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Utility is the new ROI for IT projects

Return on investment may seem like the best way to decide what project is worthy of the money needed to complete it, but perhaps thinking more about the utility of IT to the business may be a better frame of reference. This article from Computer Weekly features Terry White, research director of CXO, discussing how framing projects as utility helped a business understand what they wanted and what could be done: He came up with a list of 20 “utilities” that IT projects can offer to the business. They include risk mitigation, speed to market, strategic fit, and paths of action — new business options that an IT project opens up. ROI is just one factor out of the 20. The steel company was able to identify the five utilities that were most important to the business, and to rank each project against them in a systematic way. Thinking in the frame of utility, the company is able to prioritize which IT projects are worth following through with, why, and what it will mean to the business once complete. This also helps IT determine what projects to develop a business case for, further aligning IT and business.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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