Maximizing return on information technology investment – six tips to make it real.

The objective of making any worth while investment is to maximize returns from it. Every Accountant and Financier will not hesitate to tell you this, yet you see people making heavy investment in information technology today than ever without really getting the best out of it. Have you ever sat down to take stock of the returns you have made from your investment in IT? If you have, what was your finding? Enough of those questions you may be saying within your mind and you are right. I am not here to bother you with questions but to proffer solution. Hence, the next six paragraphs that follow give valuable tips on how to maximize returns from your investment in IT. One paragraph for each point. Read with rapt attention.

Alignment of Business Strategies with IT infrastructure objectives: as obvious as this may sound, many people still go ahead investing heavy amount of money on IT without taking time to find out if the strategy of the organization is in line with the objective of the IT product. They become so much in a hurry to purchase that new piece of gadget just because the marketer has created some sense of urgency- which is the essence of sales. Take time to analyse your business objective and see if it can be met by the features of the new IT product you want to buy. For instance, if one of your business objectives is to secure your online customers information, does the new IT product you are about to buy have features that can support the transfer of encrypted data through a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) i.e, through a secured medium.

Investing in quality IT products the first time: if the strategy of the business and the objective of the IT product you intend to buy are properly analysed, you will not find it difficult to make the right investment decision. Often time, investing in high and right quality might be expensive, but will save money if it meets and surpasses the need of the business.

Training of staff in the use of IT infrastructure: arguably, your assets are as good as the quality of staff operating it. You may deploy the highest and the most appropriate IT solution, but if your staff members cannot utilize it, you have just wasted your money and time as this will not add any value to your business.

Outsourcing of certain IT project: upon analysis of the above three points, if it is discovered that the business in question lacks what it takes to maximize returns from It, then outsourceit.

Customer Education: in most cases, the potential of IT products are unlocked by the customers through appropriate use. In this case, it becomes the duty and responsibility of the organization to educate its customers. After all, customers are the kings. If you don’t certify them, someone else will.

Constant upgrade: in this our jet age, things quickly become outdated if not upgraded. Fail to upgrade and see yourself closing shop. The good news here is that majority of the IT upgrade are software based. It could be by simply upgrading the drivers (software responsible for normal operation of hardwares).

Oops! What a rigorous process you maybe saying to yourself. I want to assure you that this is not as difficult as it sounds. Just do it and see yourself smiling all the time because you did.