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Yet More on Where You Spend Your Firms’ Capital Matters

by Andrew White  |  October 24, 2018  |  Comments Off on Yet More on Where You Spend Your Firms’ Capital Matters

I blogged in May about Where You Spend Your Firms’ Capital Matters.  I blogged again the other day too: More on How Firms Make Capital Decisions.  I am exploring an idea that intrigues me.  Some firms are more successful than other firms; more and more businesses and parts of our economy use information and technology (I&T, since IT tends to mean technology only and many forget that information is different to technology); yet we know less about what kinds of information and technology can predictably lead to the success observed.  In other words, ir seems that we don’t know what to spend out money on to assure success.

I offered in that first blog a simplistic view for how innovation develops and diffuses across industries and the role of information and technology in that innovation and diffusion process.  I suggested that several discrete ideas, already well known, could be connected into a broader, single view (or synthesis) for how innovation and IT are related.  I also concluded:

  • What you spend your capital (or expenses) on in terms of information and technology makes a difference to your chances of success
  • Beyond the absolute quantity of spend, the sequence of what you spend your money on (and develop or deploy) has a big impact on that assured success
  • Beyond information and technology, business and organizational models and workforce skills are as, if not more, important than technology spend, to assure organizational success.

But I also concluded that there are too few reliable road maps or blue prints that can delivery repeatable, sustainable advantage over time.  Not least since what defines “advantage” changes almost as fast as the kinds of information and technology on offer.  Over time we all see success and we assume we have spotted a best practice.  We apply that best practice in other places and success may follow.  Eventually enough of us follow that best practice and so it falls into the past.

Well I read with great interest a new report from McKinsey.  The firm just published Choosing the right path to growth and flicking through the report it seems to focus on the exact same topic: “To boost organic growth, most companies need a diverse set of initiatives—and how you sequence them matters.”  I am going to download a copy and make copious notes.  I look forward to my blog notes next week!

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Category: growth  innovation  investment  

Andrew White
Research VP
8 years at Gartner
22 years IT industry

Andrew White is a Distinguished Analyst and VP. His roles include Chief of Research and Content Lead for Data and Analytics. His main research focus is data and analytics strategy, platforms, and governance. Read Full Bio

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