Measuring the return on technology investment has been the holy grail for CEOs and CIOs for the past 30 years. Much effort has been expended trying to quantify the returns in terms of sales growth and cost reduction from the tens of millions of dollars invested in each new wave of technology ­ from mainframes to PCs, to client/server, to ERP, to the Web. Generally, the results have been inconclusive and seem restricted to broad statements about productivity increases being somehow tied to technology investments. This loose, causal relationship has been discomforting for many business leaders.

Many organizations are still investing significant time and effort in complex measurement processes to attempt to track returns. However, some are now be- ginning to question the value of the exercise. For many, the return on IT investment is a pointless question with no meaningful answer.

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