Thursday, February 16, 2017

Digital ROI - How to approach for digital returns

Let’s assume you have started looking at how your digital journey might take shape.

It’s not a matter of deciding if you are going to take a digital transformation journey, but a question of what parts of your existing business are you going to start transforming in to a new digital business.

To engage your customers in new ways, to deliver on their expectations will require transforming many of the foundational pieces in your architecture to take you on the road to accelerating everything. This also can not leave behind the existing applications and value that you have delivered in the past, so there needs to be a way to pick and choose what you are going to transform.
The series on Digital Foundations has discussed how you can lay the bricks to your new digital future with open technologies, to remain both flexible in maintaining existing applications while starting the journey towards transformation to a modern application delivery architecture.

Catch up on the series Digital Foundations...
Now that you are starting to look at how your digital journey might start, you are certainly trying to identify a list of assets or areas in your architecture and applications that can be targeted for transformation to your modern digital architecture.

Digital Returns

One of the first questions that comes up is how can you sell this to your CIO, meaning that some form of Return on Investment (ROI) enters the discussion. First a definition of what we are talking about with digital ROI:

Digital ROI is the benefit gained from open technologies for an investor in digital transformation resulting from an investment in some transformation effort on their digital journey.

In our case we are going to take this down a different path than is traditional with ROI, we are going to avoid the cost aspect entirely. This is a departure from tradition, but with most ROI ‘calculators’ you are left with trust issues when presented with results that are often based on suspect calculations that always show the results a vendor needs to sell you their products.

There are other aspects than just pure cost that open technologies bring to your transformation efforts and they give you more confidence in the eventual cost effectiveness of an effort if you can capture these for your business case.

Open technologies have great influence on the costs involved with digital transformation paths, but they provide much more in the way of indirect benefits that give you a greater trust in the ROI story you are building. It is in these open technologies that we will look for our cost effectiveness and the results might surprise you.

Whether you are looking at the foundations of your infrastructure, the operations and management aspects or interested in modernizing your application development you will find many benefits that better align to your feel for positive gain in your ROI calculations.

In the next article the series Digital ROI, let’s take a look at what might be of interest when engaging open technologies to build your case for transformation.