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Benefits Management: Delivering Value from IS & IT Investments by Elizabeth Daniel, John L. Ward

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Chapter 3. The Foundations of Benefits Management

In the previous chapter the 'macro' IS competence revealed in surveys of chief information officers (CIOs) and IT directors as the least well developed in their organisations was 'exploitation'. All three component competences – benefits planning, change management and benefits realization – were, on average, deemed to be weak, resulting in an inability to gain the full benefits from IS/IT implementations. These are intrinsically business-based competences, although how an organization decides to implement and supply IS/IT solutions will have a significant influence on the development of those competences. Therefore improving them will mean changing the ways that IT specialists work with business managers and users.

This situation is not new, but effective management of IT implementation and adept use of its capabilities are becoming increasingly integral to improving business performance and achieving intended business strategies. It is therefore essential that business managers are not only responsible for deciding on IS/IT investments and priorities, but also for the delivery of the benefits that justified the investments, given the costs and risks associated with IT implementation and business changes.

Figure 3.1 suggests that an inability to realize the benefits of particular IT investments has significant implications beyond each of the investments. The lack of ability to deliver benefits reduces the organizational understanding ...

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