Information Technology Change Management

Enormous successes and ground-breaking achievements in the technological field, the spread of technologies throughout all the spheres of human life are the most striking features of the world economy. Information technology becomes the fundamental element and the driving factor for the development of the modern postindustrial society. While offering vast business opportunities, IT at the same time creates a highly competitive, dynamic and changing realm of interaction. Elaborate IT change management becomes crucial for organizations to survive in the challenging business environment.

Change management, in general, is understood as a process of constant adjustment of the organization’s activities in agreement with the conditions of the current environment, improvement of the organizational structure and search for the new opportunities (Brisson-Banks, 2010). There exist a range of models of change, and most of them suggest that the process of change management includes such steps as evaluation of the current situation, development of possible responses to the organization to changes based on its SWOT characteristics, implementation of the new steps (Brisson-Banks, 2010). From this point of view, information technologies can themselves be seen as driving factors of change. The need for the IT in the modern economy is caused by globalization processes, changes concerning free competition, constant enterprise transformation and increasing the value of knowledge. IT changes business expectations “in terms of speed of execution, time limitations, reduction or even elimination of distance barriers, and perception of services delivered” (Botha, Kourie, & Snyman, 2008, p. 8).

The need and readiness for quick response to the emerging changes in information technologies should be expressed in the company’s strategy. Bytheway notes that “The rapid change in the nature and capability of information technology products and services undermines our ability to manage information technology successfully” (2014, p. 41). Establishing a well-thought strategy for IT implementation, maintenance, and change management becomes one of the most important parts of the overall strategy of the companies. If the company wants to make IT a competitive advantage is should have a clear understanding of the information needs of all elements participating in the business processes of the enterprise. The company should clearly understand the impact of IT on the prospects of its development (Cox, 2014).

While working out the IT strategy, the company should analyze the current state of its information infrastructure, evaluate the present and needed resources, define weak points, and establish the desired standards of IT services. The practical steps of IT strategy implementation may include IT budget planning, the definition of the desired suppliers, the creation of the technology portfolio indicating IT products and services the company requires now and those it may need in the future (Bytheway, 2014). Among the key IT problems that may require changes establishment are vendor neglect, support burden, resistance to the use of new technology, integration issues, demands for the extra training of employees to use new software (Benamati & Lederer, 2010).

When developing the future or renewing the current IT strategy the companies should keep in mind the global changes in the technology market. The Gartner Corporation, the leading analytical institution in the IT sphere, defined such key trends in the digital environment for 2016: devise interconnectedness, ambient user experience, adaptive security and system architecture, further spread of “information of everything” phenomenon (Gartner, 2015).

Overall, it can be seen that management of changes in IT becomes one of the key points while developing an effective IT strategy of the organization. Changes should not be perceived as something unexpected and threatening; every change can become a fount of possibilities.

References

Benamati, J., & Lederer, A. (2010). Managing the impact of rapid IT change. Information Resources Management Journal, 23(1), 1-16.

Botha, A., Kourie, D., Snyman, R. (2014). Coping with continuous change in the business environment: Knowledge management and knowledge management technology. Oxford, UK: Chandos Publications.

Brisson-Banks, C. (2010). Managing change and transitions: A comparison of different models and their commonalities. Library Management 31(4), 241-252.

Bytheway, A. (2008). Investing in information: The information management body of knowledge. Oxford, UK: Elsevier.

Cox, S. (2014). Managing information in organizations: A practical guide to implementing an information management strategy. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Gartner. (2015). Gartner identifies the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2016. Web.