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A New Framework for IT Investment Decisions

A practical guide to assessing the true value of IT projects in business

By Antony Barnes

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About the Author

Antony Barnes

Antony Barnes is an IT consultant with over 15 years of experience. With a background in system design and programming, he has a strong track record of success in helping companies gain a competitive advantage through understanding and maximising the value of their IT systems. Antony currently works in the area of mergers and acquisitions, helping businesses to maximise the value of their IT ... Read more on Antony Barnes

Contents Listing

List of Abbreviations
Introduction

Part I: The Problem With ROI

1. Hard Benefits Are Hard to Find
- The Unquestioned Logic of ROI
- ROI: Broken in Theory and in Practice

2. The Complex World of Computers
- Why Value Estimation Remains Elusive

Part II: Towards a New Framework

3. The Value of Information Systems
- The Benefits of Applications
- The Benefits of Technology Infrastructure

4. Organisational Complexity
5. The Change Dimension
6. The Context of Competitive Pressure

Part III: Applying the Framework to IT Projects

7. Improving the Way a Business Works
- Bespoke Software Projects
- Packaged Application Software
- Technology-driven Initiatives

8. Re-shaping the Business Landscape
- IT Separation
- Organic Expansion of a Business
- Integrating Applications
- Integrating the IT Infrastructure

9. Big Bang: ERP and Other Mega-projects

10. Building and Maintaining the Platform
- Technical Upgrades of Application Software
- Broad Technology Infrastructure Projects
- Cost-reduction Programmes
- Prioritising Business as Usual and Building a Decision Table

Part IV: Making Better IT Investment Decisions

11. A Pragmatic Alternative to ROI
- Business Scope
- Potential Impact
- Calculating Value From Improvement Projects
- Calculating the Benefits of Scaling the Business
- Calculating the Benefits of Reducing Risk
- Calculating the Benefits of Options
- Building a Decision Table
- Using the Decision Table

12. Insights and Implications

Conclusions
Notes
Index
List of Abbreviations
Introduction

Part I: The Problem With ROI

1. Hard Benefits Are Hard to Find
- The Unquestioned Logic of ROI
- ROI: Broken in Theory and in Practice

2. The Complex World of Computers
- Why Value Estimation Remains Elusive

Part II: Towards a New Framework

3. The Value of Information Systems
- The Benefits of Applications
- The Benefits of Technology Infrastructure

4. Orga ...

Jacket Text

Making Better IT Investment Decisions

A New Framework for IT Investment Decisions is an essential guide to getting more out of IT for business. Fully illustrated and explained with reference to numerous examples from across industries and the world, this is a groundbreaking book for advancing businesses beyond some of the unhelpful investment frameworks of the past, and attaining more accurate, comprehensive and profitable knowledge of how to approach IT projects and systems.

An urgently needed new framework

There is always enormous pressure on businesses to control their spending and maximise the benefits of all investment projects. This applies particularly to IT spending, where the business case for a typical IT project can often be unclear to managers and investors. Any decision on IT investment involves an assessment of the potential costs and benefits. But the benefits are hard or impossible to calculate using traditional measures such as return on investment (ROI). A new framework is needed in order to make better IT investment decisions and this book provides it.

The framework is based on simple ideas about the way in which IT systems interact with a business. Building on these simple ideas, some radical conclusions can be drawn about the nature of IT investment and how it affects a business. These conclusions are very different to the commonly accepted approach to IT investment. Key to the new framework is the concept that most IT spending is geared towards building future capabilities that will not generate an immediate return. These ideas are brought together into a simple decision table that managers will find invaluable in making better decisions about IT projects.

A guide for all business managers

This book is for business executives who need to make investment decisions about IT projects, or who need to understand the thinking behind such decisions. This includes almost all business managers, not just those who are directly concerned with IT. It also includes those in the public and not-for-profit sectors.

Media Coverage

CIO UK Magazine

One of the greatest challenges CIOs face is when senior members of the organisation view the IT department, and therefore technology, as a service provider. No amount of clever devices and slick ...

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Cio.co.uk

"An investment worth the return...well thought out."Book review: A New Framework for IT Investment Decisions- CIO UK Magazine1st August 2011

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