Information systems technology changes and the well-managed implementation thereof can indeed be such a difficult undertaking for organizations. Though the adaptability of the employees and the management – and oftentimes, the customers as well – largely vary from one industry to another, it does remain that the shift from the old ways to the new ones is not always a welcomed development. The lessons that can be learned from the case of the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB), as cited by the Bert Painter, are as well applicable to other companies that have similarly transformed their information systems into advanced and more efficient ones.
One of the advantages afforded by better information systems is increased productivity in the workplace, which usually translates to higher income levels for the company. Not all functions, though, can be reduced to formulas and technical processes – like those of Claims Officers in WCB. But putting aside the tasks that thrive on the personal touch, creativity and imagination, as well as duties that require the exercise of judgment and the use subjective discernment, there will definitely be big changes in the entire organization.
Information systems technology changes are commonly sought by management as a way to reduce wastage in terms of company resources and manpower hours, based on the accumulated employee hours devoted to such outmoded routines as sending via fax the same sheets to a number of customers. However, systems upgrading should always go with adequate change management, as cited by Bert Painter. This way, heightened efficiency at work will be achieved without causing any employee to feel displaced and demoted.
The complication that goes with replacing the information and network system of a company should not be underestimated. It definitely brings in a lot of equally awkward and uneasy consequences – the necessary trainings for the employees, the shortcomings of the systems and the employees’ reactions thereto, and the removal from the organizational chart of job posts that are hence rendered useless. These issues have to be properly handled. As Prof.
Khalifa has written, high-technology solutions usually are not welcomed as positive developments by people who are prone to be adverse to change. Thus, managing change involves leading the people in the organization to overcome the natural inertia that makes change not easy to implement. There are lessons, too, that Bert Painter did not so much dwell on. For one, it must be understood that the setting up of the company’s improved systems by itself will not boost the revenues generated and will not endear the company to its customers.
The same improved systems also will not help the company win the loyalty of its employees. Thus, the interrelationships of people within the organization must not tend toward becoming less personal, not even if more and more old routines that used to foster camaraderie among them are becoming obsolete. Furthermore, there are alignment difficulties that will have to be dealt with during the critical learning stage. In the case of WCB, some of them already have taken form.
In such a situation, it is important that professional Information Technology (IT) groups with impressive track records be tapped to address the company’s needs throughout the transition phase. It will entail costs to avail of their services, but it will save the company from losing more in terms of adverse consequences of a poorly managed transition. Without a doubt, the successful upgrading of information systems will, in the end, turn out to be the right move. Work Cited Khalifa, Mohamed. Introduction: Evolving Role of IT. Khalifa, Mohamed. Fundamentals of E-Business.
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