Cost has always been a leading driver in any project undertaking. Information technology (IT) can aid in reducing costs in the long run but imply that investments have to be made in the short run. In effect, information technology aids a business particularly in the following fields:
- Aligning technology with business
- Financial management
- Portfolio management
- Performance management
For some, the benefits may not be too clear. Return on investment as far as capital spent on I.T. cannot be easily translated into actualised profits. It can, however, be used to smoothen the flow of operations especially in the above mentioned fields. IT is usually bent on creating a “paperless” office. The more accurate way of looking at the benefits of IT is by determining the increase in productivity and profitability of the enhanced operations.
This is closely related to the first step of project management which is cost estimation. Identifying an object as a need or as a benefit are two different things. The immediate need might as well be the important factor for consideration in this process.
Challenges for management today in incorporating IT into business usually involve adaptation. The idea of putting up new technology is usually referred to as a big managerial decision with less emphasis on how the people across different levels may see it. Having little knowledge on optimising technology may break the companies trying to make use of it and have it as an expense rather than an asset.
Once the needed assets are well identified, the second process – budget determination – authorises purchasers to act on a cost baseline. What is needed is already well segregated from optional items in this process, but may still include a cost contingency for possible changes in market prices or failure in certain operations.
Another challenge for companies nowadays is the ever growing need for responsiveness. Technology and product competencies are slowly becoming less influential as more way is paved for response management. Using IT as a means to cope with the dynamic markets and business structure redesigning may be in order.
Lastly, cost control acts as a means of updating based on the cost baseline to manage any changes that have been or should be made in the future. Performance management plays a key role in is the key when it comes to aligning the expected output to the budget at hand. A good project manager can help maximise your resources.
About the Author:
Steven Macdessi has successfully completed the Practitioner’s Certificate in Mediation as conducted by the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia.
The Practitioner’s Certificate in Mediation is presented by nationally accredited instructors and is conducted Australia-wide. The course offers a practice-oriented qualification in mediation and participants who successfully complete the assessment module may apply for accreditation under the National Mediator Accreditation Scheme through IAMA.