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A Gllance At Information And Communication Technology Essay

Information and communication technology (ICT) has become an important tool in all aspects of life. With the development of technology, the introduction of ICT as a tool has essentially brought tremendous revolution to the practices and procedures of nearly all forms of endeavor within business and governance during the past decades. Consequently, the importance of ICT project management cannot be overemphasized since it is the catalyst for successfully carrying out the ICT project. A critical research on the factors influencing the performance of ICT has been conducted as well as the introduction of different evaluation models or frameworks, which are used determine if an ICT project is successfully implemented. The last but not the least, a conclusion and a recommendation are given to prove that the potential values and benefits will be brought by elaborately analyzing those related factors before implementation and regularly evaluation on the ICT project. Table of content

Recently, the role of Information and communication technology (ICT) has become more and more important in any forms of organizations and businesses. According to Daniels (2002) ICT has evolved to be one of the basic tool but pervasive among the public within such a short time. Besides, understanding the operational mechanism of ICT and mastering the fundamental skills and concepts of ICT are regarded as the basic knowledge that people now should equip with. However, it seems that many people have the wrong perceptions of
what ICTs are; it’s commonly that ICTs generally be referred to ‘computers and computing related activities’ before the definition of ICT officially clarified by a United Nations report (1999). Also, according to UNESCO ICT could be understood in the way that which is the combination of ‘Informatics technology’ with other related technology, such as communication technology in particular. In other words, ICT is a more extended than information technology (IT), ICT not only emphasizes the technology itself, but also highlights the unified communications and the integration of telecommunications, computers; furthermore, by using these products such as the enterprise software, middleware, storage, and audio-visual systems, users will be able to access, store, transmit, and manipulate information. Now, we can find the radio broadcasts, audio conferencing, teleconferencing, email, interactive voice response system, audiocassettes and CD ROMs etc., are various kinds of ICT products available, and those ICT products have been used for different purposes in our daily life, work environment, or common business practices. There are more and more people become aware of the benefits and efficiency brought by the ICT. With that in mind, people are starting paying more attentions on the ICT management issues, such as how to better manage ICT projects, what are those key factors determining the performance of ICT project, or how to adequately evaluate the performance of ICT project. Discussion

Just as the other project management is, there are various success/failure factors related to the ICT project management. Here we discuss the roles of attitudes and the alignment between ICT and business, which are regarded as two of the most important key factors in ICT project management. A corresponding literature review is also preformed in order to better understand the background. The Roles of Attitudes

Based on recent researches on the acceptance and use of ICT project, and related ICT design and development, ICT only brings values to the organization if it is accepted, applied and widely applied by those targeted users. From one of the research (Zhang, P. 2007), the author mentioned two different theories, which the inconformity between these two theories lays in the concepts behind and effects behavioral intention. The theories
mentioned are Attitude toward ICT as an object (ATO) and Attitude toward using ICT as a behavior (ATB). By definition, ATO is “a psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favor or disfavor” (Eagly et al. 1998) or, as a combination of evaluative judgments about an object (Crites et al. 1994), while ATB is defined as “an individual’s positive or negative feelings (evaluative affect) about performing the target behavior.” (Fishbein et al. 1975) And the conceptual confusions whether attitudes play important role in the context of ICT project acceptance and use has been clarified, and there is an interesting evidence showing that the roles of attitudes can change as the users’ use of the ICT increases. The Alignment between business and ICT

The literature related to the information and communication technology (ICT) demonstrated that alignment between ICT and business will influence the business performance and effectiveness of the organization in a positive way. (Cumps, B., Viaene, S., Dedene, G., & Vandenbulcke, J 2006) Furthermore, the alignment of business and ICT of an organization is one of the fundamental sustainable factors, which can also be an advantage for an organization. In that case, the organizations should consider establishing specific ICT management routines in order to obtain better alignment performance scores. Since the role of ICT cannot be underestimated, more and more people want to know whether the ICT really brings values, whether the ICT substantially improved the efficiency, or whether the ICT works as expected. Based on the research, there are several more comprehensive ICT management capability maturity framework developed, such as the ICT management capability maturity framework and ICT Performance Reference Model. The differences between these two frameworks or models are the focus and the content. ICT management capability maturity framework

The framework is a ‘spider diagram’, which includes seven indicators: ICT Applications, Business-ICT relationship, ICT strategy alignment, ICT user profile, ICT managerial paradigm, ICT governance and ICT organization. Before applying the ICT management capability maturity framework, the users should firstly define the critical processes of their ICT management for each indicator. For each indicator, there are specific process-orientated
evaluation standards, and the users should make judgments for each standard to see whether it fits to the organization’s characters, needs, and specific industry. For each applied standard, there are different dimensionalities to assess the maturity of capability. The key function of this framework is to be used as an evaluating tool and a improvement roadmaps that can point out directions for the senior management on ICT and business management in strategies planning in order to sustainably improve, develop, and manage the ICT capability in support of optimized business value delivery. From this capability maturity framework, we can clearly see the ICT management capability maturity of an organization as well as its improvement footprint. At the same time, with the use of such framework, the organization can be evaluated on its overall ICT management capability, the comparison analysis between different organizations can be conducted, and even the industrial benchmark can also be made to see the ranking of the organization in the certain industry. ICT Performance Reference Model

ICT Performance Reference Model is a model using the reference model principles in the area of ICT management. For better understanding of the meaning of reference model, here the definition of the reference model that “Reference model contains relevant structures and relationships among the model elements (process structures, levels, document structures) and also the predefined knowledge (best practice examples) already included in these structures.” is used. ICT Performance Reference Model combines the strengths of mathematical and data modeling techniques for its structure and knowledge management principles for its content; namely, it represents the best practices and knowledge in the formalized model structure, and therefore allows easier knowledge replication. The framework of ICT Performance Reference Model includes ICT Management Process, ICT Performance management Methodologies, ICT Performance Measurement Processes, ICT Performance Measures and ICT Performance management Tools and Applications. The performance of ICT project is then be evaluated through these dimensions. With the implication of ICT Performance Reference Model, it would be easier to address ICT management related issues including application functionality overlap, technology and knowledge heterogeneity, and constantly changing business pressures. Conclusion

From the discussion part, we can see that there are different success/failure factors relate to the Information and Communication Technology project management. Each factor cannot be left out from consideration whenever applying an ICT project, namely, the importance of each factor cannot be overestimated, or there would possibly result in an unpleasant outcome. On the other hand, it is also necessary to have the ICT project to be reviewed, or assessed the related management capability maturity periodically. With the regular evaluation, the organization will have better understanding about the current state of the implementation of ICT project, the acceptance level of related personnel, the operation results compared to expected results, and the continuing alignment with organization’s strategies. Recommendations

As we all know that the management of ICT in the enterprise has been increasing in importance and nowadays it is one of the critical success factors of any type of business. In order to ensure sustainable growing of an organization, the use of ICT cannot be avoidable. After the careful research, I recommend the organization should look into every success/failure factors corresponding with the ICT project before implementation, which will largely reduce the risk of carrying out a project and ending in nothing. At the same time, with careful elaboration on each success/failure factors, the organization will have better understanding of its status quo, its strengths and weakness, which can be a great headstone for the design and implementation of the ICT project. In addition to the prior-art research, the ongoing assessment is also important for an ICT project management. In that case, the organization should choose adequate evaluation model or framework with some customized changes in order to fit into the needs of the organization. By doing the regular inspection, the organization can notice the wrong behavior in time and make certain modifications accordingly. Without such safeguard monitor mechanism, it may be too late when the organization realizes the mistakes happening.

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