IT leaders need to be watchful that they are not adopting emerging technologies for technology sake, but rather build a business case for the business strategy that is then supported by emerging technologies, according to Gartner. Understanding how to leverage and justify the value of emerging technologies and delivery models to business leaders and users can hugely affect their acceptance, and ultimately, business value.
"In many cases, IT is leading the charge toward adopting emerging technologies in order to increase business competitiveness and value," said Betsy Burton, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "However, they often lead with a technology focus rather than a business focus, which can lead to wasted investments and fragmented solutions. IT leaders should use a business justification model to lead business leaders in determining business goals and objectives, developing an initiative for exploring possible business scenarios for leveraging emerging technologies, and determining the effect on governance, skills and portfolio management," Ms. Burton said. "IT and business leaders also need to know when to diverge from or throw away a business justification model and invest in exploration and experimentation."
Gartner analysts said the first step of a business justification model is to understand the business objectives and goals. Then it is critical to understand and evaluate the business capabilities and implications, including self assessments on competencies, maturity assessments, gap analysis and an evaluation of the business's current state versus future state. Additional key steps in the model are the portfolio management and governance phases.
The model also provides a mechanism for IT leaders to communicate and work with business leaders. IT leaders must focus on business language to get the attention and support of business leaders. This means focusing on justifications for investments into emerging technologies based on the effect to the business, such as increasing sales, creating new sources of revenue and increasing speed of communication.
"To justify investments in emerging technologies, IT and business leaders need to understand the need today and in the future," said Ms. Burton. "By using a business justification model, balanced with seeking opportunities for innovation, IT leaders can more-effectively communicate the business value from investments and, even more importantly, understand what emerging technologies should be used to support the business."
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