State of Technology Investment Decisions in Southeast Asia

The impact of technology is undeniable, but it’s only a business enabler if it translates to business outcomes.

Organizations that do not leverage technology effectively risk getting left behind by those who do. But there’s a difference between simply using technology and using technology as a competitive differentiator. Business leaders are looking at their budgets and wondering how the outcomes from IT investments stack up against their competition.

To find out the state of technology investments and the growing role of tech in business, Asia Online Publishing Group (AOPG) and Apptio have conducted a survey aimed at key IT decision-makers of various large enterprises in Southeast Asia. The survey report “How are Asean Businesses Using Data to Drive Technology Investment Decisions?” looks at how businesses manage their IT spend and connect it to business outcomes. Additionally, we wanted to learn about the tools organizations use for their IT financial management (ITFM).

Organizations want to measure technology investment ROI

With IT touching every part of the business, business leaders are looking toward ROI calculations to justify investments. The survey highlights how traditional ITFM tools like spreadsheets and in-house solutions are asked to complete unnatural tasks due to the amount of cost and operational data generated by cloud solutions. There is a consensus that Technology Business Management (TBM) is a required discipline to deliver technology investment ROI.

Technology is a service that lines of business pay for

Most organizations are recovering IT costs from the business, but a significant proportion of survey respondents do not have a chargeback process. The survey discusses how poor cost-recovery processes undermine the transformation of IT from a back-office support function to a front-office business enabler. The report calls out specific risks when this transformation fails.

Confidence in data drives confident decision-making

A significant minority of survey respondents have low to medium confidence that their financial and operational data gives them the proper visibility into technology spend. The report discusses why some organizations lack this confidence and pinpoints steps they can take to build it up.

Achievable technology transformations

The report highlighted the challenge of investing in Grow and Change activities when significant parts of an IT budget are aligned to Run activities. Survey respondents identified a percentage threshold of Run spend that, if they are under it, indicates financial resources are going to transformational initiatives.

Cloud solutions have transformed the IT operating model and ITFM

The survey captures how traditional IT financial management practices apply to cloud spend. We asked how successful organizations managed their monthly cloud spend and whether they effectively leveraged committed use discounts. There were some shared reasons for challenges with managing monthly cloud spend and one specific challenge that one-third of all respondents experienced. This challenge highlights how most organizations need to take further steps to drive value out of the cloud.

The role of IT has changed — and so have the priorities

The number one business priority identified in the “How are Asean Businesses Using Data to Drive Technology Investment Decisions? survey report shows a fundamental shift in where IT leaders see their responsibility. It is no longer about supporting the organization by running the technology; they now realize that IT drives the business.

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