Companies need to invest in technology if they hope to compete in today’s data-driven business world. The wide variety of products and services available can make it challenging to optimize the return on investment (ROI) of technology purchases. The range of offerings from cloud service providers (CSPs) further complicates the picture. Companies can waste a lot of money and resources with inappropriate or inefficiently implemented technological solutions.
Most companies don’t want to invest financial resources in technologies that don’t provide a proper return and effectively address business objectives. They need solutions that meet business requirements and improve the customer experience. The following strategies and tactics can be adopted by companies looking to maximize their technology ROI.
Improve the Technology Selection Process
The technology selection process is where the drive to improve ROI begins. Making the right purchasing decisions will put the organization in a position to enjoy acceptable returns on its technology spending. Several steps are necessary for businesses to select better technology solutions.
- Determine business impacts – Ideally, companies select new technology to address specific business requirements. Before beginning a search for a solution, an organization needs to define the problem the technology is intended to solve. This allows them to narrow their focus on particular features that may only be available from a subset of potential vendors.
- Define a technology roadmap – When selecting a technical solution, consider how it fits into the company’s overall IT strategy. For instance, if storage capacity is needed, will it best be provided with on-premises devices or with the offerings of a CSP? If the organization’s goal is to take advantage of cloud computing, this might be the perfect time to get started. Look for solutions that address today’s and tomorrow’s business objectives.
- Develop meaningful metrics – Measuring the success of a technological solution requires tracking meaningful metrics. Teams need the capacity to evaluate technology investments regarding the ways they affect productivity and system availability. This requires comparing past and present performance through metrics that provide the necessary information.
Look at the Big Picture
Maximizing the technology ROI demands a balance between addressing present-day business needs and planning for future developments. Inadequate planning can result in expensive hardware purchases that become obsolete before delivery. A lack of communication between departments can lead to solutions that don’t address the needs of the whole organization.
Companies should look for technical solutions that solve immediate problems while keeping an eye on the big IT picture. When faced with choices in products or solutions, selecting those that benefit the largest audience will often provide a better ROI.
Prioritize Flexibility and Scalability
Addressing fickle consumer trends and a dynamic business environment requires a company to demonstrate agility and flexibility. Companies that want to thrive need to be able to change direction quickly to meet customer requirements. They also need to be able to scale up when business is good and scale down to save resources when necessary.
It is difficult to attain the level of flexibility and scalability required to remain competitive in today’s business landscape. The incredible growth in the volume of data available to companies can quickly overwhelm storage and computing capacity. Traditional data processing techniques are often not capable of providing companies with the agility they need to address business objectives.
Look to the Cloud
In the not too distant past, investments in technology focused on hardware and software solutions implemented in on-premises data centers. While that still is the case to some degree, cloud computing has fundamentally changed the game and provided an incredibly diverse portfolio of products and services.
Today’s technology investments may not involve the purchase of physical artifacts. Companies may find their business problem is most effectively addressed by a cloud vendor’s services and virtualization capabilities. In many cases, working with a CSP can save capital costs and provide a better ROI than the traditional data center route.
Focus on Training
Maximizing the benefits of new technology often requires training. Companies should ensure training is available to everyone who needs or wants it. Providing training not only improves the ROI on technology investments but also enhances employee morale. A well-trained workforce will get the most out of new and legacy technology and boost the organization’s ROI.
Training should be ongoing and address the evolving needs of the company and employees. Refresher training may be necessary to optimize the benefits of technical solutions.
Leverage Expert Knowledge
Tapping into the experience of subject matter experts (SMEs) can be instrumental in determining the technical solutions that will provide the best ROI. The selection process should invite input from SMEs with hands-on knowledge of the problem to be solved and ideas on the best solutions. Expert knowledge can come from within the organization or from third-party consultants or business partners.
For instance, a managed service provider (MSP) can draw on their expertise to help organizations control costs and optimize their investments in cloud technology. Taking advantage of their knowledge helps avoid mistakes and streamlines the path to achieving an acceptable ROI on cloud computing investments.
The techniques we have discussed can help organizations maximize their technology ROI. One of the most important tactics is to leverage expert knowledge to extract the maximum value from your technology investments. This is true whether a company is migrating to the cloud or conducting business via the traditional data center model.
Partnering with an IT provider like VAST can represent an important first step. VAST’s experience in managing cloud environments provides indispensable assistance to companies looking to increase their cloud presence. VAST also has extensive experience in managing and optimizing on-premises data centers to help customers maximize their technology investments. The company’s VASTView solution provides the visibility and management businesses need to optimize their technology ROI.
A cloud computing assessment from VAST is an excellent way to get started on the road to better technology ROI. It can point you in the right direction to obtain a superior ROI and get the maximum business benefits from your technology investments.