IT As a Critical Differentiator

Mike Harris

A recent article by Dennis McCafferty, in the online version of Baseline Magazine, shares the results of a Deloitte survey of executives from mid-sized companies, which indicates that a significant share of the companies’ leadership now views technology as a critical differentiator and growth driver.

The accompanying report, "Disruption in the Mid-Market: How Technology is Fueling Growth," reveals that most C-level leaders are now involved in the adoption of next-generation tech, and many are leading the charge in this adoption.

By and large, we can assume that “technology” includes software, so when Deloitte reports that 48% of leadership views technology as a critical differentiator and a key to growth, the same is true for software. Clearly, software is delivering value to these companies, but do they know how and how much?

Well, 62% of those surveyed have involvement in next generation technology from their C-Suite and 33% are “leading the charge.” Great! But then the survey tells us about “Top IT Priorities:”

  • Improving existing business processes: 39%
  • Managing cyber-security and information risks: 35%
  • Maintaining the availability and performance of IT systems: 27%
  • Reducing IT costs and driving efficiencies: 27%
  • Assisting in business innovation: 25%

Huh? Did I just skip to a different survey? Sure, these are all valuable IT functions, but these priorities don’t really make IT a “critical differentiator.”

However, there is hope. “Assisting in business innovation” made it into the top five, and there is one other very interesting result reported – “51% said their tech team is actively building platforms so their company can better engage with customers.” How will they will measure the ROI of that investment? They have to find a way to measure value delivered!

Maybe you can see where I’m going with this. IT needs to be able to prioritize projects based on value – and then measure and report on that value in order to satisfy stakeholders. A concept such as the Value Visualization Framework provides a tool for this.

Without understanding the value of IT, it’s impossible for IT to truly function as a critical differentiator or growth driver.


Michael D. Harris
DCG President



Written by Michael D. Harris at 05:00
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"It's frustrating that there are so many failed software projects when I know from personal experience that it's possible to do so much better - and we can help." 
- Mike Harris, DCG Owner

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