Business technology management is a methodical approach of acquiring, implementing and monitoring the result of technology in business. Technology has long taken the centre stage as far business management and operations are concern.
You hardly talk about any business operation in today’s world without making reference to technology. This is because technologies have long moved from the position of being a ‘can have’ infrastructure to a ‘must have’ infrastructure.
Now that we have briefly what a business technology management is, let us now explore some best practices in business technology management as practiced by all successful businesses. We will be looking at business technology management methodology from four perspectives throughout the remainder of this post.
BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT PROCESS
Organizational experience perspective: at the top of the business technology management analysis ladder is the exploration of organizational experience. A company has to prepare a detailed business cases that will give detailed account of their use of technology thereby justifying the need to acquire new technology.
Based on the above detailed analysis, managers would then identify problem areas where the introduction of technology will be useful. A company that is having problem coordinating various business activities for example might be better off investing in ERP system to help integrate standalone processes.
Evaluation, Acquisition and Measurement perspective: the next stage in the business technology management process is to make a request for bids, evaluate the tenders, acquire the technology, and the measure the success of the project. Note that measurement here does not entail measuring whether a project achieves its objectives or not.
It simply means measuring the ability of project managers to complete the specified project within budgeted time and money. During the evaluation stage, management should appraise the effect of the potential change on the motivation of staff members and then decide whether to go ahead with the project or not. Change management models like cultural web should be leveraged on here for optimum result.
Operationalization and security perspective: ok, we have done all the work required in identifying and acquiring the technology, what next? Well, the next thing is to start using the piece of technology making sure that security of our assets is guaranteed. There is no economic sense in acquiring piece of accounting software that will only expose our financial details to our competitors. Privacy and security maturity models should be used to ensure that the use of technology does not create avoidable exposure. Also, complete asset register should be maintained at all time so that management can keep track of the movement of the already acquired gadget.
Collection and strategic evaluation of feedback perspective: it is very important to periodically collect feedback from the users of systems, strategically evaluate their response to see if the company’s long term goal will be achieved judging from the views of the users of the new technology.
This is where strategic business analysis becomes really important. Through strategic business analysis, managers have the opportunity of looking at events from hindsight and see if the entity is heading in the right direction.
HOW DO WE HANDLE THESE PROCESSES?
I understand that the process described above may be sounding daunting and you may be thinking of leaving your small business technology to fate as many small business owners do. Well, I have some good news for you.
You can outsource the activities described in this article to a third party and be rest assured that you will get result. There are consulting firms that now specialise in ensuring that organizations get value for their investment in IT.
They employ the concept of VAL IT TM as contained in ISACA’s publication. Harmon’s model of analysing a process to determine whether to undertake it in house or to outsource it is a useful model that can be used to establish the overall impact of a process on the company’s ability to compete.
As a rule of thumb, any process that can be reasonably automated and has lesser strategic impact on the ability of a business entity to achieve its objective should be outsourced. Remember that a critical function of the management is to allocate resources to their most beneficial use.
I hope that this article has explained the meaning of business technology management and also gave a guideline on how to implement the business IT management process.