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Investing in Technology

2009 proved to be a rather difficult year for project managers as projects were placed on the back burner in an effort to cut costs throughout organizations.  When is the right time to begin investing in the business again? 

Are you more likely to build a custom application or buy an off-the-shelf solution?  How do you identify which projects take priority over other projects?  Does the business drive the solution or does IT dictate the technology direction?

I'd be interested to hear how other firms are dealing with projects now that it appears the worst of the 2008/2009 recession is behind us. 



Scott Lane
Title: CFO and CRO
Company: TPG Credit Management
(CFO and CRO, TPG Credit Management) |

To me it feels like the company IT department has put things on hold for going on two years now resulting in my home / personal IT set up being more up to date. Think we are now at a point where corporate / company IT is behind the curve and will soon need to upgrade hardware and software as things become obsolete in a hurry. Obsolescence is what I think will ultimately determine when the next round of investment will begin. If most IT products have on average a 3 year life, then we are getting close to that point.

For my company, the priorities over the last 18 months have been on what generates efficiencies and allows us to reduce head count. After all, if we are going to lay off people we might as well try to replace them with IT. On a side note, I suspect this is happening across the US which is not going to help bring down the unemployment rate anytime soon. We will simply get big productivity gains.

When I worked in a large company it seemed that the IT agenda drove the direction. However, in a small company it is clearly the business need that sets the agenda, the way it should be in my view. Ultimately IT professionals need to understand that the business is their client, not the other way around. Right now the CTO at my company gets this and he is phenomenal to work with, a true business partner.

Rajesh Bahl
Title: CFO
Company: Reliance Life Insurance
(CFO, Reliance Life Insurance ) |

Dear Scott

I completely agree with you. Lots of businesses have people which do mundane work which can be easily programmed and replaced by applications. This will force people to become more efficient. I beleive that only two things will remain in long run. Customer acquisition and customer service. Rest all can be programmed.

Scott Lane
Title: CFO and CRO
Company: TPG Credit Management
(CFO and CRO, TPG Credit Management) |


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