Why some companies never can achieve the benefits of their IT investment?

Achieve the benefits from an IT investment is much more than just buy or deploy a technology. Learn how you can be prepared to that.

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Photo by Razvan Chisu on Unsplash

If there is a single truth that this year has provided to most of the business is that we live in a digital world. It’s not the future anymore.

To be ready for this present most of the companies of all verticals have invested a lot in technology. They’ve heard all the benefits that the latest developments in technology have provided to some companies and they’d like the same benefits.

But after a while, they tried to put in place the same principles and tools and they’re not seeing the benefits. For sure, they saw some improvement but nothing compared to what they were expecting. Why this is happening? Why some of these companies are not being able to unlock these achievements

A tool is a tool, nothing more.

Any technologies principle or tool, no matter if we’re talking about a new paradigm like containerization or serverless, or a tool like an API Management platform or a new Event-Driven Architecture, they’re just a tools in hands of people.

And, in the end, what matters the most are the way those human works and how they use the tools they have at hand to achieve the optimal benefits. Companies have computers for maybe 30 years now, do you remember how it was the initial usage of those computers? Do you think people at that time were used at the optimum level? So, here is the same thing.

You shouldn’t expect that just because you’ve installed a tool, deploy a new technology or buy a new SaaS application, after that exactly moment the life of your company is going to change and you’re going to unlock all the benefits that comes with it. It’s the same story as an agenda will not make you more productive just because you have one.

Yes, it is a requirement, but this is far to be the single step you need to take to be able to achieve the success of that investment.

What matter is your thinking

A new paradigm in IT requires a different way of thinking, a trust feeling in this paradigm to be able to unlock those benefits.

If you’re not doing that way you are going to be the one stopping the progress and blocking the benefits you can get. And that’s always hard at the beginning. In the beginning, if we have a formula done in Excel and the same one in the paper we believe that the one on the computer was wrong.

Today is the other way around. We know for sure that the computer is doing it right, so we try to find our own mistake to get the same result.

Some IT managers have now the same feeling with other techniques and they try to manage it and control it using the same principles they’ve always applied. And let’s be honest: That’s normal and that’s human because we all try to use the patterns we know and the ones that have shown to be successful in the past when we face something similar.

But, let’s be honest: Do you think Netflix or Uber succeeded using the same patterns and rules they’ve been using in the path? Of course not.

But maybe you’re thinking that’s not a fair comparison because your company or your vertical is not at stake and in the middle of a revolution, you just need small changes to get those benefits. You don’t need to do everything from scratch. And that’s true.

At the end what’s relevant is if you’re ready to do the leap faith jump into the void. To introduce yourself into the jungle just with your gut and the knowledge you’ve gotten so far to guide you during that path.

Be a researcher

In reality the jump into the void is needed but this is more regarding the way that you think. It is to be ready to open your mind a leave behind some pre-thoughts you can have. At the end this is more similar to be Marie Curie rather than Indiana Jones.

Researchers and scientific always need to be open to a different way of doing things. They have their basis, their experience, the knowledge of everything that has been done in the past, but to go a step further they need to think outside the box, and open to things that were no true several years ago or things that were not the right way to do it until now. Because you’re going further than anyone has gone.

IT is similar, you’re not getting into the unknown but inside your company maybe you’re the one that needs to guide everything one else during that route and being open to thinking that maybe the old rules don’t apply to this new revolution and be ready to leave some old practices in order to unlock bigger benefits.

Summary

In the end, when you adopt a new technology you need to think about the implications that technology require in order to make it successful or even optimize the benefits that you can get from it.

Think about others than have done that path and learn from their rights and their wrongs, so you can be prepared and also be realistic. If you’re not going to get the change that the technology requires in your organization the investment makes no sense. You need to work first on prepare your organization to be ready to the change, and that moment is the moment to introduce yourself into the jungle and get all the benefits that are waiting for you.

PSG Senior Architect at TIBCO Software with a focus on Cloud Development, Event Processing and Enterprise Integration

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