3 ways to drive business value from IT investments
Technology can deliver strong business benefits, so it’s no surprise that many businesses are rushing to implement new and emerging technologies.
However, without first understanding the business value that these technologies can deliver, Teradata believes companies may be wasting both money and time.
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“There can sometimes be a disconnect between the IT team and business departments,” said Alec Gardner, General Manager, Advanced Analytics at Teradata. “Organisations need to bridge this gap and clearly understand the capability and impact of new technologies before committing to projects.”
Teradata has identified three steps that will help businesses drive value from IT investments:
1. Prepare and plan. This includes gathering and aligning all the relevant data and speaking with subject matter experts. It is also important to collect and analyse data (both financial and business), to pinpoint existing challenges.
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2. Evaluate and recommend. Business leaders should take time to digest the data and insights, and ensure that all the relevant data has been taken into account. Specific, measureable metrics for the project should be in place. This helps businesses understand the need for new technology, as well as understanding what type of technology will be most appropriate.
3. Refine and confirm. Once a solution has been chosen and is up and running, it can be tempting to forget about it. However, it is important to track the success metrics and progress of the solution to make sure it is actually delivering the intended value. This lets the company make changes if needed.
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“There are also three key success factors that organisations need to keep in mind,” said Gardner. “The first is whether the project has executive support. If not, then perhaps the project isn’t important enough to pursue. The second factor is whether the project team has access to industry thought leaders and experts to help maximise their understanding of the technology and how best to leverage it.
“The third success factor is whether the business can financially support the project. This means running a realistic business case through a detailed review by the company’s financial team to make sure it all adds up.
“If you’re committing to new technology projects, determining business value is key. New technology investments won’t pay off unless they contribute to your bottom line or top line revenue growth.”
Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek
Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.
Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.
Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.
Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.
As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.
It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.
But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.
As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.
So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.