A manager wrote to me: “I agree with you that Information Technology (IT) is important but how can you implement IT in a company as smooth as possible and not wasting time and money? Please advise.
Answer: Many companies are making mistake by buying technology (Hardware, software, server, networks etc.) and force workers to use it. To bring in technology to improve performance, you must start with proper training. It means both managers and workers must understand IT and its impacts as well as its benefits then agree to the change. This is a challenge and difficult thing to do as most people do not like to change anything. Company owners must set clear vision and goals for people to follow then start the training until everybody is ready and willing to change then you can bring in the technology and implement the needed change in the company. By bring in technology early without the understanding and accepting of workers, you may face strong resistance to the use of technology and things will not improve as smooth as expected.
To apply technology to current works, people have to change first and the only way for them to change is to educate them about technology and how it will help them to do their job faster and better. For example, managers must explain why use regular mail when you can use email? Why making a phone call when you can send text message? Why keeping a drawer full of paper and documents when you can store everything in the database and access them quickly? Why wasting several months to gather data and write business reports when you can automate and use advanced business intelligent software to generate reports? When workers understand the benefits of information technology and receive proper trainings, they will accept the change.
In this fast changing business market, and with competition happens at the global scale, company owners must re-evaluate the effectiveness of their business strategies and pay special attention to the implementation of technology for efficiency and effectiveness. Today IT is no longer a supporting function but transforms into a strategic function as without strong IT capabilities, company cannot compete. However implementing IT is much easier as company does not need to buy a lot of equipments (Hardware, software, servers etc.) as many things can be done by cloud computing providers. This allows company to focus on the real business rather than pay attention to IT.
As businesses is changing from manual to automate, from reducing cost to improving growth, more companies will be using IT as an advantage to stay competitive and fulfill business needs. In a recent survey conducted early in 2014, about 85% of company leaders indicated that by implementing IT to help business improvement they have achieved their business goals over the past three years.
- Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University