In the current global market, no matter if you’re a big or small company, in order to stay alive you need to invest in IT. This doesn’t necessarily mean that if you pour a bunch load of money into top of the line hardware or the latest software out there all of your problems will magically disappear. Here is were a well thought out plan needs to go into gear in order to get the most out ofyour digitized platform and most importantly at the minimum cost possible. By addressing IT related business problems, any firm can easily increase their margins up to 20% higher than their competitors. What company doesn’t want a 20% advantage over the competition?
After analyzing my company, which is a service oriented governmental institution; I was able to determine some of the factorsthat need improvement in order to get better results in less time and at a lower cost. On the survey from IT Savvy my company ended up with a score of minus four (- 4) which according to the book firms within that range have below average return per dollar invested on IT compared to the industry. This means there are number of areas for improvement which I believe is the situation of the company Icurrently work in.
I currently work as a specialist in the Export Promotion Department in the New Business Unit. I’m in charge of administrating the Trade Point program which is an e-commerce tool for exporters that promotes their export offers available in the company website. This platform was developed in house in the IT department emulating a program from the UNCTAD (United NationsConference on Trade and Development) of which we were members and the only accredited institution. This program was launched in 2001 and hasn’t had any new development or as I would call a facelift to optimize its use.
One issue I encountered is that the program was developed in order to be a user-based program were the user paid a yearly fee and updated and managed its own profile. The problem takesplace when the institution decides to open the use of the program and begins to give free access to the users. The other change is that know the offers and demands published on the program are to be submitted threw the Trade Point specialist given that the export sector to whom we give service to (small and medium companies) do not possess the knowledge or even access to Internet. The program hashad some changes but I believe that there is still a lot to do in order to give value to the program. This problem repeats itself through out the whole company. The company does poses digitized platforms, but they’re either out of date or don’t meet the customers (internal and external) needs. Another issue is that employees are not IT Savvy at all. The use of the digitized platforms are minimumand I perceive that theres no plan in the near future to change that situation. Also, the IT team is very IT Savvy but they’re not very motivated in terms of innovation. Our senior Managers are always open to new proposals but the other issue encountered is a lack of funding in all areas due to a reduction of the annual budget tying the IT departments hands.
I believe that we are actually instage 1 of the 4 stages of developing a digitized platform presented in chapter 4 of the book IT Savvy. I’m currently presenting a project in which we are to include a new free user-based search engine from a private company with a far more advanced business data base that will enrich our own portal and that will ENABLE us to further develop our own program. Integrating this new technology willalso allow us to use the data provided in order to make better strategic decisions in the future.
In order to get my company to an IT Savvy level, I have a set of recommendations taking into account the lessons learned through out this class which our the following:
Make use of the 3 obsessions of IT Savvy firms in order to fix what’s currently broken, start building the new platform which is...