- The first consideration is: is the level of spending tied to the overall strategy? Given that there are uncertain returns for IT investments, the spending should be considered like any other business investment and prudence should be exercised just the same. While industry bookmarks can be an exceptional indicator, they should not be the targeted spending.
- The second consideration is: is the money focused on essential, benefit producing programs? While it may be tempting to streamline all business processes, it is foolish to equally distribute investments among business processes that will benefit unevenly. However, a careful balance must be struck to avoid any bottlenecks.
- The third consideration is: at what scope will the business benefit from IT centralization? Another tempting move may be to provide company-wide IT integration, or centralization, regardless of the cost. This may appear to be an excellent way to provide cost savings (by buying in bulk), but the added benefit of centralization may be entirely mitigated by the added costs.
- The fourth consideration is: does the business need a premier, top-of-the-line system to operate efficiently? If left to IT management, the added cost/benefit ratio may be clearly defined in raw technology terms, but the benefit as perceived by IT management may not translate to overall benefits to the business.
- The fifth consideration is: at what point does the marginal cost of more hassle cross the marginal benefit of more security? In other words, by increasing IT security, are you inadvertently creating insurmountable obstacles for non-IT employees? Research suggests that the weakest link of most security chains is the human element, and the human element is best handled through proper training, not extravagant (and costly) firewalls and encryption.
- The sixth and final consideration is: place blame on the management of IT implementation, not the IT systems. Most IT systems are built to exact specifications, and many are industry wide solutions adopted elsewhere. When the expected benefits don’t materialize, find the problem in the decision chain that approved inappropriate systems, not in the IT system itself.
Six IT Decisions Your IT People Shouldn’t Make – March 3, 2009 – Jeanne W. Ross and Peter Weill