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About Tom Pisello

Tom Pisello is the CEO of Orlando-based Alinean, the ROI consultancy helping CIOs, consultants and vendors assess and articulate the business value of IT investments. He can be reached at tpisello@alinean.com
Does RFID equal ROI?

The promise of RFID is the dream of every supply chain manager — enabling the accurate real-time tracking of every single product, from manufacture to checkout. Compared to universal product code (UPC) bar coding, which it promises to replace, RFID proactively transmits information, eliminating the manual point-and-read operations needed with bar coding. This enhanced visibility could result in significant decreases in warehouse, distribution and inventory costs, increases in margins and enhancements in customer service.

Evaluating ROI for Anti-spam Initiatives

Nearly 36% of all e-mail messages received today are spam, according to a recent NetIQ study of 750 small and large organizations worldwide. That’s a 6-fold increase over the past three years. The issue has reached such epidemic proportions that if its growth goes unabated, it can potentially ruin the utility and business value of e-mail.

Exchange upgrades can deliver significant ROI

One of the core utilities IT provides to an organization is messaging services, including e-mail, calendaring, task management and collaboration. This utility is surprisingly expensive, especially if the organization runs prior-generation e-mail platforms. A typical Microsoft Exchange 5.5 solution has direct costs of more than $350 per user, per year, including hardware, software, IT operations, support and administration, and overhead. Older versions of same generation e-mail solutions like IBM Lotus Notes are similarly expensive.

Measuring the value of HR solutions

The best way to build broad endorsement — and gain financial approval — for new investments in HR solutions is to build a comprehensive business case that pinpoints all costs, potential benefits, and even project risks. This goes deeper than the simple calculation of ROI = net benefits/total costs, and ultimately, acts as a management tool to ensure that the project stays on course.

CRM ROI: Fact or fiction?
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Getting analysts to agree on the potential returns of CRM is nearly impossible. Several reports published in 2003 claimed that the return on investment (ROI) from recent CRM implementations had been dismal, with eight out of 10 projects failing to deliver on ROI promises, and project failure rates typically running between 50% and 70%. Other reports were more optimistic, estimating that about 70% of companies said their CRM initiatives had exceeded original ROI expectations.

Should you Put your PCs Out to Pasture?

PC shipments to businesses are expected to be substantial in 2004, with a projected 12.7% increase compared with 2003, according to International Data Corp. This is good news for corporate users who have been waiting patiently to invest in much-needed PC upgrades.

Enterprise ROI selling

IT vendors have accepted the fact that closing deals today requires proving that their products deliver substantial value. But, with some budget relief in sight for 2004, vendors may be optimistic about the return of the happy days of pre-bubble selling — and they could abandon their commitment to ROI-based selling programs.

Managing IT According to a Hierarchy of Needs
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The recent article written by Nicholas Carr in Harvard Business Review, “IT Doesn’t Matter,” spurred a huge debate in the press, with analysts, and particularly in budget planning meetings between the CIO and CXO-level executives. In this article, Mr. Carr asserts that IT is a commodity and as such offers little competitive distinction and therefore no competitive advantage. As a result, Mr. Carr suggests that IT investments be curtailed based on the lack of bottom-line impact which can ultimately be derived from such spending.