Corporate Change - Modern Technology in Business

By: Bill Rosoman

"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.

Some useful sites are:

http://eastcoast.hypermart.net utor
www.novelty-gift.com/courses.html
www.yahoo.com
messenger.yahoo.com
briefcase.yahoo.com
mail.yahoo.com
www.pwcglobal.com
http://www.software602.com/index.html
www.freewarehome.com
www.incredimail.com
www.nzenterprise.com

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 WELLArticle Search, OR IT WILL MANAGE US in the
early days of this "New Age of Wisdom"!

Technology
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