In my last blog, I touched on the question of when to use technology and when to develop skills. In this blog I’m going to look at the payback on an investment in technology compared with a similar investment in training.

We are often asked to create a financial justification for our training – if I send people on your programmes what is the ROI (i.e. the return on investment)? It’s a fair question and here are a couple of examples of how we answer – real examples of what past participants have done: –

• I will reduce travel to the USA by one trip per annum, which will save £4K plus 14 hours of personal time pa.
• I will reformat my regular meetings to focus on spaghetti team issues and stop doing individual and star group work. This will save time to the value of £15K pa

But what about investment in IT? Are the same questions asked and what is the justification of the regular spend on new hardware?

Not only that, I personally extremely frustrated by repeated “updates” and so-called “upgrades” – the vast majority of which I don’t seem to need and which impair productivity.

I lose 3 to 5 days every year learning to use new programmes and systems without any known productivity uplift. Here are three examples all of which have taken place within the last 12 months: –

1. WebEx completely changed the way their product looks and works
2. MS have changed the way Office 365 works (so that Outlook on my MAC no longer works correctly)
3. On my MAC I have been required to move to Yosemite

It is not my intention to single out anyone – this approach is pretty endemic in the IT industry. But let’ be clear I’d need to find 3-5 days of time savings every year to justify these “upgrades” and currently I don’t see that.

Not only that, I also spend up to £500 per year replacing computers, mobile devices etc. that still work fine but which software “upgrades” have made obsolete. This is to say nothing of the money I pay for IT support just to keep the stuff working.

IT is a cost which we meet without blinking an eye. So why are we not prepared to spend £500 a year on training? By comparison £500 spent with Global Integration will pay for itself in the first year, AND will deliver year on year productivity improvements thereafter at no extra cost, AND won’t require you to spend any further time or money keeping up to date. It’s a “no-brainer”

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About the author:

John Bland As a former Olympian, senior Global Integration Director, John Bland, inspires people to follow their passions and achieve at the very highest levels. He combines this with a vast understanding of cross cultural issues. Company profile: John Bland.

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