As a CEO, CIO or student of Business Management you will understand that Information and Communication’s Technology (ICT, also known as IT) has become an essential and all pervasive element in the fabric of corporate life. What I mean by ICT encompasses three essential elements: Processes, Information and Technology. Indeed ICT – and more importantly Information, Processes and their Management (IM) – should in my view should be viewed as essential corporate assets, they should be made to work as contemporary business enablers; they should bring about value-adding alignment in business; and, should therefore be managed as such. Although significantly, it typically doesn’t work in that way.
The tangibles and intangibles of ICT, and perhaps more pointedly IM, should not be viewed as corporate assets simply because they frequently require capital expenditure; having additional ICT related assets piled on top of other traditional assets of a somewhat dubious nature and value, such as debtors, underutilized real estate or artificially high stock overheads, is not really the way to proceed with a serious evaluation of tangible, intrinsically valuable and convertible assets.
ICT together with IM should work together as contemporary business enablers; not as a way of channelling funds into low-value and high-cost pet projects, of constraining business because of ego or hubris, or of putting up barriers to value-adding commercial progress. ICT is a crucial element in providing a viable way to realize business objectives, and the intelligent and pragmatic application of ICT is the best way to empower a more agile organization, in which people have the tools and technologies at their disposal which allow them to work even more effectively and efficiently towards the goals of corporate strategies, whilst ensuring the smooth running of the everyday operations and tactical decision making of the business – together with the ability to manage change as if it were second nature.
ICT and IM should be aligned with the business, and never seriously attempted the other way around. The way, for example, that a business wishes to interact with its clients, prospective clients and suppliers should be driven by how the business wants the client relationship driven, the way the business is focused on the market and only then delivered using a string technological base.
In addition, if ICT and IM are really assets worth having then their value must be well understood both in order to manage the assets as well as to leverage additional value from those assets.
These approaches would deliver quality ICT and IM functions that almost any organization would be continually satisfied with.
Many thanks for reading.
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