Measuring technology effectiveness: Tips from top firms

When measuring technology effectiveness, firms need to balance the costs of an investment against the benefits achieved. However, this calculation isn’t always straightforward. Recently, Marc Staut and Jim Boomer of Boomer Consulting, Inc. interviewed three CIOs to get their thoughts on calculating technology ROI. You can read their responses in a new whitepaper, “How are Firms Calculating ROI for Technology Spend?” Some highlights are below:

How are firms measuring technology effectiveness?

“We will generally continually monitor technology and changes to that technology after deployment. One way is that we annually survey our staff to get their pulse on specific mission-critical technologies.”

– Jim Bourke, CPA.CITP, CFF, CGMA, Partner & Director of Firm Technology, Withum

Can firms move beyond IT as a cost center?

“Some technology consumption, such as bandwidth or hardware, is commoditized and can be scrutinized as a cost center. Our IT department strives to deliver solutions that set us apart from other accounting firms. From exceeding service expectations to dissecting clicks in a user interface for increased efficiencies, our users appreciate the extra steps we take to add value beyond a traditional IT cost center.”

– Chris Morrow, Chief Information Officer & member, Warren Averett

How do you know if a project was successful?

“It really depends… On time and on budget are paramount, then comes things like satisfaction surveys, general measures of efficiency/effectiveness we pre-approved to initiate the project… Once in a while you don’t need any of that – you get enough smiles, emails and high fives where you know it was a home run.”

– Dan Mallory, Director of Technology, Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP

Getting more from your technology investment

At the end of the day, technology effectiveness is more than just dollars and cents. Intangible factors like employee engagement, risk mitigation and client satisfaction can make or break a big investment. To begin creating an environment for smart technology investment, follow these four tips:

  • Recruit or internally promote a quality CIO.
  • Create a business case form.
  • Review ROI calculations for bias.
  • Develop a firm technology committee to help steer IT strategy.

According to the whitepaper, “Determining ROI is a combination of measuring tangible KPIs as well as less tangible factors. However you measure it, ROI for technology projects seems to increase when firms make investments with their strategic goals in mind.”

The whitepaper goes on to explain that typically, integration is the main difference between strategic technology investments and ad hoc approaches. “Less effective firms are more likely to have no integration or only limited integration. On the other hand, teh majority of highly effective firms have fully integrated solutions.”

Find out how to get more from your technology investment, including a sample business case document. Download the whitepaper today.


Aimee Hall

Product Marketing Manager at Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting

All stories by: Aimee Hall

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