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Your best IT investment this year? It might be what you’ve already got

While the tech giants bang the ‘digital disruption’ drum and business leaders scramble to understand what the Fourth Industrial Revolution means, a piece of research quietly landed on my desk this week that poured cold water over some of the hype.

According to TomTom Telematics more than half of UK business (56 per cent) have invested in technology over the past five years that has been underused.

A lack of guidance and support from suppliers was found to be the number one reason for this, highlighted by 47 per cent of businesses. Forty-five per cent also said they lacked a dedicated resource to make use of the technology while more than a third (37 per cent) said the technology was incompatible with existing systems and processes.

“Investment in technology is crucial in helping businesses to stay nimble, adapt to changes in the market and to turn operational data into genuine business intelligence,” said Beverley Wise, Director UK & Ireland at TomTom Telematics. “But investment alone is not enough and many organisations do not get the results they anticipate because they fail to plan beyond the implementation phase.

The study among senior managers at 400 UK businesses also found the average annual spend on new technology among those businesses was £20,036. But despite this investment, more than one in 10 (11 per cent) never, or rarely, use data from business technology to inform decision-making. A further 28 per cent say they only do so occasionally.

The research doesn’t entirely surprise me. The features available in Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 are now mind-boggling - even our own consulting team have to work hard to keep up. And the massive scale of Microsoft’s investment in the Cloud and their software suite continues to accelerate the cycle of innovation.

Many established organisations fear they’re getting left behind, yet if they’ve already invested in the likes of Office 365 and Dynamics 365 front/back office systems they’re on a solid footing. The Cloud, after all, is about opening up scalable and flexible computing power; letting you stand tall on the shoulders of giants.

As a Microsoft Partner whose mission is to help clients get more from their investment in Microsoft technologies, Crimson runs Art Of The Possible workshops that take a closer look at the suite of Microsoft tools you have already invested in, but probably aren’t making use of. The workshop typically lasts three hours and is tailored to your priorities.

For qualifying companies the session with our senior business consultants is free. You can learn more about Art Of The Possible here.