Thursday, November 8, 2012

Information Technology Applications

It goes without saying that computer hardware, telephones and other equipment must function 7/24 in order to properly support a global company.  However, it is Information Technology Applications, software management that is critical to the daily operations of a good sized company.   Many companies use different software to manage various aspects of their business.   Efficiencies can be gained, if and when different software platforms speak to each other, through automated integration.  However, it can take lots of time and resources to get that done.

The challenge for those managing Information Technology Applications is establishing the right priorities to get the job done.   End users always ask for more and more software development to support their particular business areas.  Some of it is important, while a lot of it is "nice to have" enhancements.   Without management and sometimes even senior management intervention,  requests for software enhancements will far outpace the resources committed to this important function.  

The reality is that no matter how many people are assigned to Information Technology Applications, the number is never enough because End Users are never satisfied.  In addition, to best support a global company's Information Technology Application needs, an offshore component often needs to be part of the picture, since programming in India and other countries can be done much cheaper than in the United States, or Europe. 

As such, prioritization should begin from the client and customer back, rather than Operations out.  In other words,  what enhancements to software will make the customer and or client experience more beneficial.   Next, companies should look for operational efficiencies, presumably to improve productivity, though this Blogger CEO has never really seen big improvements to productivity from software enhancements.  In fact, the need for more and more information to support Operations, Clients and Customers is often more labor intensive, not less.

Information Technology Applications is a critical company function.  Managing it properly is challenging because everyone wants more and more information at their finger tips.   Since no company has endless resources to spend on any one function, management of Information Technology Applications priorities is imperative.  Rome was not built in a day and neither is it feasible for every function in a company to get all they they want in software development in a business year. 

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