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Thoughts that count

As technology develops, people are starting to realise that it is very important to be tech-savvy in business. Tim Philips explains why this is.

In 1963, the deputy controller of Shell – Stanley Harding – set out an objective in a lecture to the ICAEW on the role of the finance function: “The starting point for a study regarding the acquisition of a computer is to determine the exact requirements. A clear statement of objectives is required from management... It is a waste of time and money to introduce a computer before this has been done.”

Through disciplined measurement, he said, the finance function should always ensure that expenditure on technology is producing a measurable increase in profitability or efficiency. In reality, we haven’t quite solved this problem yet.

In Measure for Measure: The Difficult Art of Quantifying Return on Digital Investments, published by Capgemini Consulting in 2014, the firm found that only 34% of technicallyadvanced companies, and only 2% of all others, measured the performance of IT using KPIs. Kirstin Gillon, technical manager, IT Faculty, says: “Often everyone is so relieved that technology works that we want to get away from thinking about it as soon as possible.”

This is an extract from the Business & Management Magazine, Issue 247, October 2016.

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