Published: 18 Jan 2023
  • Updated: 29 Jan 2024

Reimagining IT Spend as Revenue Growth Strategy

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By Tyrone Showers
Co-Founder Taliferro

IT as an Investment

As a Partner at Taliferro Group, I am constantly seeking ways to enhance our company's performance and drive revenue growth. One of the key aspects I've been exploring recently is the way we perceive IT expenses. It's a common notion in the business world to view these expenses as just another cost of doing business. However, I believe there's more to it than that. In my journey to uncover the true potential of IT investments, I've come to realize that they can be powerful tools for revenue generation and overall performance improvement.

The Crucial Shift: From Expense to Investment

For the longest time, I, like many others, considered revenue generation as an expense rather than a return on investment (ROI). It's a mindset that's deeply ingrained in the business world. We tend to categorize revenue as just another cost, often overshadowing its potential to fuel substantial future growth. However, embracing a different perspective, one that equates expenses with investments, can be a game-changer for any business. This shift in mindset is akin to adopting a bottom-line mentality, where we acknowledge that costs should not be viewed as inherently negative. In fact, many successful companies thrive daily by adopting this mindset, considering costs as opportunities for future growth.

So, what if we don't consider software investments as expenses? What should they be then? The answer lies in considering them as potential revenue sources.

Allow me to illustrate this with an example from our own journey at Taliferro Group. We decided to invest $100,000 in implementing a new ERP system for our business. This system promised to streamline collaboration, expedite product launches, and enhance customer service. All of this translated into the potential for increased revenue over time because we'd be able to make quicker decisions and deliver products promptly to meet customer needs. This example underscores the importance of viewing software purchases as investments rather than mere expenses.

Assessing ROI for Software Investments

In my quest to shift our perspective on IT expenses, I've learned the significance of evaluating the return on investment (ROI) for each software or service that can positively impact revenue or productivity in our organization. Researching competitors who have adopted similar tools has been instrumental in our decision-making process. We've been asking ourselves whether their investments have yielded positive financial outcomes. This approach has provided valuable insights into the potential benefits of IT investments.

The Power of a Total View: Insights from Gartner

During my exploration of this topic, I came across a recent survey conducted by Gartner that involved more than 1,000 companies. It revealed that high-performing companies perceive their IT investments as vehicles for growth. Those organizations with a comprehensive view of their IT spending are three times more likely to achieve high-performance status. This finding holds promising implications, especially for small businesses operating with limited technology budgets. To remain competitive, such businesses must ensure that every IT dollar spent contributes meaningfully to their growth.

What struck me most about the survey was the stark difference in attitudes and performance between companies that viewed IT expenses as investments and those that regarded them as mere costs. High-performing companies expressed a significantly more positive outlook:

  • Excellence and Terrific Ratings: Among high-performing companies, 40% described their performance as "excellent" or "terrific." In contrast, this percentage dropped to 26% among average performers and plummeted further to 19% among lagging companies.
  • Growth Metrics: A staggering 57% of high-performing companies reported experiencing growth during the survey period. This figure far exceeded the numbers for mid-level companies (28%) and those lagging behind (21%).

Overcoming Outdated Perspectives on IT Costs

Despite these compelling findings, many organizations remain entrenched in outdated views of IT costs. The survey highlighted a critical gap, revealing that only 38% of businesses take a comprehensive view of their IT spending. Furthermore, a mere 3% track the performance of each investment in software and services they make. This disparity indicates that while most businesses regard expenses as inevitable costs, they often neglect to consider how investing in specific technologies can enhance efficiency and long-term profitability.

Notably, the study found that businesses embracing integrated approaches to IT spending tend to meet or exceed their financial expectations. They are also more likely to allocate larger budgets for IT expenditures. This underscores the pivotal role of digital transformation in reshaping the business landscape.

Unlocking the Power of Digital Transformation

In my role at Taliferro Group, I've come to understand that digital transformation is a multifaceted concept. It encompasses various aspects of business enhancement, from leveraging technology to improve efficiency and customer service to boosting employee productivity and optimizing revenue generation. While not all businesses can completely overhaul their accounting practices, leaders can certainly keep these principles in mind when allocating budgets.


My journey has led me to adopt a perspective that views IT investments as crucial drivers of revenue generation, rather than mere expenses. Many forward-thinking businesses have already embraced this mindset, but others can undoubtedly benefit from making the shift. Collaborating with our accounting department to align with this new approach can accelerate the process, leading to increased growth opportunities. By recognizing IT as an investment in revenue generation, we can navigate the evolving landscape with confidence and purpose, setting the stage for a prosperous future.

Tyrone Showers