In today's business environment, Information Technology is a key business enabler, supporting both people and processes in achieving the desired level of performance.
Due to the fast changing environment, organisations require unprecedented data visibility and analysis into the dials and levers that affect their performance. Improving results requires knowing the actual status of the strategy in each moment, monitoring progress and creating levels of accountability for the targets. According to the Ventana Research (2010), two thirds (66%) of organizations were planning to evaluate new technologies for BI and performance management.
In managing performance at strategic level, using the right IT solutions represents a great advantage for the decision making process, as it allows organisations to transform the business strategy into concrete plans and results. These can be further on deployed and administered across all organisational levels (Deloitte, 2010).
The most important benefits for using technology support in strategic performance management are:
- Automatic data collection – less time is spent on gathering data from different sources, if the process is automatic
- Support for decision makers – it offers the required information at the right time
- Efficiently monitoring progress - through timely insight, having access to real time data
- Information integration – More than automation, integration is a key factor for successfully implementing IT solution. Integrating the data available across systems creates value through a more comprehensive view.
Selecting the right technology
Selecting the right software can be a difficult task, as many IT solutions are available on the market from smaller or larger vendors. Technology bridges the gap between organizational strategy and actual performance, if selecting and integrating the right solution is customized.
Some guidelines to consider when choosing the IT solutions for performance management are:
- Assess the needs – why does the organisation need an IT solution? What does IT solution aim to solve and improve to the current status?
- Know the solutions on the market – have an up-to-date research and knowledge on the existing IT solutions for performance management that can answer to the organisation’s needs.
- Rate the solutions – prioritize the solutions researched accordingly to the most important decision criteria (e.g. cost-benefit rate, the way it answers the needs etc).
- Gain insights – ask for insights from practitioners using such tools and / or analyze the main reviews from studies done internationally.
- Integration check – analyze how each solution can be implemented within the organisation in an integrated manner, with the other tools that might already exist or are planned to be used in the future (Turban & Volonino, 2010).
- Deloitte (2010), Performance management technology, available at: http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_CA/ca/services/consulting/technology/performancemanagementtechnology/index.htm(accesat 9 September 2010).
- Turban, E. & Volonino, L. (2010), Information Technology for Management: Improving Performane in the Digital Economy, 7th edn, John Wiley&Sons, Inc., USA.
- Ventana Research (2010), Business Intelligence and Performance Management for the 21st Century, available at: http://intelligent-enterprise.informationweek.com/channels/business_intelligence/showArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=2KTJGT15JLV1TQE1GHPSKHWATMY32JVN?articleID=225200684&pgno=4 (accessed 9 June 2010).