A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge
TABLE OF CONTENTS     Infrastructures, Processes, Capabilities, and Cultures   © SCUP 2003
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Value on Investment (VOI) — A New Benchmark (continued)



Chapter 5

Infrastructures, Processes, Capabilities, and Cultures

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  • Rensellaer Polytechnic Institute’s deployment of an e-procurement solution was justified on an ROI basis alone. It dramatically improved the productivity and efficiency of the purchasing process and increased the level of on-contract buying, providing a solid ROI.
  • Many Web applications at the University of Delaware and other leading-edge institutions have reduced the cost and increased the convenience of administrative processing. These Web applications will soon be extended by the new generation of Web services. In their article, “Your Next IT Strategy,” John Hagel III and John Seely Brown have cited corporate applications of Web services by the likes of General Motors, Merrill Lynch, and Dell that yield substantial ROI savings. Some of these examples include applications combining disparate databases and knowledge resources which dramatically reduced costs.
  • ERP can be implemented to increase the efficiency of existing processes, using workflow and productivity tools, better information flows, and improvement of individual performance. This can yield a reasonable ROI. But significant VOI will not be realized without an emphasis on achieving strategic direction, collaboration, and innovation.

So ROI is an important metric when ICT can be used to improve productivity and efficiency of existing academic and/or administrative processes. But VOI is necessary to assess the strategic potential of changing organizational dynamics and innovating better ways of doing things. VOI is a new benchmark for the strategic use of technology.

VOI is key to understanding the real strategic pay-offs from technology to enterprises over the next decade.

What are some examples of the value of intangible technology assets? And how will the new generation of enterprise applications solutions and systems facilitate the attainment of these values? Five elements contribute to the new value proposition for ICT infrastructure, solutions and applications:

  • support process reinvention and innovation,
  • formalize the management of knowledge and intellectual assets,
  • enable collaboration and increase the capacity to learn and develop communities,
  • increase individual and organizational competencies, and
  • implement new leadership methods and capabilities.

Not coincidentally, these elements are also fundamental to preparing enterprises for success in the e-knowledge future. The following descriptions discuss these elements and provide examples of how enterprises are discovering these elements today.


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  Investment in technology must be part of an overall strategy to improve academic performance and achieve institutional goals.
Carol Twigg