Essential Case Facts
Advancement in the information technology front has prompted business enterprises to incorporate IT within their operations as a means of enhancing goal achievement. Retail chains have particularly benefited from the capabilities of IT as they can deal with critical information in real-time, including communicating with their business partners on time to limit operation costs (Venkatagiri and Prakash 2).
IT is relied upon in many ways by businesses to enhance operations. Communication is supported through the use of emails, while businesses can also sell their products online through various IT platforms. Data handling and operations have also been enhanced by IT because organizations can now retain huge databases and still find it easy to obtain any piece of information that could be needed (Venkatagiri and Prakash 5). The speed and accuracy at which data is obtained by organizations has improved overall quality of operations and service delivery to the clientele. Workflow tracking and management has been made easy by IT, particularly where a business organization’s activities entail diverse processes.
Technology has become one of the major headaches in contemporary business, despite the various positive aspects of IT in business. IT is highly dynamic and requires constant review and replacement for a company to keep pace with its competitors. It may become too costly for the organization to bear in the long run given the costs involved in reviewing IT platforms and maintaining skilled personnel. Equally, the numerous IT platforms and programs offer the challenge of compatibility where enterprises need to integrate and merge their systems (Venkatagiri and Prakash 10). Such challenges end up limiting the organization’s ability to fully realize the anticipated benefits of IT integration in business.
Enterprises operate in a highly dynamic business environment where business processes are constantly being modified. As such, organizations are required to work speedily and conceive processes internally to address the gaps or acquire external processes as an alternative. As the processes keep on changing, organizations are also expected to retrain their workers constantly to be able to handle the new processes that are adopted. The frequent trainings and constant acquisition of these processes are costly exercises that consume an organization’s revenue continuously. IT is incorporated in business with the view of increasing efficiency, thus the constant excessive expenditure on process reviews and staff training beats this logic. Organizations cannot achieve efficiency if their operating costs are constantly increased by IT.
Achieving standard operating procedures (SOP) for enterprises with IT packages continues to be a challenge. Enterprises such as retail stores need to establish an IT platform across all their branches and networks to easily track and manage their overall operations. However, such SOP packages are obscure and they make it challenging for managers to oversee the management of their organizations as anticipated. Companies that succeed to roll out such platforms, however, still have to contend with challenges such as incorporating mid-course changes every time the company is faced with the need to evolve its processes. Sometimes organizations are forced to derive their solutions to this challenge by resorting to emails, phone calls, and spreadsheets as a means of addressing the inadequacies. However, this ends up affecting the quality of information being relayed, which in turn affects the organization’s overall efficiency in operations.
Alternative Solutions to Dilemmas
The highly dynamic business environment and the uncertainty related to IT can be effectively handled by organizations by establishing their own internal IT functions and skills. Having an internal IT function means that the organization constantly studies its operating environment and continuously identifies the IT needs that the organization will require shortly. It, therefore, saves the organization the trouble of seeking for an appropriate IT process to replace its old platform as a result of evolution. This approach is time-consuming and affects the overall operation flow.
The organization remains reactive rather than proactive in matters affecting its IT needs. Any organization that acts reactively when addressing its IT needs lags in terms of deriving the full benefits of technology in its operations due to the highly dynamic nature of IT solutions. A proactive approach also implies that the organization enjoys a greater ability to control IT-related costs and augments its efficiency in operations.
It is very challenging for companies to fully satisfy all the needs of an internal IT function. Such an arrangement requires extensive budgets to effectively fund continuous research and development activities. The firm will also be expected to hire and maintain highly skilled IT experts who are often difficult to maintain because of high salaries and allowances demanded.
Collaborating with third party process developers
The success of achieving a standard operating procedure within a firm can only be boosted by increased collaboration with third-party software developers. Third parties have highly qualified personnel whose expertise will most definitely benefit the enterprise since it is focused fully on business. The software developers will also depend on the experience they have gathered from dealing with other business enterprises and employ the same to deliver a perfect product for the firm.
Third-party software developers are more focused on their performance because software development is their main business. Unlike internal company IT personnel, third parties’ performance is not detracted by other internal issues and challenges. In essence, the enterprise will benefit from highly functional processes, which will, in turn, enable the company to achieve the desired standard operations across all its networks and subsidiaries.
Third-party developers rely on a lot of internal company information and details. This could be dangerous for the firm because such internal information and data can be given out to the company’s competitors and be used as a strategy against the firm.
Companies should consider establishing their own internal IT functions and empower them to deliver the required services.
Rationale for Recommendation
The fact that the function is part of the organization will most likely help in the delivery of highly efficient IT solutions as opposed to relying wholly on third-party software developers. The dynamic nature of IT may, in some instances, require the company to go for external solutions as an alternative. That can effectively be done through the company’s own IT because it comprises of experts who understand what the exact IT needs of the company are. An internal IT function also protects the company from losing some of its critical information to external players who may end up using the data against the organization.
Essential Concepts Covered
Contemporary organizations are adopting a technological approach where IT is considered as an integral part of the organization. The traditional organization only used IT for its informational needs, especially for its finance and operations functions (Venkatagiri and Prakash 3). The IT capability and use have presently been expanded to involve other areas as well. The contemporary organization now considers IT as a strategic function that cannot be detached from the integral operations of the firm. Rather than only use it for information needs, the contemporary organization has collaboratively adopted IT for purposes of coordinating cross-functional activities and roles throughout the firm.
Connection of the concept
Madura has an expansive network of shops and retail chains that can only be handled effectively through an enterprise IT.
Organizations have used IT capabilities to build networks for their employees. Such networks operate in the same format as social networks like Facebook, but they are used to improve the delivery of service. Computers and technology have become integral in the present-day workplace, where workers are only a button-click away from all the necessary information that they require. Such social networks at the workplace promote quality service delivery and performance from the workers (Venkatagiri and Prakash 7).
Connection of the concept
With a 5,000-strong workforce, Madura can only hope that it creates a single community of its employees by establishing a social network where workers can exchange details amongst themselves.
Business enterprises succeed in transforming standard practices and activities through business innovation. The ability to innovate within the firm improves its overall competitiveness and enables the company to outdo the market competition with ease.
Connection of the concept
Companies such as Google are fairly new, but they have succeeded in outdoing their competitors, yet some of their competitors are well established in the IT sector. Google’s ability to introduce an interruptive technology has won it more trust from consumers (Cho para 3).
Cho, Karen. Powering the Google Engine: Innovation is Key. Fountainebleau: INSEAD, 2009. Print.
Venkatagiri, Shamkar and Yalla Prakash. Wooqer: Making Business Social. Bangalore, India: Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, 2013. Print.