3 keys for IT investments that pay off for businesses

IT investments can help companies boost the bottom line – but only if the money is spent wisely. A new report offers some help with how to spend the IT budget. 

Businesses plan to significantly increase their IT investments in areas such as mobile technology, cloud computing and collaboration tools, according to a recent survey from AT&T and INSEAD.

And among the 225 organizations studied, those that invested heavily in those areas were more likely than the rest to report greater agility, performance and the ability to create organizational change.

However, it wasn’t just more spending that led to those improvements. The businesses ranked the highest also had several factors in common:

1. They have staff with the right skills

The highest performing organizations in the study were most likely to combine IT investments in those three areas with an experience and skilled staff that can support those technologies. For example, among the businesses that invest heavily in cloud computing, 72% of those who said they have strong technical talent are considered “competitively agile,” compared to 42% of those without that talent.

Finding new employees with skills and experience in cloud computing, mobile technology and other key areas can be tough right now. Many experts recommend companies choose current staff members they can offer new training to so they can take advantage of those new areas without having to battle with competitors for new talent.

2. They get a lot of input from the business side

In addition, investing in new technology does no good if that technology isn’t meeting the needs of the business. That’s why all tech spending decisions must be made with close collaboration between the IT side and the business side.

That pays off for companies: Among companies that invest in mobile technology, 52% of those that do with a lot of input from the business side rated highly in the report’s performance rankings, versus just 25% of those that don’t.

3. They have a strong project management team

And finally, for IT investments to be successful, those projects need to be lead by people with both strong technical and managerial skills. Firms reporting they have that talent were more likely to be ranked highly, according to the report.

The project manager will serve as a bridge between IT and business to make sure the needs of both sides are being met.

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