Value realization, in the simplest terms, is the ability to see return on an investment (ROI).
In the business world, there are many reasons why companies might not see value in their technology investments, but the most common one is the fact that the technology changes faster than people. Think about the number of people who purchase expensive smartphones but only use them to make phone calls and send text messages. Those people could improve their ROI by 1) purchasing a cheaper phone with fewer features or 2) investing time and effort to learn how to use more of the features on their new smartphone.
This is a problem not only for individuals but also groups of individuals, i.e. companies, organizations within companies, and teams within organizations. Scott Brinker, recognizing that technology changes faster than organizations, gave it a name: Martec’s law.
The challenge for organizations is that option 1 is often not an actual option, especially in a world where competitors are successfully adopting new technologies. Option 2’s downside is that it can be very costly.
For technology buyers, achieving value from investments is important for lots of reasons. Valuable time, energy, and budget have been spent vetting the technology, securing internal buy-in, gathering business requirements, implementing, and driving adoption across the organization. But all too often, after these investments are integrated, nothing changes – like that person who uses their smartphone only for phone calls and texting.
Like smartphones, there are many benefits to using technology as intended. Depending on the investment, new technology can bring enhanced efficiencies to the team or make an existing solution better, faster, or smarter. So, if a technology investment is supposed to help, then why do so many companies struggle to adopt new technologies and unlock value realization? Well, it’s the nature of modern business – strategies change, corporate focus shifts, people leave the team, new people join the team. Business is always in flux.
Focus on the customer
The best way to ensure that companies see the true value of their investment is to stay actively involved in the adoption and consumption of the new technology. To drive ongoing consumption and optimization in this environment, look for technology that comes embedded with a focus on customer success – a third option that is not available to our figurative smartphone user.
Great technology providers work with customers to ensure they see the value of their investment – through dedicated advisory resources, activities focused on the customer journey, optimization of day-to-day operations, or the ability to expand use of the technology.
Value realization defined
Salesforce explains value realization as an “effort that creates a quantifiable benefit that accrues to a stakeholder... an example of value realization would be creating greater efficiency that leads to a noticeable improvement in profitability for the whole company.” So, by investing in technology partners that have a keen focus on driving success and showing the value of investments, companies can greatly increase the likelihood of realizing that value.
In fact, this is exactly the solution Scott Brinker proposes to overcome the limitations of Martec's Law. Technology users in organizations should lean on external experts to accelerate change, improve technology adoption and improve ROI, neatly summed up in the image below:
At Sitecore we have been thinking about ways to make this happen. This is the first post in our Value Realization blog series. Read the next post in the series now: Transforming a global business to focus on the entire journey. For more insights from Scott Brinker, you can visit his website at: https://chiefmartec.com.
Michael Greenberg is a Senior Vice President, Global Services at Sitecore. Connect with him on LinkedIn