When faced with making a big decision, everyone has a different process. Some people create a pros and cons list, others do extensive research, and some use the same checklist criteria over and over. There are even those who just jump blindly into their decisions. For IT-related decisions, organizations use a reliable decision making methodology before making investments, asking themselves these questions:
- Does the investment reduce operating costs?
- Will the total cost of ownership work within my forecast and budget?
- How does the investment impact service quality and uptime?
While these questions are effective in weeding out investments that aren’t quite right, there are other driving forces to consider when making IT decisions. Depending on the industry and the desired impact the investment will have on the business goals, the decision process may require unique considerations and drivers.
A New Outlook for IT decision-making
Instead of asking what IT can do for the organization, the organization should determine how IT can affect their business. Another HP blog argues the following approaches work best:
- How will this IT investment affect business growth?
- Does the IT solution have flexibility for our changing needs?
- Can this investment impact time-to-market, time to action, and security?
The way an organization views spending and investment decisions will not change over night. To adapt to the changing pace of business, a quick action is to perform an internal audit and review of the underlying thought process. A simple change of perspective can greatly impact how one views business, makes decisions, and subsequently the bottom line.
How Analytics Drives Decisions
Within the facilities management industry, for instance, the amount of automation and technology advancements across the board has been staggering and so have the gained efficiencies. Service Channel said, “Now more than ever, customer experience has become one of the key drivers of sales. And facilities managers are tasked with ensuring a great experience that will keep the customer coming back, all while saving money.”
Investments in analytics and business intelligence are credited for the success at Service Chanel. By digging into their data, it’s easier to understand both what is happening and what’s going to happen. Investments based on predictive analytics are an important driver for IT decisions.
Third Parties Can Make A Difference
A recent study by Text100 confirms that the decision-making process for IT purchases has become much more complex. Given the amount of information now available, many IT decisions are based on channels that were not so easily accessible a short while ago. Healthcare Data Solutions says that other channels, in addition to a companies website, such as criticisms, recommendations and testimonials from other customers play a large role in the thought process. Additionally, social media channels and blogs are often scanned for information.
It is imperative to make sure that a possible IT solution is backed by a company with a strong reputation for both technology and service. Including these more “public” channels in the decision process brings a more personal touch to a recommendation or final result.
A clear decision making process can change the way your organization works. The primary decision drivers have changed over time focusing on how technology impacts the overall business model and goals, how third parties received and reviewed solutions, and the long term flexibility and value of the solution. As technology continues to become more advanced, the drivers behind technology decisions also have evolved.
The right decision starts with the right process.