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With information technology, as with the stock market, no investment is a sure thing. But according to the latest Technology Trends study from Computer Economics, six technologies do stand out as having superior risk-reward profiles. These are technologies that should be high on the priority list of most IT organizations.
The stand-out technologies include: Customer relationship management (CRM), IT asset management solutions, desktop virtualization, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), unified communications, and software-as-a-service applications (SaaS).
The scatter chart in Figure 2 from the study, Technology Trends 2014, illustrates the relationship between risk and reward by plotting the cost-success rate against the ROI-success rate for each initiative. The six technologies in upper right corner are those for which IT executives report a high rate of cost predictability along with a high rate of success in achieving a positive ROI (return on investment) within a two-year period.
The positive customer experience for CRM investments is unusual in that it is a relatively mature technology area where investors often experience cost overruns when deploying enterprise systems. “The risk-reward profile of CRM systems has really improved over the past several years,” said Frank Scavo, president of Computer Economics, Irvine, Calif. “We think it has a lot to do with the increasing use of cloud deployment options for CRM, which makes the costs more predictable while at the same time improving the time-to-benefit.”
Other cloud technologies, including desktop virtualization, IaaS, and SaaS, also have strong risk-reward profiles. As reported in the full study, investment in SaaS is now at a high level while desktop virtualization appears to be regaining its momentum. Investment in IaaS, however, remains at an immature stage despite the positive experience of early adopters.
The Technology Trends study surveyed 209 IT organizations worldwide on their technology investment plans. The full study reports on adoption stages, rate of investment, types of solutions under consideration, amount budgets per user, cost experience, and ROI experience of each of the technologies. Other technologies covered in this report include IT financial management (ITFM), tablet computers, supply chain management, data warehouse and business intelligence, social business and collaboration systems, mobile applications, human resource management systems (HRMS), platform as a service (PaaS), and enterprise resource planning (ERP).