IT investment strategy: it’s about numbers and words
Too many proposals stay at the bottom of the pile simply because they are poorly written.
You are the head of a company. Over the years, you’ve climbed to an enviable position in your industry and your business is now flourishing.
Your company uses various types of technology to manage its fleet of vehicles for the trucking industry: Global Positioning System (GPS); 4G mobile technology; a camera system in the cabs; on-board telematics. You purchased some of this technology in the same way you would buy a trailer. An installer came to your premises. He trained your team on how to use the technology. He’s also responsible for managing, maintaining and supporting the technology. If you ever have a problem … you simply call or text.
Some of the other technology that you use has been “customized” for you. It has been developed to meet specific needs, in terms of cost and performance, in order to improve your company’s work flow and customer service. A software development consulting firm built those tools. And again, if there’s ever a bug, it’s the consulting firm that has to step up.
Like all company leaders, you do your best to keep abreast of innovations within your industry. But here’s the catch: everything moves so quickly that staying on top of the latest changes is a daunting challenge. A day has only 24 hours, and yours are jam-packed. Not to mention that you may not really be all that interested in technology. What does get your attention are the number of orders on the books, your customers, the condition of your fleet and the health of the people you work with.
One of your drivers recently told you about an interesting innovation: a collision mitigation system. After hearing about all the ways it could benefit your company, you asked your IT provider for a quote for a customized solution.
That quote has been sitting on your desk for the past two weeks. After reading and rereading it, you still have some questions and doubts. And that’s to be expected because, except for the project budget and timeline, the proposal may as well be written in a foreign language. DevOps, scrum, Agile development (why a capital A?), sprint … none of it makes any sense. A proposal is supposed to help you make an informed business decision; the one you received has only left you scratching your head. There’s a good chance you won’t follow up on the quote and, as a result, perhaps miss out on a great opportunity to reduce your insurance premiums.
Too many good proposals end up collecting dust because they are poorly written. One of the characteristics of the IT industry is the amount of energy and talent put into churning out names, acronyms and abbreviations that no one understands, except insiders. And yet, clear communication is as much a business imperative as quality client relations. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that it’s even a strategic imperative: the better we communicate, the more competitive we are.
Ensuring that we express ourselves clearly is one of the rules of business we follow at Cofomo. Not everyone understands what DMBS, ERP or Reverse Proxy means. Because of this, for over twenty years now we have made it a priority to:
- Explain technical information;
- Use the appropriate level of language;
- Use vocabulary that our clients understand, whether they operate in the banking, transportation, health or public administration sector.
Let’s come back to your problem. What you really need at this stage is not so much a quote as an IT investment strategy. You need to evaluate the costs, risks and return on investment for the solution being proposed. With all these elements, figures and arguments in front of you, you’ll have a business case and action plan to help you make the right decision and act accordingly. And what’s more, it’ll all be written in plain English.
Need help developing a winning investment strategy? Contact us today.