Wednesday, June 4, 2014

How Important an Information System can be in Digital Business Success?

Information brings about business ideas; business ideas generate lots of information.

In the industrial era, the majority of IT organizations are supporting functions to keep the business light on; the cost center to maintain legacy applications and infrastructure, and the gatekeeper to control the status quo. Nowadays IT and its value implication to the business have changed drastically; information becomes the lifeblood of digital business, and digital technology is lightweight but more powerful than ever. The question is –How important an information system can be in today, can you separate technology from an information system in order to achieve the intended results? And how to make Information Management as 'powerful' and 'worthy' to an organization as possible?

Information and technology catalyze today's digital businesses: Information brings about business ideas; business ideas generate lots of information. Information Systems are the backbone and provide valuable information for key decision making. Information comes from the analysis of that data, technology allows for the capture, manipulation, and presentation of data. Using business rules that are intended to reveal valuable insights or competitive benefits. These rules are defined by subject matter experts who can envision how value can be derived from available data.

The balanced IT application portfolio can deliver lots of value for the business in many ways: It is apart from the basic automation, availability of information and reports. This is the digital arena, IT applications, and its dynamics are totally different. The right IT Applications blended with current digital trends can deliver the following benefits to the business: 
a). Optimizing operational costs to achieve business efficiency and effectiveness. 
b). Enhancing customer relationship management by creating 360-degree views, adding more social interaction channels. 
c). Taking advantage of Cloud computing to improve business agility, running IT with digital speed
d). Enabling and equipping business with predictive data analytics through advanced tools and Big Data. 
e). Enabling new digital services and adding new revenue streams through mobile and social computing, etc.

 Data by itself is meaningless until it’s interpreted and analyzed: Technology enables large data sets to be captured and presented for analysis, but the value hidden in data is only revealed through intelligent reasoning. Information is raw material when you manipulate the raw material in meaningful ways, which give you business insight to interpret and utilize, then you have established a value. The problems most organizations have are a). Poor information management- not understanding what raw material they have to play with; b). Poor measurement -not applying worthwhile evaluation to it to reveal the inherent value, but mostly 3). Poor information strategy -not understanding why they should do these things in the first place. Too many businesses are data rich but insight poor. Or they spend so much time and energy collecting data for that "just in case" scenario. If IT focuses on obtaining information and not just data for data's sake, the business decision making would be more relevant and informed.

The value of information technology must be qualitative, measurable, and defined uniquely by an organization. Information abundance can bring new ideas; ideas have always driven business success. Technology is an enabler of any great ideas. However, considering many businesses which spend money on sophisticated technology tools that are greatly wasted, because the appropriate processes to leverage those tools are not implemented or adopted. IT must bring to the table innovative solutions that meet customers’ needs, while reducing the cost to market, without the sacrifice of goals and strategies invoked by business-IT copartnership. If IT can do this, it will achieve unique value for the business’s long-term success. 

At a higher level of maturity, digital IT is a business partner, even a game changer, as more often, technology is the innovation disruptor, information is the gold mine. And information can bring business the transformational value and huge wealth to any organization if it is well managed and wisely used.


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