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Proving the value of IT - part two

Georgina Swan | Feb. 2, 2011
To some extent, organisations are being held back from realising the value of IT projects by the very way in which they measure success. Too often, it is based solely on the business case.

"We turned on membership functionality on day one," he recalls. In its early stages, the functionality allowed customers to simply enter their details and sign up for marketing information.

Jetstar gained about 100,000 members in its first month. Within 12 months, that figure had skyrocketed to 750,000 and, today, the airline boasts more than 2.5 million members.

Capability Management partner, Jed Simms, who along with colleague Vince Gill co-authored the Shifting focus, shifting results paper, says the issue is that the business case is seen by most organisations as a financial document that therefore comes under the auspices of finance.

"It's not -- it's a strategic document" he says. "It's about how you are implementing strategy and the returns you will receive for the funds invested.

"It's also often just a collection of fields; it doesn't actually tell a story or capture the value proposition you are trying to put up. [People] think it's just a grab for cash when, in fact, it is very much the focal point of the project."

Rather than thinking in terms of cost first, benefits later, executives -- not just CIOs -- should be inverting their thinking.

"By swapping those two concepts around, you suddenly get value," Simms says. "Because our research has found that, in the whole end-to-end process, the business case was the greatest destroyer of value."

In fact 46 per cent of CIOs surveyed considered their current business case to be a destroyer of value.


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