May 24, 2019 in Understanding IT Value / By Dave Davenport

But Why? The Toddler Approach to Understanding IT Value

baby-215867_1280-2Parent or not, we know the cycle a toddler can get in. Continuously asking “why” can result in torture – or hysterical laughter. The pureness behind the inquisitive little one is beautiful. Often, these pure thoughts can clarify even the toughest, most difficult concepts. 

You might assume your technology needs are hard to map against the business operating needs.  Yet, MotherG does just that. It’s how we craft our recommendation to our clients. 

Here we’re going to address some “whys” you should be asking your current IT partner, including us. The biggest mistake you can make is viewing IT as an expense not an investment in the business.   

Here’s what this article will cover: 

  • Why should I have a technology strategy?
  • Why do I invest in IT without knowing the value?
  • Why should I measure my results from technology?
  • Please tell me why you don’t have a budget, it matters!
  • If you don’t have an IT budget or strategy, here’s why you should.

Whether your technology support is outsourced or in-house makes no difference - you’re paying for expertise. The department responsible for your business’ technology should have a combination of exceptional communication skills and vision for where technology and business converge.  

Why should I have a technology strategy?

  • Technology plays an integral role in your organization’s ability to hit its goals.  Consider what happens if your systems shutdown. Technology can positively – and negatively – affect your ability to produce, bill, collect and innovate.  With such an asset, why don’t you have a plan?
  • A plan is not simply a plan to replace PCs or servers.  It should integrate your business objectives with capabilities that will enhance and augment your operations to achieve better results.  Competitive differentiation.  Improved profits.  

Here’s what to ask:

  • Where does technology affect my business – good and bad?
  • Do I have plans to scale? 
  • Do I want to launch a new product line? 
  • Are my competitors pulling ahead of me?
  • What are the top trends in my market for innovation?

Why do I invest in IT without knowing the value?

  • Technology should be a facilitator, not a detractor in your business. You may have seen our article “Windows 7 will leave your business vulnerable,” so let’s use an example related to a pressing problem with Windows 7 PC Replacements.  
  • Your IT Experts explain that the production staff of 10 people have PC’s that must be replaced.  What is the value?  Commonly, you might be told, “Well, not sure but Microsoft has ended support for Windows 7 so we have no choice.” But they don’t explain the lasting impact on your security, your employee productivity and the real dollars you spend to improve your other aspects of the business.

Here’s what to ask:

  •  What value will this bring me?  
  • How will this affect my bottom line?  
  • Will this impact other areas of my business?

MotherG’s explanation:  We use simple logic and math. What is the value for this team of 10? If they make $80,000-per-year, what financial impact will be seen by adding one hour of productivity per week equate to in real dollars? Give up? It’s $20,800 in additional productivity you gain! Where does this hour magically appear from?  

Three key areas:

  • Faster machines purchased with Windows 10 means quicker navigation of critical tools.
  • Enhanced collaboration with new software allows for more efficient use of this technology.
  • Staff performance from a time and morale standpoint. 

Which decision is easier to make? That’s why strategy directly correlates to the value of your investment. It leads you to understand why your budget in 2019 drives greater performance for the organization.

Dollars for a business, particularly an SMB, are critical. How well you invest in your operation will impact your long-term performance.  

The reason why you have unnecessary spend and no ROI is because vision isn’t brought into the fold. We call our vision “projects” because they’re planned for. We PROJECT the project. Again, intelligence + vision + strategic alignment = preparedness. That’s understanding your investment.

Why should I measure my results from technology?

  • Eliminating surprises helps every business leader sleep a little better. Yet, when it relates to your IT systems, very few have KPIs that report, track and measure the impact and outcomes from the technology.  There is just a vague sense of whether things are OK – or not.  Why don’t you want to know?
  • That’s why MotherG has over 80 KPIs. We have systems in place that notifies us of issues before the client ever notices. We share this “noise” with you in our monthly and quarterly reviews. We track everything that can impact the outcomes for the client – from speed and frequency of tickets to the ROI of their projects to the proactive, preventive measures taken to reduce noise and improve operations.

Here’s what to ask:

  •  What are KPIs are important to MY business?  
  • If KPIs aren’t met, what is the impact on my business?  
  • Can I truly hold my team accountable to their performance?
  • Who are we measured again?

Please tell me why you don’t have a budget, it matters!

  • A budget indicates that a plan is in place. It identifies the key investment areas that will help the business meet its objectives.  It should mitigate risk and enhance operations. It shouldn’t merely identify the technology spend by month or quarter. It should indicate value and outcomes expected.

STOP if you don’t have an IT budget or strategy. Click here for a short video on the topic.

Here’s what to ask yourself:

  • Does technology have an impact on my business?  
  • Am I prepared to capitalize for equipment that will change the landscape of my business?
  • Is there a reservoir for a catastrophic event?  
  • What is my competitor doing that is positively impacting their business?
  • What are my businesses deficiencies? Can technology improve them directly or indirectly? 


Plan your work, and then work your plan.  Great advice for every business. Anyone looking to ascend or who has reached their professional pinnacle can tell you preparedness is a direct correlation to success. MotherG strives to be aware and prepared for any situation. That’s why we succeed in Chicagoland and Milwaukee.

How do you get prepared? Consider taking the toddler approach. 

I ask my marketing team, “why didn’t we get more interest from that newsletter?”  I ask my sales team, “why did we win that business?” I ask myself, “why didn’t I lay out a clear vision for what I expected?”

It’s all in the name of being better today, ready for tomorrow and leading the day after. You’re a leader for a reason. There’s no shame in asking why. Asking this simple question allows you to better understand what you’re paying for, where you’re headed and if you have the right people in place to steer you there. 

We want to be your business partner and consultant. If you’d like to sit down for a business conversation with MotherG, call (800) 676-7374 or email us at info@motherg.com.

                                  I'd like a 15-minute consultation

 

Share This
About the Author

Sign Up For Updates

Don't miss another important post. By subscribing to our newsletter you will get timely updates & news each month