A Strategic Approach: Converting Technical Debt into Funding for AI and innovation

A Strategic Approach: Converting Technical Debt into Funding for AI and innovation

CIOs today face a renewed challenge of balancing spend on innovation against optimisation, after years disrupted by external forces which have reshaped customer and employee expectations. They must seek strategic partnerships to drive their businesses forward, while also investing in cutting-edge technologies like AI, Automation, and Advanced Analytics (the 3As) to deliver benefits to colleagues and customers alike.

Achieving all this can be challenging though, without knowing where their organisation stands in comparison to others in their industries, as well as best practices in the market. (As a runner, we can practise the 100m as many times as we like, but we won’t know how fast we are until we run a race against others or get some market intelligence).

Benchmarking used to provide only relevant market positioning without providing actionable insights, which could leave IT leaders uncertain about what changes they need to make to improve. At ImprovIT, we’ve revolutionised our approach to achieving the balance necessary to help CIOs address all their IT costs (including hidden wastage and technical debt), to optimise their spending and resources, and help to drive sustainable business growth through alignment of this wasted spend to innovation and transformation.

We see some of the main challenges of managing complex IT budgets as:

The Cost-Cutting Dilemma

Simply cutting costs without proper optimisation often leads to reduced standards and service levels. It also often results in a temporary cost reduction that eventually creeps back up to former levels in the medium term. Sustainable cost-cutting is crucial for long-term success.

Complexity in IT Estates

Organisations that have grown through acquisitions or have decentralised decision-making often face the challenges of duplication of key applications, and a lack of integration across the estate under management. Simplification and moving to a common platform can often drive significant benefits and there are some good deals to be made with key vendors and service providers for the proactive technology leader.

The Role of AI, Automation, and Advanced Analytics

Technology now drives business transformation. Driving up revenues, and reducing costs through AI, automation of manual processes and use of advanced analytics requires ownership of transformation by senior business stakeholders and strong co-operation with the technology experts, to be fully successful. So, whilst technology may be the driver, these programmes are generally no longer just a ‘technology project.’

At ImprovIT we offer a collaborative approach to design and deliver cost optimisation and resource management, using our market data, and technology platform to achieve your optimisation goals. By reducing technical debt, eliminating duplication of functionality, processes, and streamlining operational spending, we help organisations free up working capital for innovation and transformation, and work with them to ensure these changes are sustained, revisiting the targets and demonstrating achievement over time. 

This approach not only reduces complexity and optimises spend but also focuses on the return on investment delivered by key capital programmes, increased revenues and delivery of key business benefits. The initial costs of setting this up will usually be returned within the first six months (or less for larger organisations). ImprovIT achieves this because we offer:

Customised Recommendations

We tailor our recommendations to suit your industry, size, spend, and investment profiles, as well as a realistic view of performance against best market practices. Our detailed market data and specific action plans ensure actions are strongly targeted and results are achievable and delivered in the expected timeframes.

Collaboration and Flexibility

Unlike traditional benchmarks, our approach is collaborative and flexible to suit the purposes of our clients. We use clients‘ data to generate actionable insights, saving you time and effort. Our engagement model is to work with the available data in the format in which it’s most easily generated. This reduces the time our clients need to spend in the initial stages and maximises the benefit of our joint working to establish a roadmap to execute on the recommendations. 

IT Dashboard for Cost Optimisation

Our cost optimisation programmes employ an IT Dashboard approach, considering size of benefits, the time to achieve results, assessing organisational and technical risks, and the input costs to achieve the benefits across the retained team and external spend as applicable. 

Of course, it’s not just about extracting more value from your customers and driving cost out. There are other companies who are also taking the same steps. Consumers are now more focused on value, have a choice, and their experience will affect your bottom line. That’s why we also include the non-cashable benefits in our analyses: customer experience transformation (improved retention reduced attrition, improved service levels and positive perceptions through Net Promoter Scores), as well as the competitive and reputational advantages possible which is now achievable through sustainability initiatives.

Supercharging AI and Machine Learning

By harnessing the savings from technical debt reduction, organisations can free up capital for investment in innovation, including AI and machine learning initiatives, supercharging capabilities and staying ahead in the market.

Ambitious technology leaders are taking affirmative steps to design their improvement programmes, before they’re mandated by the business. We can offer a report from an independent expert with more than 20 years’ experience in the market and give you a blueprint of the changes you need to make to optimise your IT operations. That’s certainly something on every CFO and CEO’s radar. To find out more and to get your bespoke report, contact ImprovIT today. We look forward to working with you.

ImprovIT are an independent business and technology consultancy. We were founded by former colleagues of Gartner, IBM and HP to help senior IT leaders make the critical decisions that will maximise their technology investments. We’re completely independent and impartial specialists in the use of IT Measurement, Modelling and Benchmarking.
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