Remember the days when being a CIO was fun? Technology projects were abundant. Creative juices were continuously flowing, energizing the company and boosting morale? The tech department was the envy of the institution in an era when technology seemed to be driving the business - rather than the traditional reverse.
Now, we are inundated with gloomy news - the stock market is still faltering, budgets have been cut and colleagues continue to be laid off. The worst of it is tech execs are having trouble getting approval for technology projects that used to make their professional lives worth living.
Nowadays, financial institutions are adhering to the mantra, "No Proof, No Project!" as our cover story illustrates. Gone are the days when painting a cool picture of what the technology might be able to do will win you an endless budget. Business managers are asking for hard numbers and well-thought-out 'what-if scenarios' that can test a technology before an investment is even considered.
It might seem like it takes some fun out of the game, but these technologies will actually make CIOs, CTOs and their departments much stronger. If the new ROI practices work as they claim, more projects will be successful, and less good money will follow bad.
There are always inherent risks involved in embarking on the development of a new technology or buying a system. Now, using algorithms created in-house, or by one of the vendors on the market, a CIO can reduce that risk and ultimately make more informed decisions.
Determining ROI has always been an industry goal. It has been a word tossed around the marketplace for years, but finding a legitimate, standardized ROI process that could be used across the enterprise has always been another matter. It simply did not exist.
Citibank and Merrill Lynch have found processes that they expect will bring the fun back into tech department. These standardized ROI technologies and processes will make tech departments more effective, while giving the executives more confidence in proposed projects.
As a result, more projects will succeed and not only will ROI reign supreme, but so will the CIO.