Friday, July 06, 2007

The ICT department in their own world: Why Information systems will fail!

ICT / IT Departments are simply the new players in many institutions in Africa, Uganda, Southern Sudan and world over. This department is being introduced into some institutions with inadequate knowledge as to what ICTs ought to be doing and without knowledge that along came a new management challenge, task and a culture. Many times the expensive and modern ICTs and the internet have only been introduced for reading e-mails, browsing the internet and to replace the donkey old type writer and the other aspects of integrating ICT into management and the management of the new resource is neglected by top management. ICTs are hardly integrated into other every day businesses activities and neither is it manned effectively. Will we ever realise the potential of Informatics in Africa, Uganda, Southern Sudan and in the south?

Has nobody noticed that the juicy ICT / IT department seem to live in their own world in relationship to other organisational departments? I have! I say "I have!" because I am making a very tamed as opposed to a wild allegation. The ICT / IT department hardly complements management. Whereas human resources, financial resources, knowledge resources and logistical resources were being overseen and directly managed by top management, information and ICTs or ITs are proving unique to manage - so we delegate its management to a Generation X guru! A who? "Those people of IT"

Many have noted and I have also observed and agreed that something amiss is happening, reflected in a functional and systems line of thought and have come to some agreement with the self:

These departments haven't been tamed by top management. The entire institution and the ICT / IT department are therefore lead from behind by young computer geeks and professionals who unfortunately are not in top management. When it comes to the IT / ICT department, top management is unfortunately at the mercy of these geeks. The geeks speak a unique tongue that management has no choice but to follow.

Talk of lack of Hybrid Management. Top Management is inadequate when it comes to properly managing the ICT / IT department let alone lead in integrating ICTs to better organisational performance. As a result, the information, ICT / IT department is many a times (mis)managed through delegation, outsourcing, hope and merciful wishes to "computer specialists" - Let those who know IT better manage the department for us - and there begins the unchecked mismanagement of Information Systems, ICT / IT departments and projects. Do we get to know why Information Systems, and projects will fail us in one way or another? Do we? Oh yes! We lack Hybrid management! So who is to blame? (Mis)managers! Who bears the blame? The (mis)managers too! If the ICT / IT department is lucrative, do we have an idea of the cost of having it mismanaged?

Have I presented a grave situation in your institution? Do you want it tamed? Are you in East Africa or Southern Sudan? Will you aspire to become a hybrid manager? No!?
You may contract me also, or else kiss bye bye to your career because you will be retrenched and archived if you don't join the new breed of managers called Hybrid Managers!

So what the fuss a Hybrid Manager?
"A person with strong technical skills and adequate business knowledge or vice versa .... hybrids are people with technical skills able to work in user areas doing a line job, but adept at developing and implementing IT application ideas" - David J. Skyrme
Join the club because you will know the difference between Management Information Systems and Information Systems Management and that you badly need both of them to operate in this age. Manage ICTs. Make ICTs work for you, learn Information Literacy. Reduce on the failure rates of ICT Projects / Information Systems. Understand ICTs. Borrow a Civilisation!

1 comment:

Henry Owora said...

Most of them think they know everything, for as long as they can switch on the the TV or screen using the 'big box' and they are able print as they call typing then they know ICT.

To them computers, IT and ICT are the same and not of much relevance to them. All they need is to click, finger the key board and ink appears on white paper then they are done.

Can you teach an old dog new tricks?