ICT and business

The massive use of ICT in the daily operation of organizations has become widespread. The ability to define and manage an ICT strategy in accordance with the objectives and organizational structure of an institution has become an inexcusable obligation for its management staff.  bacobolts

Every year the sales managers of the big computer and telecommunications companies announce the definitive technological panacea that will solve the problems of any organization. In any case, in companies there is always a two-way relationship between the organization and its information systems. The organization is open to the impacts of information systems and these must be aligned with the objectives of the organization. There are mediating factors that influence the interaction between ICT and organizations.

There are several types of organization definitions: from definitions focused on the technical aspect that consider the organization as a set of processing resources to produce an output in the form of products or services, to definitions focused on behaviors, which speak of a set of rights, responsibilities and obligations.

Despite the diversity of organizations that may exist, they all share common characteristics: standard operating procedures and an organizational policy. Among the natural characteristics is resistance to large organizational changes. We must also think about what is called “organizational culture” , with its implicit principles and its unifying force, also resistant to change.

The patterns of activities that employees undertake are also being affected, in areas such as:

1.            Organizational processes

2.            Skills and work patterns

3.            Organizational structures

The ICT can simply be used to automate existing processes, but most likely is that the activities are at least rationalized, to take advantage of the new possibilities that technology creates, and in some cases the processes need to be substantially redesigned. Therefore, the impacts on organizational processes are notorious and can be very profound.

The expectation is that the changes will bring considerable benefits, but often those benefits are only realized in the medium term. Commonly, the short-term impact on the organization and its profitability is seen as negative, the investment is made, an exceptional expense, and the existing routine is broken.

By introducing new information and communication technologies, the work patterns and skills that they require may be very different from those they had before. Computer and communication skills are vital. Some processes that were done in batches, can be oriented to be carried out immediately, upon request, to meet the needs of customers. There may also be effects on working hours, such as the ability to extend customer support outside of normal business hours. These technologies also offer the possibility of developing jobs at the client's headquarters, or at the worker's residence (teleworking), maintaining at all times the necessary communication and exchange of information with the headquarters of the company.

Also the organizational structure is impacted by ICT . Increasingly, the approach tends to give importance to business processes, and to consider the hierarchy of administrators and supervisors as less important , converging towards increasingly flat organizations. Organizational units that function as mini-empires are often inefficient because of their resistance to change. When computing and communications technologies are implemented, these units tend to be replaced by looser groups, not associated by functional lines, such as marketing or production, but along the business chain that adds value to the raw material to produce products. end.

The management of the information generated by an organization (in its products and in its production chain) must be consistent with the organizational structure adopted.

 

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