Technology-led business scaling

Glenn Scott, Smile IT

Scaling up in a rapidly changing business environment is a real challenge. And it’s a problem that can only be effectively addressed with technology. However, when done correctly, the outcomes can be remarkable.

Consider disruptors such as Uber and Airbnb. They have used technology to drive massive revenues through network effects and virality. Incumbent competitors, unable to move away from their ‘traditional’ business models have been usurped, losing their advantage almost ‘overnight’. The message seems obvious - Technology doesn’t support the business. Technology is the business!

At Smile IT we work with companies to significantly transform their business through the application of technology. Most of these companies have been unable to leverage their IT spend to create identifiable business benefits. When we conduct IT strategic reviews, we reference organisations against standards and measures recommended in the globally recognised COBIT framework. We’ve found that the following three factors are a good indicator as to whether a company will be able to generate value from their IT portfolios.

  • Evidence of monitoring and measuring key IT processes indicates whether leadership views IT as a strategic asset.
  • The existence an IT strategic plan linking IT objectives to organisational objectives shows whether IT is viewed as a driver for business advantage or simply a service to support administrative functions.
  • Allocating expenditure against a formal IT budget rather than to a single IT cost line item, points to whether management view IT as a value generating investment as opposed to a financial cost centre.

If these elements are missing, then the chances are that your IT is simply viewed as a business support ‘toolbox’.

If you’re looking to generate real business advantage from technology, it’s necessary to start viewing IT as ‘a portfolio of investments’. This requires you to quantify the benefits of any IT project and to apply a required rate of return against each initiative. This also provides the criteria for cancelling or reinvesting in IT programs. The process ensures IT investment allocation on the basis of identifiable value for the business. It also establishes positive feedback loops for technology projects that are critical to the business model.

Up to 70% of major IT projects end in failure. A portfolio approach to your IT investment can reduce this risk and can ensure that IT is a business driver rather than an overhead.

For further information please contact Glen Scott at Smile IT:
Email :
Phone : 1300 766720
Web :

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