"The next information revolution is well under way...It is not a revolution in technology, machinery, techniques, software, or speed. It is a revolution in CONCEPTS." (Drucker, 1998)"Corporate or orga...
"The next information revolution is well under way... It is not a revolution in technology, machinery, techniques, software, or speed. It is a revolution in CONCEPTS." (Drucker, 1998)
"Corporate or organisational change". Big words, but what do they mean?
Within an organisation there is a culture, sometimes good sometimes bad. Some of it is subtle, like how does an organisation and the staff adopt and use technology?
This article concentrates on Technology Adoption and Change.
It strikes me, having worked with computers since the early 80's and used email since the mid 80's that some people have not reached the 20th century let alone the 21st century. I liken it to a car. Most people drive a car and use all the gears; with technology most people seem to use 1st and maybe 2nd gear but do not even know that it has 1 maybe 3 more gears.
Technology seems to be a big mystery still to a lot of people. Well what do we do?
Technology can make an organisation and staff so much more productive; make internal and external communications so much easier and efficient. Reporting on events, finances are so much easier with the use of technology. That is, save time and money.
Technology is providing a revolution in the workplace and at home. The problem is that most humans have not caught up with 10% of it yet.
I have some suggestions and plans about how we can make organisation and staff much more in tune with the latest IT (Information Technology)
Information Technology (IT) Plan Each organisation really needs an IT plan. What technology do you need, what training do you need, how will you implement IT across the organisation? What do you need and what can you afford, or can you not afford not to have the time and money involved? If you are still doing things manually and have a mountain of paperwork, will your organisation be around in 2 years time? Should you buy or lease some our all of your IT needs?
Staff Training and awareness One critical thing I have found is that an organisation can provide the latest technology but staff need training in how to use it and on an ongoing basis. It is not good enough to have one session on some new technology and then say that is it!
There seems to be some fear of IT and some reluctance to learn and adopt sometimes as well, this can be for an individual or an organisation as a whole.
I believe one should use and reflect IT internally so that externally you will be seen as a user of IT.
Computers and Networks Are the computers you have adequate or should you look at an ongoing replacement plan? Should the computers be networked so you can rationalise resources like the Internet and printers, scanners etc? Are there better ways of doing what you are doing? Should you not review current policies and procedures in the light of advancing IT and adopt new methods for doing things? You could for instance abandon a lot of face-to-face meetings, paperwork etc if you adopted new technology like Web cams and an online briefcase!
Common software Is the software you are using common across the organisation and is it adequate for the tasks expected, not an overkill or an underkill? Is the software legal and what is the plan to keep up to date with software and related issues?
Agreed process for communication and reporting of information Does the organisation have an agreed internal and external communications and reporting procedure? And more importantly is it used every day by everybody?
Training should be given to all staff on an ongoing basis as to the processes for communications and reporting.
Internet The Internet is such a wonderful tool for research, communication, software, updates, ebusiness, b2b, etc, but how little it is understood and used!
The Internet should be your first choice, for communication, to look up a phone number or to find software or information, the cost and speed is usually much better than by any other means.
Things that should be used on the Internet; * Email * Online Banking * Organisation Website * News Groups * Briefcase * Information * Software * Support * Sales * Virtual Office
Like today, I had a bid in on a LAN card, I have won the bid, contacted the seller and expect it will be at my address on my return from my current business trip. All done online and some 400 miles away from usual office. What would we do without the Internet.
Email Perhaps one of the most widely used part of the Internet is Email. But it is one of the most abused. I spend Monday mornings downloading the weekend's email; this is usually round 150 to 200 emails of which 95% is spam and or junk mail. Most un-solicited mail turns me right off in a big hurry.
The other way email is abused is friends and associates sending large attachments. When I would far prefer the idea of sending me a link to the file and then I will decide whether to download it or not.
Perhaps the last thing is all the viruses sent by email. Personally I do not use or recommend Outlook Express or MS Exchange as they constantly attacked with viruses. I use Incredimail from www.incredimail.com as it is fun and also recommend Foxmail, or Pegasus etc.
I do not recommend Outlook Express or MS email as these are the ones attacked most often with viruses and anyway the are dumb programs.
WWW: World Wide Web (or sometimes Wait) Well this is the new toy on the block, but is only a real small part of the Internet. There are other things like the newsgroups at http://groups.google.com and like ftp, try ftp://ftp.paradise.net.nz/VideoClips/ has some great movie clips, etc.
However the WWW is great for getting info, buying some stuff and getting info out there! Just remember please that it and email are only 10% of what the Internet actually offers. But hey have fun out there!
Security: Viirus and Firewall as well as Encryption. I use a free virus checker as I do not like Mcafee or Nortons and of course you must have a firewall to stop attacks on your computer and people looking at stuff or obtaining stuff they should not have access to.
This does not stop everything so precautions are still needed. I spent several hours today tracking down and eliminating a Casino Worm, a program that was always trying to get me to enter a Casino Online.
I think I probably got it from a friend and they are "a bugger" to get rid of.
There is also a case for encrypting sensitive data and using the Internet as a Virtual Office, if you have the right systems and procedures in place and everybody has the skills, software and willingness to use the Internet for video conferencing, email, document sharing etc. It means that meetings can be arranged globally and time is saved to get the job done. This is at www.pgpi.org
Meeting people face to face is important; but so is saving time and money.
Data Mining This is the art of collecting information you already have and now mostly on computer, to use in other ways. Perhaps list of creditors and debtors as a target market for your products and services. Or perhaps information you have collected or developed as a new and different product.
Most organisations have a mountain of information and data, but do not use in different and innovate ways.
Information Gathering Is similar to data mining, but is the idea of say, having a free newsletter on your website, a means of gathering nformation and potential customers.
E-Business Nowadays you just need to be part of the IT revolution whether your organisations is for profit or not. A website is a real tool to get information out there. To talk to potential and existing clients and to perhaps sell products and services as well.
Knowledge Management This is the idea that organisations and the staff of the organisations gather a raft of information. Not many organisations actually manage the process of storing that information and protecting the organisations from brain drain or loss. A disaster plan would identify critical areas, of data protection and backup and of human knowledge. If your main IT person leaves or departs, particularly due to some sudden event, have you captured that information?
Use of Templates for common repetitive tasks see a sample at http://eastcoast.hypermart.net utor
Human Element/Interaction Do the people using the technology have a say and are familiar and use the technology? Each staff member should have a clear file with printouts of flowcharts and processes for the use of IT. Each staff member should have a personal development plan particularly in the use of IT, tailored for their needs and the organisation needs.
Human fear of change, of going out of ones comfort zone, of accepting life as a challenge and obstacles are things to be overcome.
USE Information Technology with all the amazing powers of the web , but strive to keep your life in BALANCE. With the web and e-mail, we must always keep technology in perspective - by using it for 'ease of communication at the click of a mouse', to make our lives easier and market products and services around the globe efficiently and cheaply. MANAGE IT WELL, OR IT WILL MANAGE US in the early days of this "New Age of Wisdom"!