Modern management has proven to be one of the most challenging disciplines today. Most employees in an organization normally fail to comprehend the full spectrum of information technology. The reason is that they fail to use the available technology resources in the organization to make their work easier and for the common benefit of the organization. The other cause could be their comprehensive nature or resistance to change. It is a common knowledge, for example, that in every business organization there is always such kind of employee that even after reading an email from a colleague at the work place will always go ahead and print it just to confirm that it was the right one. It increases not only the costs of buying the office supplies but also amounts to wastage of the organizations’ resources that could be used elsewhere to yield income for the organization.
Davis (1989) in his study of reasoned action develops a model that is aimed at establishing the factors that influence employees’ acceptability of an information system. It studies also their acceptance of the whole information technology aspects of an organization or business. The model is called the technology acceptance model and postulates that the adequate perception of an information system by the employees is dependent on two factors: the perceived ease of use and the perceived usefulness of that information system. Davis (1989) found the following:
Perceived usefulness is the degree to which a person believes that the use of a system will improve his performance. Perceived ease of use on the other hand refers to the degree to which a person believes that the use of a system will be effortless.
There is a vast number of information systems in use by many organizations today. Therefore, it would be a complete waste of organization’s resources if these systems are bought just to “decay” on the shelves of these organizations. Thus, they should be applied to the purpose of which they were intended. The primary focus of information technology management is the addition of value which is enabled by technology. Therefore, aligning information technology management and the business strategies of a company is not a choice but a requirement for the success of the organization.
Issues of Concern in Information Technology Management
Achieving business objectives in today’s business management is not an easy task. It demands wholehearted managerial focus and aligning the information technology function of the business as well as other business functions. The employees’ involvement as the internal customers is also required. Henderson and Venkatraman (1993) in their strategic alignment model describe the alignment of the business functions as that involving harmonizing the business functions to achieve the overall goal. This harmonization of IT and other business functions helps the organization to improve its performance.
In the modern day management, business organizations are normally led and operated by focus committees. Instituting a taskforce of compliance with the organizational technology is also likely to improve the technology management of the organization. Karimi et al. (2000) argue that even if IT firms are important, the extent of application of the IT management to highly important functions of the organization is different in all business companies. Therefore, firms should employ information technology steering committees on the information technology management function in order to manage their expensive IT resources. The committee should provide guidelines for the employees on compliance of the employees with the IT resources. As a consequence, the question of reward and remuneration systems of the firm is raised.
Most of the employees fail to accord much attention to the information technology function of the firm due to the rewarding systems’ incompatibility in the organization. Rewards to the organization should be given on the basis of the efforts of the employees, but also a consideration should be given to the nature of work and the employees. Changing the reward systems to suit the needs of the employees is likely to improve the performance of the firm regarding the technological competitiveness. The best performing employees in adoption of IT should be appreciated and motivated by recognizing their efforts in contributing to the organization by using the available technology.
Improving the skills of the employees in management of information technology could also raise the performance of the employees in its using. Training and development of the employees in information systems management and delegation of authority to the junior employees is vital. Consequently, workers will be able to improve their motivation and thus increase their good management of customer service activities. Moreover, this will ensure that the customer service levels improve and increase within the organization and hence lead to good and strategic relationships with customers, both internal and external.
Delegation of authority by the managers to the supervisors should be practiced in order to accommodate and encourage group participation. Thus, the attitude of the employees towards information systems and technology management might improve. It also could prove a vital motivational factor as far as use and management of information technology resources is concerned.
The task manager also needs to consider opening the communication channels of the organization. If they are opened from the beginning, there is a great possibility that the communication flow will improve the performance of the technologies adopted by the organization. Most employees do not like using these resources due to fear of mistakes and in order to avoid punishment. If communication channels are opened, there is a great chance of the employees to learn more by making mistakes and reporting to their supervisors who are supposed to correct them.
In such business environment, where customers’ tastes and choices of products are changing every day and becoming demanding, it is very challenging for today’s worker to deal with them. It is hard as well to provide for all of their needs in a 100% satisfaction motive, which is a dream that one can or cannot achieve. Therefore, the whole organization has to focus on research and development. What is more, it should appreciate the technologies that sure are adopted by other competitors and players in the market to ensure that they are in the right direction of the management practice and meeting customer expectations. This is the only way they can remain relevant to production and other business functions and win a competition with other competitors in the same market.
Bradford and Florin (2003) argue that information systems in organizations often fail to meet organizational goals soon after their implementation. It happens due to the misconception about the system’s potential by the employees. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the task manager and other levels of management to convince their employees. Moreover, they should provide the way and methodology of relevance to ensure that the technology resources of the organization are implemented in the most economical way. Finally, it is crucial to ensure that the employees appreciate and use them well to achieve the organizational objectives.