Proving return-on-investment for a technology initiative can be daunting, especially when decision makers have only a rudimentary understanding of new technology, or when the initiative requires a significant investment in hardware.

AV Network Magazine tackled this topic recently in an article titled “Defining Success with Metric for Digital Signage.” In it, the author advocates running a pilot program on a scale that can provide statistically valuable metrics. Luckily, the emerging “Sharing Economy” makes it easier than ever to create a temporary infrastructure for pilot programs at a low cost, without long-term obligations.

Here are 3 ways to make a pilot program successful:

  • Define C-Suite friendly metrics – Let’s face it, if it were up to us we’d have the most awesome tech program the world has seen! Fortunately for most, you are part of a larger team, a whole organization in fact, and that means things must be prioritized. If you are at a level in an organization where instituting a new tech initiative is part of your job, then you know decision makers need to see how the program aligns with c-suite objectives before it can be approved. Attach dollars to performance by connecting the dots between performance, sales and revenue. Yes, there is a difference between sales and revenue. Understanding that difference could make the difference between having your initiative approved or not.
  • Use Technology Rentals – Technology is evolving faster than the applications run on them. This means it may be that you don’t need a top-of-the-line workstation with a 4k display, or it might mean that you do. By renting IT equipment you can test a spectrum of technology to find the perfect ratio between price-point and performance for your initiative. Perhaps the metrics will show that the 4k display is absolutely necessary! (Wink, nudge.)
  • Use Temporary Staff – A big cost associated with any initiative is staff, so getting the workflow right and translating it into numbers is essential. One bright spot for businesses coming out of the recession has been the evolution of temporary staffing agencies. Today specialized staffing agencies like Robert Half, which places creative services staff for all aspects of content development and experts in Technology & IT, are playing a meaningful role in the recovering economy by offering low-cost staffing solution for business on the rebound.

Bottom-line: Relying on temporary solutions like equipment rentals and temporary staffing agencies can clear the way for a pilot program that collects the ROI metrics necessary to gain c-suite approval for a new tech initiative.