Our clients keep us honest. They continually remind us that they aren’t buying our technology just for the sake of buying technology. Rather, they’re investing in these solutions because they believe they will help their organizations achieve something. They’ll help people do something more, or less – maybe better, or differently. They expect the technology to change their status quo. Maybe that change is a tweak in an organizational habit. Or, maybe it’s a profound, transformative overhaul. Either way, the investment is expected to yield progress toward a business objective – increased profits, reduced expenses, flipped learning pedagogy, altered brand image, improved employee engagement, retained talent, minimized carbon footprint, better customer experiences.
That’s why those of us designing, selling, buying, and using these technology solutions must challenge ourselves to support metrics that will show value. We must find ways to make it easier to measurably demonstrate when objectives are achieved. That ain’t as easy as it used to be, by the way. With projectors and screens, we could document immediate cost savings through longer-life lamps. ROI directly tied to reduced expense; a worthy metric, easily articulated.
However, technologies are different now. When embedded into organizational processes and fully embraced, they can expand a clients’ reach, bring products to market faster, accelerate decision making, and even alter how learning occurs. Videoconferencing, digital signage and collaborative solutions are poised to help grow and transform organizations, but attaching metrics to these business-expanding efforts requires that we think a little differently. It requires, for example, that we maintain a laser focus on the other factors that feed into successful technology usage. With a more comprehensive view, we’re better able to empower measurable organizational change.