Benefits Realization: The Competitive Advantage

“Benefits Realization: The Competitive Advantage” with Prashanth Naidu Director, Office of CIO at Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)

By Pushpa Chandrashekaraiah

August 2012 Event

Prashanth Naidu leads Strategic and Financial Planning, Portfolio Management and Executive Communications. He discussed how critical it is to set specific goals, measure them consistently and adopt the outcomes to improve processes in his IT Department. He generalized the topic to include rolling out a new project, product or a process.

“Measuring business values is more important than just identifying them”.

Setting corporate goals and priorities

Corporate objectives are always quite broad and deep. Prashanth emphasized multiple times that the goals should be very specific and detailed. A Governance Model any project adopts has 4 steps 1) strategic alignment 2) project approvals 3) project tracking and 4) measuring the benefits. Most of the companies will be successful in completing the first three steps, however, the last step is the key to keep your products learning and improving.

Prashanth cautioned not to measure all projects, because, the cost involved may get overly expensive. So, having certain boundaries such as all projects whose budget exceeds $100K should be measured.

The timing when the measurements of projects begin is also quite important. Six months after rolling a project may be enough time for users to get adequately accustomed to a product or process before they start providing feedback.

Realizing Benefits

Receiving prompt feedback from the users of the product or process is necessary to get analytical results. If you either reward or penalize your users based on the kind of feedback they provide, they start making up feedback to achieve optimal outcomes. This leads to less accurate or even unreliable data for your measurements causing failed analytics.

Another way to motivate your users to provide accurate data is to show them the value of their feedback in analyzing the company’s investment in the project. For example, if time to book online purchases is drastically reduced, number of orders will increase and thus revenue will dramatically improve.

He wrapped up the discussion with one last important thing – to measure all these metrics, the technology you select is as important as executing projects. At HDS, Prashanth’s team sets detailed corporate goals and finds a match with IT vendors that can help them achieve their goals.

Being a Product Manager of Analytics at Oracle, I completely agree with Prashant that setting specific goals is as important as executing the project itself. This will provide ways to measure ROI on your investments.

Everything is measurable!

Pushpa Chandrashekaraiah is a Sir Product Manager for Utilities Analytics at Oracle. With 11 years of PM and engineering experience, she has successfully launched analytics products and engineered transactional applications. Her interest is in big data enterprise market. She can be contacted at:,