Developing and Implementing an ICT Strategy

Developing and Implementing an ICT Strategy

S.C. Lenny Koh (University of Sheffield, UK) and Stuart Maguire (University of Sheffield, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-424-8.ch003
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Abstract

The introduction of new IS can often have a significant effect on the business practices within an organization. It is important that a lack of understanding of cultural & political issues does not have a detrimental effect on the way that information is used within the organization. New IS often resulting in staff receiving information that they have previously been unable to obtain. It is important that staff to have a greater awareness of issues that might work against a team approach to resolving problems in an ever-changing environment. It is hoped that staff is aware of the specific problems and able to weight the importance of understanding the goals and specifically the information that are crucial to the rest of the organization.
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You and your business need also to face up to your financial responsibilities. By virtue of your company’s size you will most likely not be in the position to recover quickly from ostentatious expenditure. It is imperative that you quantify the cost of ICT, looking at the total cost of ownership. It is also incumbent on you to calculate a well-defined return on investment path (Computer Weekly 2007).

Chief Information Officers (CIOs) need to adopt a venture capitalist approach to I.T. if they are to remain relevant in the prevailing climate of economic growth. This means getting to know the growth plans of the business intimately and determining how to use the resources within I.T. to contribute directly to that growth. CIOs must also consult with the business to shape the demands of I.T. to ensure growth, and not just support (Gartner, July, 2007).

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Introduction

The introduction of new IS can often have a significant effect on the business practices within an organization. It is important that a lack of understanding of cultural & political issues does not have a detrimental effect on the way that information is used within the organization. New IS often resulting in staff receiving information that they have previously been unable to obtain. It is important that staff to have a greater awareness of issues that might work against a team approach to resolving problems in an ever-changing environment. It is hoped that staff is aware of the specific problems and able to weight the importance of understanding the goals and specifically the information that are crucial to the rest of the organization.

Figure 1.

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Creation Of It Awareness

Many organizations are striving to improve organizational effectiveness by the improved use of information. Information awareness can be increase by getting members of the organization from all departments to attend workshop that focus on information related issues.

It is observed that with a vast amount of data within many organizations it is therefore imperative for an organization to be able to synthesize and extract high quality information. Another way of improving organizational effectiveness is to analyse the various systems as business processes. Stand-alone systems have one major advantage - the repercussions of making errors in one department may have a minimal effect on other departments. There is a change of culture in an organization in relation to information and IS perception. The introduction of large integrated systems (i.e. Enterprise Resource Planning ERP) has meant that information is crossing many departmental boundaries both electronically as well as manually. Increasingly these ERP systems are being rolled-out across a range of geographical, industrial and business areas. Rolling out packaged software across multi-site organizations will have a major effect on the various business units (van Fenema et al. 2007).

Figure 2.

As the managers’ grapple with the added complexity of the new situation, this will result in a major cultural change. Therefore, there is a need to raise the awareness of issues such as the quality of information within the organization so that the need is clearly identified. In order to achieve this, setting up a team approach that utilizes the use of information/information systems within organizations is required. The approach is recommended to include several groups of staff:

  • Managers

  • Information Systems Professionals

  • Users

  • Trainers/Human Resource Management/Personnel

This workshop will be able to identify the information flows between business processes undertaken in an organization. It is important that representatives from a majority of departments are included within the workshop. Other organizations that interface with your organization could be involved to gain even more benefit from this particular workshop.

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