Monday, April 12, 2010

Managing IT and Everything Else

There are 2 main areas that an organization must perform a balancing act in today’s particular marketplace and environment. One: there has to be excellent supply chain, enterprise resource planning HR, Sales & Marketing, Accounts and Finances etc. in place and managed well both in the day-to-day and long term basis. This results in an efficient and cost effective service to the customer. The second is an effective utilization of technology in all its forms that are relevant to the organization. This could include a savvy webpage, an easy to use online store, email and networking services to the employees of the organization etc. It is imperative, however, that both these areas are implemented and managed effectively.

The first part, the “overall management”, is the traditional management style that has been in place for centuries. The danger with this is that organizations strong in this area tend to neglect the IT side of things. Furthermore, they tend to neglect the IT connection to the rest of the organization and fail to seek out new ways to involve effective utilization of IT in a constant and repetitive manner. Recently Wal-Mart has come under fire for failing to maintain high levels of IT capabilities while being quite successful in its supply chain setup.

The second part is of course the effective implementation of IT. The danger here again is that the organizations, strong in IT tend to be weak in the rest of their management. Furthermore, with the rapid changes in all aspects of IT including process methodologies, this is a herculean task for any organization even one with a core strength of IT.

The fact of the matter is both sides of the equation must be taken care of for an organization to perform optimally and the tendency to veer one way or the other must be kept in check. Gone are the days of the tech savvy “whiz kid” creating a multi-billion organization just by his brilliance. Also gone are the days of the old school management style. A strategic all round approach is necessary to survive nowadays with experts being called in to provide advice on best practices in all areas of management.

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