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Abstract

In spite of many years of effort, we are still not able to articulate and deliver IT value accurately. Unfortunately, "silver bullet thinking" still predominates (i.e., plug in technology and deliver bottom line impact) in organizations today. IT value is a multi-layered concept, far more complex than it first appears. To examine this complex concept and how it is understood in IT organizations, the authors convened a focus group of practicing IT managers from a number of different industries. This paper, using the inputs from the focus group, explores how organizations are attempting to determine and develop effective IT value propositions. It describes the three components of this proposition: identification of potential value, effective conversion, and realizing value. The paper then derives a number of principles of delivering IT value. We conclude that there is no single agreed-on notion of business value. Therefore, it is important to make sure that both business and IT managers work to a common value goal whether traditional cost reduction, process efficiencies, new business capabilities, improved communication, or any other objectives. We also suggest that technology is being used as a catalyst to drive many different types of organizational transformation and strategy. Therefore, IT value can no longer be viewed in isolation from the other parts of business, namely people and information.

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