At Tolar Systems, we often talk to our clients about how organizations need to view their technology investments like an asset just as important as an employee. Just like an employee, technology investments require a certain amount of planning and upkeep to work properly. We’ve discussed this idea before in our post on “Care and Feeding of Your IT Systems.”
Why are your technology investments like a person? When you bring on a new technology resource, there is a cost associated with its acquisition or "hiring." There's also a cost to maintain it and keep it working for you. This cost isn’t just about the subscription or license, but also about the physical infrastructure you’ll need to make sure it keeps working, the resources and support you’ll need to dedicate to managing it.
Technology as a person
Think of it this way: as a business owner, you wouldn’t hire an employee that you expect to bring a great deal of value to your company and not provide them with a competitive compensation package. You also know that to do great work, employees need an adequate place to work, like an office, a cubby or even a sales floor. They also need time off to maintain their health and well-being.
When dealing with other human beings, we understand that for them to do their best work, we need to plan to support them financially as well as physically and sometimes even emotionally. If we don’t do this, we’ll find that our relationships with employees will suffer, their work quality won’t be as good, and they will leave if a better opportunity arises.
It’s easy to forget because our technology investments can’t talk or walk, that they can also “quit” on us. So we need to be equally thoughtful about how we treat them and give them the support they need.
How do we support our technology investments? What do they need from us? A few things include:
- Regular upgrades to continue providing results.
- Adequate security to keep them and your business safe.
- A plan for support and replacement.
- Physical support: reliable power, good air flow, cool temperatures and a clean space to “live.”
Each of these carries a cost. You an offset or compare those costs against the value your technology is expected to bring to your organization. In order to do this comparison, you should calculate the return on investment (ROI) of the technology or application in terms of the efficiency and productivity gains it brings to the organization, and compare that to the cost of its acquisition and upkeep.
Consider the Return on Technology Investments
When calculating return on technology investments, consider technology benefits like:
- Greater uptime and availability: how much more work are you able to get done?
- Peace of mind: what’s the value of knowing your business can continue to operate if disaster strikes or circumstances change.
- Efficiency gains: How are you able to do your job better?
- Time saved: Are you spending less time dealing with IT issues?
- Productivity improvements: More work done by fewer people.
Looking at your technology investments the same way you would look at the costs and benefits of hiring a new employee allows you to see the the whole picture of how these investments are really affecting your business.
Do you need help evaluating the resources you need to support your technology investments? Let us know in the comments – we’re happy to help.