12May, 2014

Is your Information Technology Department up To Date

Information Technology is no doubt the fastest changing industry in today’s world. Just to put in perspective the speed of the change, lets compare IT to the building Industry. While the building industry is still mainly using systems and processes that were developed 300 years ago in Europe, IT technology that was standard 10 years ago is now obsolete. So fast is the speed of change in IT that the only area of IT that has remained relatively stable in the past 10 years is corporate network technology mainly because managers are afraid of the cost of reform. Due to these rapid changes in IT, it is very difficult for the modern manager to keep abreast with the changes and therefore we have done some research and developed 3 key indicators to show help guide you to know if your IT department is up to date or not.

The first indication that you should use is the social media function. Is there a social media department under your IT department or within your marketing department? If not then it is time you did a self check. You could be on the path to slow death without realizing it. A social media office is a must today and more so for service industries and for organizations in the humanities e.g. Churches and aid organizations. This is because you have to meet clients where they are and one place where you will definitely meet many people is on social media. Most progressive organizations that are up to date with current technology have new roles that would seem strange to older managers. Its not strange to find an organization with an entire social media department that has officers with titles as Facebooker, Googler or is it Oogler, Twittster and similar titles.

Your second indicator of your e-readiness is your mobile readiness. If your business is in Africa and particularly in Kenya, it is a high time you took note of the statistics. There are more mobile phones in African than email account and bank accounts put together. In Kenya in particularly, mobile money transactions are more than ten times the amount handled by the entire banking sector. This should inform you that it is both easier to reach and be reached by clients through mobile phone and it is easier to be paid by mobile money transfer. To be mobile ready, you require to have the following staff and infrastructure. First of all you need an m-IT officer to oversee all matters pertaining to mobile phone business, In addition you need a bulk sms solution to contact clients directly on phone. You need a mobile money account so that you can be paid by direct transfer and you need systems that can receive messages from mobile phones and display and use it on your standard IT platform.

Your third indicator is your systems. Do your staff have to report to the office and sit at a particular desk in order to do their work? If yes and if the staff in question are officers , then your IT department is on the brink of extinction and could easily go the dinosaur way. Die without a trace. The fact that your staff have to sit in a particular location within the office means there is still a lot of paper work tied to your processes and this needs to be reduced so that a staff member can basically sit at any available desk and carry out their duties unhindered.`

Use these three indicators to gauge your organizations IT readiness.

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