7 signs it's time to kill an IT investment

Saying good-bye is hard to do. Worse, however, is pouring precious resources into a project that's doomed to failure.

7 signs it's time to kill an IT investment
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The business case seemed rock solid. Your management colleagues agreed that the investment made sense from every angle. Over time, however, it has become apparent that everybody was dead wrong. Key indicators are signaling that the project is not only failing to meet expectations, but likely headed toward utter failure. Now what?

Knowing when to pull the plug on a failing IT investment before it craters, wiping away time, money, and competitive advantage, is a skill every top CIO possesses. Acquiring this ability requires a combination of insight, experience, and a willingness to pay close attention to the warning signs that indicate a once-promising IT investment may soon be rolling into the digital morgue.

Here are 7 indicators that show it may be time to place a wreath on a once bright and rosy initiative.

1. The project requires constant reexaminations and revisions

Strategic IT investments entail risk, but are generally forward-looking in nature. "They are bets made to proactively create digital options for the firm," explains T. Ravichandran, professor of supply chain management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Yet if an investment leads to a project that isn't fully up and running within a pre-defined time-frame — perhaps six months or a year — it might be time to rethink the initiative's strategy and goals, or to move on to something else.

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