Will new IT software benefit an organisation?

If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
Sir William Thomson

In many business cases, people confuse outcomes with benefits so it is little wonder why new IT software often does not benefit organisations.

An outcome is the result of implementing a new piece of software and the business benefit is the derived benefit the business achieves.

Lets say we implement a new IVR into a call centre, the new system reduces call volume, saving the 100 call centre operators one hour per day in talking with customers.

Then the outcome is 100 hours saved per day and the business benefit is how the100 hours saved per day is utilise. We could realise the benefits by:

  • Opening up a new customer service offering and utilise the additional 100 hours per day (Benefit is the amount of income the additional 100 hours per day contributes to supporting the new customer service offering)
  • Reduce staffing by 100 hours per day (Benefit is the amount of expense saved by reducing staff)
  • Reassign some staff to make out bound sales calls (Benefit is the amount of income the additional 100 hours per day contributes to increasing sales from outbound calls)

It is important to quantify these benefits with measures so that the true results can be reported to determine the success.

There are 4 keys points to help new IT software benefit an organisation:

1. Clearly define outcomes vs benefits

2. The “as is” business process state must confirm the current baseline metrics

3. Benefits must be quantifiable so that cost/benefit can be managed

4. Responsibility for benefits realisation must be assigned to an individual business owner

Use business analysts to define the outcomes and the potential business benefits before investigating software options.

Have you ever seen an organisation buy new software, which has not been beneficial?