Strategic Investment Guide for Technology

04.20.2018

CFOs are looking for the best ROI. What will the money the company spends give back to the organization? Sometimes the ROI is clear: if you invest in a new sales employee, with a proven track record of success, they will bring new sales to the organization. Sometimes finding the ROI can be a bit more difficult. Many CFOs struggle to identify the ROI for investing in new technology. They see costs for replacement, removal, and implementation but do not see the impact it will have on the company. Datasmith has some advice to get your CFO thinking about technology strategically.

Acceptance

The first step is to understand that investing in new technology is investing in the company’s future. The successful integration of new technologies determines the competitive advantage a company can gain and helps positions it as an industry leader. It’s essential to evaluate emerging IT trends and keep its digital strategy not just current, but competitive.

Finding The Competitive Advantage

Investing in new technology is not just about maintaining business. Investing in new technology is about helping the company get ahead of competitors and increasing overall value. You need to think critically about where the financial investment is going and what impact it’s going to have.

Here are 3 questions to ask to ensure you are being strategic about technological investments:

1. Why do you want this new technology?

There are many initiatives vying for financial attention. Getting directly to the value-add of investing in this new technology will help determine if it’s a strategic investment.

This question helps determine the levels of priority. Use it to investigate whether the technology is essential for business, delivers a competitive advantage, improves processes, or is just something that is nice to have.

2. How does this technology impact our current IT strategy?

It’s important to know how incorporating new technology will change your current environment and get an idea of the extent to which things will be disrupted. It prepares you for the disruption of your current strategy and helps you plan for potential internal pushback.

The last thing anyone wants is for a new investment to be rejected and that money wasted. Changing technology can be difficult; however, that does not mean you can put it off. Understanding the extent of the impact this technology will have will help your department and your company appropriately plan process and change management.

3. What can we expect to gain from this investment?

Your employees will be more apt to change if they know how the changes will benefit them. Be sure to communicate the value of this new tech to your employees. If they know the reward, it will be easier to adjust during the process.

It is also important to set realistic expectations for when you will see success from this new technology. Set a clear timeline for when you expect implementation to be complete and changes to be seen. Setting these dates will hold you accountable to making this a successful investment.

Technology is Your Friend

The perception of technology in the finance world is changing as finance departments realize its significance. Gartner predicts a 2.4% increase in IT investments. IT will consume more and more of the budget each year. Developing strategic technology investments will ensure your company’s money is spent wisely. While there will always be risks in adopting new technology, there are more and greater risks in refusing to advance.

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