August 06, 2012

IT Management

In Non IT organization smaller percentage of resources and capabilities drive the major portion of the financial statements.

How does that statement relate to IT? The software development process caused the boom of IT during late 90's and early 2000's. The process that was well managed by huge organizations like IBM, EDS, Microsoft or Oracle was now passed on to the smaller organizations and they were able to manage it equally well. The problem with that approach is that these organizations had the domain expertise of managing IT but not of the rest of the industry. It takes several years to understand and utilize the experience in IT management for specific domains. Technology keeps on changing every year and IT evolves to a different level every year due to improved infrastructure and platforms that provide services. E.g. Blackberry brought the revolution by introducing the smart phone that enables to check the emails. Having said so many organizations started thinking of support for future smart phones to enhance their business capabilities.

Are organizations changing with enough pace to meet customer's needs? How does these things relate to Non-It organizations?

Non-IT organizations have their domain specific resources and capabilities that give them competitive edge over other business in their respective domains. IT introduced a dramatic change in the way users consume the information and the services. Who won in this battle of serving customers with introduction of IT? The organizations who were early adapters of IT were certainly the winners. They were able to create the brand around IT and had a distinctive edge over the competitors. Do you see any problem in this? Many organizations who were early adaptors failed in the later stages and many emerged with the emerging technology. The factors of success and failure boils down to the management of IT in these organizations.

Let's take example of an early adopter who succeeded over the period of time: The core business of the company is an online retail store. To enable its core business it had created an online computing platform which later came to be known as the cloud computing platform for the company. Now is doing good on both the retail and cloud computing platform. It took several years of internal and external expertise to understand the core business and relate IT to retail industry. They effectively managed the platform and the focused on the core business. Looking at the current trend; online store would be the major driver for the financial statements for

What companies fail to understand is the part of external and internal expertise. Internal expertise is the domain expertise and the approaches that failed to meet the business requirements. They are mainly the DONT's of various approaches of IT. External expertises represent the new approaches used by experts of IT domains to solve specific business problem or the processed used to minimize the cost. This helps the organization to keep the focus on the core business and increase the coherence between IT and the business needs. A good example of such external expertise / resources & capabilities would be any big organization (I's and A's not to take any specific name) of the industry who has been providing IT services to all sectors of Industry. They know how to manage the IT and how to relate it to the domain. External expertise also includes individual consultants who focus on processes and the approaches used to solve business problem. The term process and approach is important because in 95% of cases of failure it is not the individual who took the wrong decision that led to failure but it̢۪s the process the individual followed and the data available to the individual that enabled the individual to take the decision. Internal expertise is restricted to the approaches used by the particular domain in which the organization is but external expertise would be a combination of multiple domains and the approaches to resolve the business problem can be a collection of outstanding approaches from various sectors of the industry and which would meet the business need effectively.

Managing IT in non IT
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Internal expertise is influenced by the work culture and it is controlled by few influential individuals who have worked in the organization longer than most of their colleagues. This restricts the thought process and the approaches used in the organizations to solve business problems. Organizations constantly need external expertise to challenge the internal expertise and the approaches to validate the current efficiency and effectiveness of the business solutions used. Organizations who fail to maintain the right balance of external and internal expertise also fail to the challenges presented by the new and emerging technology.
Organizations should be open to accept the changes and be prepared for the agility and the proactive change that would lead it to success.

--Tip: If you want to change the structure of the organization or the work culture of the organization; start it by hiring the BOSS who loves to work in the new desired work culture or structure.

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