Five Ways to Improve the ROI of Your Next Technology Investment
New technologies, when evaluated and launched wisely, can help your organization make significant productivity leaps and gain competitive advantage. To make sure your organization maximizes the impact of its next technology investment, consider these five tips.

  1. Know exactly what you need. Too many organizations jump into a technology investment without defining the project scope or understanding the impact on current processes. To avoid the possible pitfalls, begin your initiative with a formal Requirements Analysis. This analysis will provide a detailed understanding of current business processes, and define necessary technology and application requirements. A well done Requirements Analysis is the key to setting project parameters of business goals, budget and resources.

    Consider the following aspects of a Requirements Analysis to prepare your company for its next initiative:
    • Identify what you need and why
    • Confirm the budget and evaluate ROI
    • Prepare a cost/benefit example
    • Understand your technical infrastructure
    • Identify technical features
    • Prepare questions for each product vendor
    • Consider product flexibility to adapt to future growth
    • Plan the time required for development, training and implementation

  2. Don’t go it alone. With an abundance of technology options these days, it’s just not possible for you to research, source, and price each one to find the best fit. Even if in-house staff did have the proper expertise, it is rare that they would have the available bandwidth to jump into the new project and get it completed within a reasonable timeframe. It’s best to work with a systems integrator who has the product knowledge and industry experience to make sure your project runs smoothly. A systems integrator has a wealth of proven practices and procedures to get you up and running quickly and efficiently. They’ll be able to fully focus on the task at hand and get the project completed more quickly than in-house staff.

  3. Make sure you get the right solution to meet your needs. No two software or hardware products are exactly the same and there’s more to compare than price. How will the new products perform for you? How will they integrate with your current technology? Make sure you work with a provider that has full product knowledge to ensure that you are purchasing the best products to match your company’s unique needs. When in doubt, a second opinion never hurts.

  4. “Phased = Manageable” – Remember this phrase! To maximize your ROI, it’s best to implement your project using a phased approach. While there are many ways to phase the project, the most common methods are development cycle (design, development, test, launch) and company hierarchy (selecting a key functional area such as accounting or customer service, or operating division or region). It’s wise to phase using both methods. Not only are you eliminating the risk associated with putting in an enterprise-wide system in one fell swoop, you’ll be able to measure results and validate assumptions along the way.

  5. Invest in your people, too. End-users will ultimately make the new technology work or not work. So, make sure that the system is designed from the ‘users’ perspective. Involve key individuals upfront in the project, and ensure that they are on-board for testing and launch. Unfortunately, not everyone easily adapts to technology changes so plan and budget early for adequate training to ensure system utilization and optimal performance.

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