"ROI is still a valid framework to gauge technology investments"

My experience has been such that many people cannot define the exact meaning of returns

"ROI is still a valid framework to gauge technology investments" - CIO&Leader

Shalimar Paints has more than a century-old legacy and rich heritage. It was established in 1902, and is country’s first paint company in the field of paints and coatings. Being the oldest paint company, it was very essential for us to use technology to our advantage in order to compete in the market. The successful use of technology has always benefited us to remain in market despite tough competition.

Today there isn’t much difference between innovation and enterprise IT projects

If we look back to the journey of IT transformation at Shalimar Paints in the last couple of years, we spent initial years strengthening our core systems such as, ERP and core business processes. As ERP aged, we started investing in systems such as CRM, PLM and so on, and our journey further moved towards new technologies such as Mobility, Analytics, BPM, Cloud, among others. Today, we have started evaluating how we can invest in IoT, VR and get business ahead of the competition.

Last financial year was the year of digitization for Shalimar Paints. Our IT investments have increased more on new technologies while balancing core systems such as ERP and CRM.

Today, there isn’t much difference between innovation and enterprise IT projects. However, innovation projects demand more freedom to fail than business-as-usual infrastructure projects. I believe that ROI is important for both, and its relevance while making technology investment decisions helps a lot.  Take for instance, investing in IoT may not give you immediate result but once the entire ecosystem is integrated around IoT then we will certainly create more benefits and business value…

I believe that ROI is still a valid framework to gauge technology investments. My experience is that many people do not define exact meaning of returns. The ROI could be in different forms such as profit or cash or even in other forms such as efficiency, productivity, customer delight and so on… CIOs should able to convert these in some measurable form or numbers.

However, I do agree that ROI cycles have become shorter and technology is one of the reasons for this. Technology has changed market dynamics. As a result, every organization wants to be ahead of competition. Every organization wants to benefit from the competitive advantage of technology and so they expect quick return. Obviously this is creating stiff competition and technology is playing a key role everywhere.

As told to Shubhra Rishi

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