CoS versus CoC: When the cost of doing the same outweighs the cost of change

Change can be hard, but some decisions are easy when you have the right information

Sometimes the need for technological change in an organisation is obvious. Sometimes the strategic aims of the business and the capability of its technology are so far out of alignment that the need for change is undeniable.

Why change?

More often though, the relationship between achieving business goals and new technology is poorly understood. This results in a less obvious case for change and a more controversial decision. In this case, the more difficult, yet persuasive calculation can be determining the cost to your business if you don’t make the change. This more abstract figure is key to providing a successful business case and the impetus for change.

Calculating the cost of change/building the business case

But how can you do this? There are a number of key questions to ask that can help you to understand the real impetus and value for change:

  • What opportunities are you currently missing out on?
  • Will your current technology support your anticipated future business needs?
  • What risks are posed to the business by remaining with the current technology stack?
  • What are the gaps between what your current technology can provide and where you want your business to be?

Paying the price of same

There are many examples from the world of IT where enterprises have successfully calculated the cost of doing things the same versus doing things differently. Some of the largest and most successful enterprises are those that have grabbed change with both hands and reaped the benefits of being ahead of the curve, and then have established processes and policies that encourage and reward innovation so that they stay there.

Google and Apple are great examples here, and the price that companies like Microsoft have paid for not embracing change and being slow to enter the mobile platform market is well documented.

There are many other examples that could be used to illustrate this process. But regardless of which example you choose, what’s important here is ensuring that your business understands both the potential of new technologies and their limitations. The technology side of your business also needs to understand the needs and objectives of your business. Then you have to ensure that the companies that you partner with to provide technological solutions understand this as well.

Partnering and investing for change

Once you begin the journey to answer these big questions you will build a suitable knowledge platform from which to make your decisions. But from this point, you can start to ask a different set of questions that stack up the value of your incumbent technology providers versus their competition – the challengers.

You can also start to compare not just the services that they provide, but their understanding of your organisation’s business requirements and their ability to align with them. Ask yourself:

  • Do they have a great grasp of emerging technologies and their implications for your business?
  • Can they be agile – can they implement their proposed solutions to your agenda, to your specific requirements?
  • Do they value providing best of breed solutions that will deliver certainty and a degree of future proofing?
  • Can they be a true technology partner to your business and do they really understand your aspirations?

Change can certainly be hard, but the rewards can be significant for those that make smart decisions and embrace the new. It can pay in the long run to invest in change.

At Nextgen you’ll find a company that understands change and offers flexible, agile technology solutions for your future business requirements. Our customers will tell you that we’re quick to understand their requirements and quick to make them reality. Change can be good. Challenge accepted.