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A Test for Vetting IT Opportunities’ Risks and Rewards

Is this the big one that elevates the whole organization to the next level, or is it Betamax? Patrick Gray writes for TechRepublic about how to tell the difference in IT, whether it pertains to products or new hires. You might want to record this information.

But It’s Not Like Betamax was Bad

The test Gray invokes is the “three-way test,” which means you ask yourself three basic questions:

  1. Is the opportunity valuable to you?
  2. Is the opportunity valuable to your IT organization or group?
  3. Is the opportunity ultimately valuable in the broader context of your company?

If a vendor is promising oodles of value, but you cannot see an immediate way that you specifically will benefit from the deal, how valuable could it be? And if you are concerned that this reasoning sounds selfish, remember that the best champion for introducing a new product or service into the company is someone who is excited and invested in the thing. Another concern is that something that may be good for the whole organization may not be so good for your smaller department, in which case you should maybe defer to a more impartial observer.

When it comes to measuring risk, Gray writes:

A critical factor in determining if an opportunity is worth further investigation is to quickly analyze the risk of pursuing vs. ignoring the potential opportunity. Highly experimental software might be personally interesting, a boon to your department, and have the potential to support a new corporate initiative, but it might be more risky than a chance to streamline an uninteresting but high-volume process when the benefits of each are taken into account.

Ultimately, you need to follow your gut, but Gray warns against letting “one-time offers” muddle your judgement in objectively investigating risks and rewards. Think the situation through, ask yourself those three questions, and confer with trusted others who will ask themselves those same three questions. Then act! You can read the original article here:

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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