Few things are more important to the smooth operations of a business than their enabling technology. Navigating the vast seas of potential solutions and then successfully implementing and realizing the value of the technology can be incredibly challenging, but why? And, more importantly, is there a better way?
Why is finding value from your new technology so difficult?
The fundamental challenge of realizing value from technology investments stems from misaligned goals and incentives, starting with the vendor’s team. Generally speaking, every software vendor and implementation service provider breaks their teams and projects into three phases, with specific goals motivating them through the process:
- Sales process. The vendor’s team is focused on identifying a lead, highlighting their capabilities and closing the sale. Driving incentive: focus on making the sale.
- Implementation. The sales team hands off to the implementation team, which works to understand the client’s business requirements and configure/build/test a solution to fit that design. It’s common for the technology strategy to get lost during this hand off. Driving incentive: focus on hitting project plan and “going live.”
- Support. Here another handoff takes place, this time to the support team. Immediately that team works on resolving bugs from the implementation and then transitioning to deploying enhancements to the system, requirements that didn’t make the cut during implementation. Driving incentive: focus on add-on sales for break/fix and enhancement development hours.
Is there a better way?
We think there is a better way, and we call it the Value Management Office (VMO). The VMO helps business owners and their teams understand the risks throughout a technology project, and serves as a client-side project leader to work closely with all of the vendor teams. The VMO becomes your end-to-end architect of value creation. Here is a brief overview of what a VMO does:
- Technology Strategy
- Align investments to technology to strategic goals and resource / capital constraints.
- Define clear business requirements, with a focus on what’s needed to provide differentiating capabilities.
- Develop a change management plan that accounts for different user groups and their role in creating value with the technology.
- Implementation Leadership
- Connect strategic goals and priority capabilities to solution design.
- Test functionality and train users to make sure the business can maximize adoption and value from the new business practices.
- Value Realization
- After go-live, ensure users are following new process and using technology appropriately.
- Develop value-creating metrics and track in a dashboard. Keep eye on organization’s engagement with the new technology.
Integrating a VMO into your next tech initiative can help replace fear and unknowns with a plan for success when it comes to realizing value for your investment.
Cohen & Company is not rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice. Any action taken based on information in this blog should be taken only after a detailed review of the specific facts and circumstances.