The Trouble with Emerging Tech ROI
Investing in emerging technologies is a risky business. And even when a company finds the tools it wants to experiment with, they often deliver different results.
In our upcoming research report on emerging technology, we asked CIOs a slate of questions, including which tools would help improve processes and cut costs.
Rating the highest between the two is unified communications—more than one-third of our 243 respondents said it would boost processes or trim costs. Respondents also said service-oriented architecture delivered almost-equal results in cost cutting (28 percent) and process improvement (26 percent).
Still, others jumped out in one category, but not the other. Take storage virtualization—
it topped the list in cost reduction (42 percent) but lagged in process improvement (18 percent).
We also asked about revenue generation. Of the eight technologies listed, none were cited by at least one in four. SOA and rich Internet applications topped that category.
Late last year we looked at the benefits of becoming an early adopter of emerging technologies. At the time, CIOs told me their biggest problem was producing real ROI estimates, whether in hard dollars or operational improvements.
So the differing returns these technologies render can make the CIO's job of justifying investment even tougher. On the other hand, the fact that emerging technologies can pay back in various forms might be a boon.
Either way, the business of investing in new technologies—and justifying those expenditures—isn't getting easier.
Tell us, IT execs: what's your biggest challenge in justifying emerging technology investments to your bosses?