Creating Value Through Technology: Discover the Tech that Can Transform Your Business by Andrew Hampshire

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Creating Value Through Technology: Discover the Tech that Can Transform Your Business by Andrew Hampshire

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Category: Business and Finance
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Once you get past the fact that 'value' is a quantifiable figure rather than a vague aspiration, there's gold dust in this book. Andrew Hampshire popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 256 Date: November 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury Business
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1472962041

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I was once told that 'technology' is anything that happens after you're eighteen, so there's been a lot of technology in my life. I once worked for a manager who judged if an accountant was reputable by establishing whether or not they had a typewriter. Times - thankfully - have moved on. Nowadays the problem is that someone running a business doesn't have the time to keep up with constant innovation and they might also be scared because previous IT investments haven't delivered as expected. It's also a fact that no one develops a business because they have the knowledge of the required technology, so they start off in conversations about technology feeling that they're at a disadvantage. They need help, but they frequently don't know what help they need.

This is where Andrew Hampshire and Creating Value Through Technology comes in but you need to understand exactly what this book is about and the clue is in the word 'value'. The word is often used casually - your support is of great value - but Hampshire is not offering vague aspirations: he shows you how you can specifically quantify the value which technology can add to your business. Think in terms of increased shareholder value. You will learn how to link developments to revenue, profits, cash and valuation. There's a chapter on value and value creation which you will need to get your head around: with a background in finance and with the ability to draw up and read accounts I found it comprehensible but not easy going. You might find that a book such as Cost Accounting & Management Essentials You Always Wanted To Know by Vibrant Publishers helpful. It will give you the basics.

'Business' and 'IT' are often seen as separate entities of a business but Hampshire gives you the framework to discuss technology in business terms, ways to establish exactly how any suggested technological improvements will bring quantifiable value to the business. It's possible to avoid technical jargon and vague aspirations and centre the discussions on the financial improvements which can be expected and how the technology strategy can be aligned with the business strategy. It's then a discussion on your terms.

If this seems as though it's going to be a lot to take in - you're right. Hampshire recommends that the book is read through and you then go back to absorb specific points as you need them. At the end of each chapter, there are 'chapter summaries' and these are worth reading first when you go back to the book. There's also the caveat here that the book doesn't pretend to be exhaustive on any particular technology but aims to give you an overview as to whether or not that application could benefit your business: you can then do further research. There's another caveat too, which Hampshire readily gives, and that is that technology will have moved on by the time that the book is published but I felt that there was enough there to give a business manager a starting point and good grounding for years to come.

The emphasis is always on 'how to get the most out of...' with regular points missed by business owners being outlined and explanations of how to get more explained. Acronyms are used and explained but I would have given a lot to have a glossary: when you're taking in a lot of new information you don't always remember precise details. You can use the index for this but it's far from foolproof if you want a quick answer. My only other quibble about the book is that some of the tables are VERY difficult to read and it's difficult to see why, when there was space available to make them more user-friendly. Other than that the book is generally accessible and I much enjoyed Hampshire's ability to produce the perfect analogy to explain a point and I particularly appreciated what he had to say about business intelligence, cloud computing and project management. The last two were gold dust.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

You might also appreciate Boards That Dare: How to Future-proof Today's Corporate Boards by Marc Stigter and Sir Cary Cooper.

Bookinterviews.jpg Andrew Hampshire was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.

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