Acquire Software, Goals, IT Solutions, Objectives, without a goal it’s difficult to score
Identifying the real objectives
We’re all tempted one way or another to look at technology as an end rather then a means to an end. For some organisations it does make sense to put technology as an objective per-se, for example a company might want to look avant-guarde and therefore it justifies the need for the latest technology just for the sake of having the latest technology as a value in itself. But for most organisations the employ of technology is as a means to achieve a business benefit; be it a reduction of costs, a gain in efficiency or any thing else that will positively impact the current bottom line or the future ones.
Acquiring the latest technology and investing money into technology do not automatically give us business value. To get most business value out of an investment in IT we need to identify the business objectives first and then acquire the most cost effective solution that will help us achieve those business values and possibly more. To identify the business objectives you need business knowledge rather than IT knowledge. Typical business objectives are:
- To get back to customers within 1hr from support call.
- To reduce stock levels by 50%.
- To reduce delivery costs by 20%.
Objectives such as these will be better determined by professionals who have both experience in the respective sector and the know how of what can be achieved. Some business objectives do not require any input from IT, though most objectives can be supported in way way or other by information technology but every investment requires some form of effort from the organisation and its employees.
Applying IT to achieve those objectives.
Only once the real objectives are defined, should IT enter into the equation. IT Solutions that tackle specificely those objectives need to be considered but not only. Part of these solutions will always be human. IT systems need to be learned, training and support are rarely off the board. New ways of doing the same tasks may have to be adopted, responsibilities may change. Automation reduces manual work but requires more responsibility in terms or monitoring and control. Lots of things may be affected.
Through a feasibility study a solution out of 3 or more possible solutions should be identifyed. The IT part of any such solution if any should then be defined – which is what we call the scope of the IT project. With a scope in hand that includes budget, timeframe, deliverables and quality definitions an IT solution provider should then be identified.
Achieving those objectives
IT solution providers are in a much better position to score when a clear scope is defined. That coupled with the business understanding of the human side of the project will give a much better chance for any project to succeed.
Goals or Objectives?
The word objective in this text was used instead of the word goal because an objective is precise, concrete and tangible while a goal is broader, more generic and more abstract. While having goals is better then nothing, turning those goals into specific objectives makes a lot of difference, especially when it comes to IT Solutions. The more specific you are in terms of what you want the better your chances are of getting what you want.