Check the reasons for your next technology investment

11/17/2005


There’s no such thing as a perfect-world scenario for a technology investment decision. “Due diligence process is often rushed, plagued by unavailability of information, and conducted by people who have limited experience or, worse, have already decided that they love the technology,” says Steve Andriole, senior consultant, with Cutter
Consortium.

While the consortium focuses on information technology (IT), the following checklist of things to consider about technology investments also may have some applicability where manufacturing intersects with IT. These criteria are “more or less quantifiable,” allowing situational weighting to accommodate investment perspectives.

Decisions about products and services should:

  • Be on the right technology/market trends trajectory;

  • Have the right infrastructure story;

  • Sell clearly into budget cycles and budget lines;

  • Have quantitative impact;

  • Not require fundamental changes in how people behave or major changes in organizational or corporate culture;

  • Whenever possible, represent end-to-end solutions;

  • Have multiple default exits;

  • Have clear horizontal and vertical strategies;

  • Have high industry awareness / recognition;

  • Come from companies that have the right technology development, marketing, and channel alliances and partnerships;

  • Be politically correct;

  • Incorporate serious people recruitment and retention strategies;

  • Have compelling differentiation stories;

  • Ensure company executives have wide and deep experience; and

  • Come from companies with persuasive products/services packaging and communications.

Andriole says, “These criteria frame due diligence processes. Depending on the deal and the investment perspective, some are more important than others. Some yield information more readily than others. Some are potentially dangerous (like when the due diligence team falls in love with the management team for all the wrong reasons), and some are hard to quantify.”

For more about the Cutter Consortium Business-IT Strategies Executive Report, click here .

—Edited by Mark T. Hoske , Control Engineering





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