Why CIOs Need to Get Good at Reusing Technology

Recycling Mindset

Recycling is now simply part of the mindset of most Americans—but it doesn’t stop at the plastic bottle bin. Plenty of CIOs are interested in sharing the recycling mindset by re-using old technology in new projects. But it’s not just a matter of using the same technology repeatedly, but also breaking the mindset that a new project requires new tech. As this blog post by Dr. Jim Anderson explains, bringing on new technology while also bringing about a new project can lead to more problems:

The problem with this thinking is that it turns out that it may cause more problems than it solves. Specifically, studies done by MIT’s Sloan Center for Information Systems Research has revealed that by reusing existing technology the risk of a new project can be lowered. Specifically, firms that are able to share existing technology across departments and business units discover that they are able to grow faster and are able to keep their costs lower than firms that don’t do this.

Focus on What’s Important: The Project Itself

Reusing tech on a new project allows you to spend time you’d otherwise use on learning new technology on the project itself. You won’t be distracted with yet another unknown variable and you’ll be able to provide the results your company is looking for. After all, the customer won’t care if you really understand a piece of tech—they want to know if the project is done, and done well.

But before you start re-using anything and everything, you may want to establish a team that is dedicated to finding and implementing reused IT resources effectively. They should use a standard process to help make sure reuse is discussed before a project begins, and that the way and amount that IT resources are reused is consistent. As Dr. Anderson goes on to explain, the very culture of your company must change in order for any program of re-use to be effective. This means the CIO must encourage their teams to embrace the idea of reusing IT resources as much as possible (and, in the end, be able to communicate the time and money saved by IT to the rest of the company). Read the full blog post here:

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