Dr. Robert Plant of the University of Miami described in his recent blog post for the Harvard Business Review (HBR) how Eastman Kodak Co. continues to serve as a case study for understanding IT’s value as a “core” and “non-core” activity. While the case study he references appeared 20 years ago, it is almost now an epitaph for Kodak’s failure to recognize the technological changes in the very market it created.
Dr. Plant contrasted this failure with companies like Apple that focus on core business activities and consider IT from an internal and external perspective. Dr Plant notes that “proactive organizations create cultures that encourage technology employees to do three things:
- Help drive business innovation;
- Help identify opportunities for competitive differentiation; and
- Help develop new go-to-market strategies and technologies.”
He also notes that CIO Magazine research indicates that CIOs will greatly increase their time in all three of these activities.
Jump over to healthcare, and the “Kodak moment” potentially looms large for others. My colleague, John Daniels, has noted his discussions with executives about ROI in health IT. A CMO he spoke with stated that when the term “ROI” is used, most folks think about financial metrics. He agreed that financial metrics are certainly important, but in healthcare, ROI should be more about value.
John notes the problem is that we haven’t yet figured out how to put words to value so that we can build a replicable ROI model that helps leadership teams decide on the most value-added IT investments for the organization.
There is hope – while not widely used in healthcare, tools such as ISACA’s ValIT framework and tool set is specifically designed to help organizations align their IT organization and governance to maximize value for business investment.
As we approach the first Leaders and Innovators forum that will take place November 16-18 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort in Florida, the topics of ROI and value will be “front and center” for a host of excellent speakers to tackle head on, and hopefully, offer more value in the IT investment process.