (capital versus operating), risk (including data security and privacy), and scalability. You want to ensure that the technology can adapt to changing business needs, emerging technologies and future growth.
- Migrating infrastructure from on-premises to the cloud reduces maintenance costs and enables organizations to pay only for the resources they use. For example, if there is a spike in demand during the holidays, you can tune your servers to match and accommodate that demand.
You can prioritize any changes or new technology initiatives based on urgency and potential impact on business goals and needs. When implementing these new initiatives, don’t forget to learn “lessons learned”. Assess ROI and key performance indicators (KPIs) of technology initiatives. Last but not least, continuous monitoring and improvement to ensure the technology complies with and meets changing business needs.
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