Communicating the business value of IT is a unique challenge for CIOs.
CIOs and their teams are specialists, and because of that, they sometimes speak a language that business leaders don’t always understand. Often, when IT people are asked what the value of an IT solution is, they explain it by listing every technical feature of a particular machine, application or software. They are focused on the functions of every IT solution, and rightfully so. It is, after all, their job.
However, reciting functions does not translate to business value.
If CIOs want to communicate the value of their IT solutions, they should not focus on functions. They should highlight the benefit of the solution to the end-user instead. Only the ones who maintain the equipment, let’s say, a treadmill in a gym, care about how many hours it can be used before having it repaired. Users of the treadmill care about how many pounds they lose and how they can be healthier.
The same goes for IT.
If you want to communicate the value of a solution, you have to communicate its value to the user.
CIOs should also remember that finance is not the only measure of value. Not all values are the same and knowing these various types is vital when discussing values to your enterprise’s decision-makers.
Here are ways IT can add value to businesses and how CIOs can communicate them to stakeholders:
1. Maintaining the business
IT creates value because it helps run the business while balancing finance and function. IT can offer better performance without sacrificing for the price. This does not focus on revenue, per se. But these IT functions enable enterprises to continue operating while reducing risks which means it helps companies avoid massive costs in the long run. To communicate this value, CIOs should demonstrate that the business operations are running efficiently and smoothly while focusing on the right priorities.
2. Cultivating the business
IT helps in growing the business because it ensures that there is stability within the enterprise. By making sure that the company is capable of maintaining a secure and steady business operation, IT helps in growing the business value. This aspect of IT value also includes the capacity for change or agility.
These are measurable and can be seen in increasing revenues and profits from your existing customers. CIOs can then use these as their key performance indicators to translate the value of IT to a language that business owners understand, the language of ROI.
3. Transforming the business
More than just cultivating and growing, IT can also add value by transforming the business. This means that they enable the enterprise to look into new value propositions for new customer segments. This entails a massive change in the business by providing new products and services that answer the needs of a new market segment, making it a measurable value, therefore easy to communicate. Precise calculations of the outcomes are not easy to predict, but the value added by IT cannot be dismissed.
When communicating the value of IT, focus on business outcomes.
If CIOs want to show the value of their solutions to the business, it should always be translated in a way that is meaningful to the rest of the company, not just the IT department. They should talk about the enterprise’s processes and how IT can help them do more.
CIOs have to show how IT investments can be returned to the business, whether it be through increased business performance or higher revenue.April9 is a digital transformation agency in Brisbane that builds sustainable and robust solutions for enterprises, government bodies, and national companies. If you want to add IT value and increase ROI for your business, contact us today for a free consultation.