JP muses about ROI of IT. It is quite ironical that as IT seems to be getting more critical it is getting more difficult to measure its ROI.
I believe there is a lot of difference in believing in IT as investment and IT as cost. The problem starts from here. And this is not the fault of the person either, the problem is again in something else. I always like to ask this question to people – Why do they use software? Most of the times, there is no clear answer. This is at a personal level, but I find this similar to the realization that there are benefits from IT, that are difficult to measure. There is a sense, but there is no decisive conclusion.
This is one of the reason I want to push software as a solution. And to do so the underlying problems have to be identified and acknowledged before we start thinking of IT. This is what drives the vision behind using everything IT – right from the website to the intranet to the re-organization. Of course, this still does not give us numbers, but it lays a foundation, a strong foundation to start with. This can lead us to a better feeling while discussing its ROI.
Of course, it is not easy to do this. That is where I sense Theory Of Constraints can help. Again, even this is not easier. I have experienced that it requires some amount of unlearning to able to follow TOC. And, we will have to keep unlearning, along with learning, to understand the changing role and rising significance of IT, whether at a personal or an enterprise level.