SAP, university to study government ROI

The Center for Technology in Government (CTG) and SAP are collaborating on a research project regarding public-sector return on investment (ROI), focused on improving the government's ability to analyze individual information technology projects.

The Center, an independent research organization, is part of the State University of New York at Albany. SAP has contracted with CTG to take part in the research project, which aims to create a comprehensive, nonproprietary public ROI methodology.

Government agencies are under increasing pressure to show how money spent on IT benefits the agency, and by extension, taxpayers. But unlike private-sector businesses, some government benefits can't be easily measured in dollars.

The project also involves companies and individuals from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, Accenture, Gartner Research, Cisco Systems and government agencies in North America and Europe. CTG expects to have a preliminary methodology ready for further testing and development in the next six months.

"For years, assessing public ROI for IT investments has been a complex and difficult problem," said Anthony Cresswell, CTG’s deputy director. "We expect this research to produce results that will make a major contribution to the ability of governments of all types to enhance the political, social and economic value they obtain from IT investments."

SAP launched its own public ROI initiative in May. Its work with CTG is an extension of that program.

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