The concept that always intrigues me is the value of technology. I have had many discussions here on Virily, on MyLot and Niume over the years, as well as many on WordPress and LinkedIn about the reality of value. Value is a thing that businesses always more concise. It has intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) structures that can be applied. Value is beyond the simple concept of ROI, or what is called the return on the investment. Value is much harder to measure. For example, I know for my wife, the value of technology is that it works. She, like many people in the profession she is in, doesn’t want to rely on technology that won’t work when she needs it to work.
For my wife is the value is she can call me when things don’t work.
Sometimes she also has her friends call me, but not as much anymore. She knows I am very busy right now.
The concept of value is it makes my life or job easier. The problem is the cost of the value. Many organizations cannot rely on the concept of increased productivity when considering adding solutions to their portfolios. They have to focus on the reality of cost removal. Increased revenue can be a risky proposition for many companies to consider. They limit value to cost-return. They also like to limit value to a three year or less return. That means that 1/3 of the cost is returned to the company in terms of cost avoidance every year in three years. Some companies even look to have a one year or 2-year Return on Investment overall. That makes the value conversation very concrete.
But, the value of things can be very different overall when you consider the potential for increasing revenue generation. I can, as a medical professional, see more patients or clients. I can see as a customer service person, using in-ear translation hardware, reduce the number of languages to be spoken on the helpdesk. By reducing I mean that today you have to hire native speakers of many languages to have a multi-lingual helpdesk with an in-ear translation that is no longer the case.Value is an interesting argument. Having lost many soft dollars (increased productivity and increased revenue) value conversations, I can say understand the audience before you start talking value!