Measuring the Business Value of Information Technology: Introduction

Organizations large and small face the same dilemma: scarce resources. Choosing and deploying the right solution to maximize an organization's performance, to satisfy customers, and to make and maintain a profit has never been more critical. Information technology, in particular, often loses its significance as a major contributing success factor in an organization's strategic objectives because it is predominantly considered a function within an organization that is not integral to achieving business objectives. Consequently, budgets are squeezed year after year as IT organizations inevitability drift towards the "cost center" perception, and not toward being the competitive differentiator that IT has the potential to be.

As a Human Factors Engineer (HFE) and someone who has worked in the IT industry for many years, I consider this a myopic and potentially dangerous notion for any organization. It is critical for IT organizations to alter their thinking and identify not only the cost, but the value that IT brings to the enterprise. How can this be done? Measure the bottom-line impact of information technology to reveal its true value and enable allocation of resources in the most essential areas.


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