Introduction

Information Technology (IT) has gained enormous popularity in organizations and as such, management should develop appropriate strategies to reap its “fruits.” Integration of IT into organization’s operations poses significant security challenges both internally and externally.

IT is very dynamic; developments and changes occur so rapidly, making its management a very complicated task. IT plays a pivotal role in any organization’s development and communication and by the nature of its functions exposes the organization to great risks both from the inside and outside.

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Poor management of Information system makes the organization vulnerable. Profane Individuals have managed, “to stage mega scandals based on weaknesses of information system operations” (Swanson, 2004). Strategic information management therefore seeks to develop policies and regulations to ensure successful and efficient business processes management (BPM). BPM is therefore no a fad but a literally meaningful change strategy.

Involving all stakeholders in IT decision making

IT forms an integral part of the organization’s management; consequently, failing to involve the entire management participants in decision-making would inevitably lead to system failure and largely the business entity. Every stakeholder has an important role to play in the successful implementation and management of the information systems in the organization. When all players participate in formulating policies and guidelines, they would see the need to observe rules and guidelines to the letter.

In addition, the emergence of IT has significantly changed the business landscape, hence the players need to develop appropriate strategies to address these challenges and tap the opportunities as well. Most organizations make significant expenditures in IT and therefore the need for good IT management policies cannot be overstated. Ensuing are but a few reasons as to why it is appropriate to involve all players in IT and policy formulations.

As stated earlier, IT investment expenditures are significant and thus the need to give shareholders the value for their money. By involving the general management, it becomes easy to integrate IT strategies into the overall organizational policies and strategies.

Moreover, the management becomes more conscious of the technological environment to ensure that IT investment decisions made remain relevant into the future. Involving the general management would lead to gaining competitive advantage, management effectiveness and efficiency. IT enables competitive advantage through differentiation of the organization products and services from those of the competitors.

Differentiation by IT is realizable through enhanced product quality, shorter product development periods, creation of IT based products and services, and improved customer service delivery. To enhance effectiveness, IT provides decision support at all management levels as well it removing barriers for pursuit of opportunities (Lacity, 2005).

Efficiency by IT would be achieved through decreased internal costs because of automation, shared services, downsizing, communication, and task support. Lastly, BPM would greatly prevent business failure. Management ignorance of IT can lead to devastating effects in the management. Researches have show that, IT system developments fail to yield on target not because they do not meet the required specifications, but because of poor management.

Management of IT risks

The risks of running business incorporated with IT are significant and require proper check mechanisms. Risk management involves the systematic analysis of the information system and its environment to determine the actual risks faced and then formulating appropriate policies to bring the risk levels down to desirable levels. To manage IT risks, the following principles are crucial. First, establish a central management unit to address IT system risks (National Institute of Standards and Technology, 1998).

Members of this management group should possess technical expertise to analyze risk information properly on a continued basis. They should thereby inform and provide expertise and technical support to the general management on security issues. To enhance proper implementation of IT security policies, all persons involved should be equipped with technical IT skills through training. Training of the members would reduce resistance and increase their cooperation instead.

Create Proper Awareness

The users of IT system should be equipped with the appropriate skill. Since technology is dynamic, management must ensure the users get timely updates on the IT field developments. This should be done by application of user-friendly strategies viz. notices, alerts, seminars, and presentations among others. The continued awareness on information systems by the members enhances their confidence and thereby enabling them to avoid making errors and mistakes.

Effective system monitoring and evaluation

Monitoring encourages compliance by the users, holds the management of information system accountable for their responsibilities, and takes corrective measures. System evaluation would involve carrying out test controls and analyzing risk factors and indicators.

In addition, it is imperative to enroll the use of independent system auditors whose reports, findings, and recommendations should be acted upon promptly. Keep record of security incidences and the damages caused this would help in determination of the system weaknesses. The system monitoring and evaluation team should be keen to developments in technology so that the tools and technologies used in the monitoring and evaluations activities are relevant.

Conclusion

The aforementioned facts form a strong conviction that BPM is a meaningful business strategy and not a management fad. PMP’s key functionality information system is effecting communication, both within the organization and without. Effective information system therefore, should relay relevant information to its users.

Customers are important for the survival of business entities. Consequently, companies should endeavor to attract and maintain a client base as large as they can. Technology has significantly changed the way business entities interact with their customers. With the emergence of online shopping (virtual markets), companies should position themselves strategically to benefit fully. This can effectively be done through BPM, which is not a fad but an imperative management change strategy.

References

Lacity, M.C. (2005). Why General Managers Need to Understand Information Technology. Working Paper. Retrieved 12 March 2011, from

National Institute of Standards and Technology. (1998). Management of Risks in Information Systems: Practices of Successful Organizations. Retrieved 13 March 2011, from

Swanson, M. (2004). Contingency Planning Guide for Information Technology Systems. NIST. Retrieved 13 march 2011, from