By Granville Triumph
An old business maxim that says you can only cut costs to zero while top-line growth has no limits. Economic conditions have put pressure on IT budgets, but focusing on cost-saving strategies shortchanges the positive impact IT can have. In fact, the right technology investments can drive top-line revenue growth, ultimately yielding greater benefits than cost-cutting.
Global research from Accenture reveals that companies that invest in digital technologies and improving customer experiences are able to identify new growth opportunities and enhance performance. The research report, High Performers in IT: Defined by Digital, shows that high performers devote 55 percent of their IT budgets to delivering strategic capabilities that support growth and business performance.
Accenture’s research found that the adoption rate of key technologies, including cloud computing, analytics, social media and mobility, was greater across the board for companies that excel in their use of IT than their counterparts. According to the research, these companies have recognized and embraced the transformational impact of digital IT to create new products and services that support growth.
For example, the high performers are leading the way in “mobilizing” their businesses. According to the research, 69 percent of them are committed to mobile transactions compared to 42 percent of other organizations, which allows their customers to reorder their favorite pair of shoes, book travel, pay for their coffee and even transfer cash between bank accounts on the go. And approximately twice as many IT leaders than non-leaders are achieving or exceeding expected business value from their investments in predictive and descriptive analytics.
According to the findings, the leaders in IT are also moving to the cloud faster and reaping more benefits sooner than other organizations. One-third of the executives representing those companies responded that they are effectively replacing legacy components with private and public cloud alternatives.
Leaders in the use of IT have been investing in master data management and data quality assurance for years. As a result, they hold a significant advantage in the race to getting the right data. Their investments are now paying off. According to the research, twice as many high performers as other organizations are achieving or exceeding the business value they expected in key areas such as data management (77 percent vs. 30 percent), content management (77 percent vs. 23 percent) and predictive analytics (54 percent vs. 21 percent).
Leaders in IT consistently chose customer-focused business objectives among the top three priorities that guide their IT investment strategies. This includes providing the right information to the right person at the right time, finding better ways to interact with customers and delivering new services and products to customers. They also rated front-office applications among their best performing in terms of technical and business adequacy, which was significantly higher for their companies than for other organizations.
Many companies are focused on cost-cutting in today’s economy, but smart organizations are taking a more strategic approach. The right technology investments enable companies to improve performance and take advantage of growth opportunities to boost the bottom line.