Summary: A quick look at "The Toyota Way", and how information technology (IT) is looked at from the framework of The Toyota Way.
Here's an interesting quote from a book called The Toyota Way:
It is best to selectively use information technology and often better to use manual processes even when automation is available and would seem to justify its cost in reducing your headcount.
Jeffrey Liker, The Toyota Way
The author goes on to state that people are the most flexible resource you have, and if you aren't solving the problem in an efficient manner currently, it won't be clear where you should automate the process(es). This seems pretty obvious, but as a consultant I did see people throw a lot of money at products (hardware and software) without much of a plan.
I believe a disciplined approach to software development can also keep an organization from wasting money. You'll usually find out during the analysis/requirements/design phase if what you're trying to do makes any sense, and you'll have a ballpark idea how much it will cost.