CIOs Need to Get More From the Assets They have

This  article by Tom Jowitt in CIO.Insider discusses a Butler report that highlights the tendency in these tough economic times to focus on cutting costs. It argues that organizations also need to look at leveraging their existing assets, e.g. ERPs.  They need to look at what is not being used, and bring under-utilised functionality into use where it can create or sustain value, thereby increasing the ROI on these expensive assets. It reinforces a view that I have long held – the only disagreement I might have is that I would change the title to read “CIOs Need to Help the Business Get More From the Assets They Own” – after all, it is how the business uses these assets that results in value – or doesn’t! In past lives, I have worked both for a vendor who was interested in selling new technology, and a consulting company interested in designing/building/implementing new systems. When involved in situations where a client was looking to replace their current “legacy” system, I often concluded, and said, that the client could have addressed the perceived deficiencies of their current system through better understanding of it’s functionality, improved documentation and training, and some relatively minor “tweaking”. The alternative was to make a significant investment in the replacement systems, again failing to take the time to fully understand the functionality of the system, failing to provide sufficient documentation and training, and so the cycle continues. Needless to say, my view was never particularly popular – the vendor or consulting company wanted the business, the client already had the funding approved, and the “techies” wanted to work on new stuff. Clearly, there are times when legacy systems need to be replaced, but all too often organizations rush into this before they need to – leaving “money on the table”.

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