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Objective

To facilitate ‘consumers’ of IT, mainly users of Business Applications software to realise the full business benefits of the software by facilitating successful implementation and optimal use of the software.

By "Consumers" of IT, we mean mainly the users of application software, i.e., managers who are using or in the process of using application software for automating their processes, the business heads and senior professional in user companies who have implemented or or are in the process of implementing software.

Initiated by Prem Kamble - visit his site

 Need for IT Consumer Forum

  1. There is a colossal loss to businesses due to failed or unimplemented application systems.

  2. The loss is not only in time, money and effort, but also indirectly due to the impact of stress and friction among employees caused because of ignorance, finger pointing and infighting.

  3. Most of the IT forums concentrate mainly on the supply side of software – i.e., technology, software development process improvement, quality processes, and human resources. There is a need for a  forum which concentrates on the consumption side.

Beliefs

  1. Most often, neither the supplier or the 'consumer' alone can be held responsible for the failure. There are too many factors which go into a successful IT implementation attributable to both parties.

  2. There is need to see not-so-obvious factors

  3. We are in the midst of information revolution. Just like the industrial revolution had its own turmoil, turmoil is expected during the information revolution due to ignorance on both sides – the supplier of software and the consumer of information technology.

  4. The problem is because of misconceptions, which are there because we do not know our bearings. We live in the past - in the industrial age.

  5. We need to know our bearings - that we are in the information era. We also need to clearly understand the difference between the industrial age machine and the computers. We can learn from the hardships of the industrial revolution and make this transition from industrial age to information age less bumpy.

  6. It is a problem of mankind as a whole. We are evolving from the industrial culture to the information culture. There will be suffering till we get into the info age mindset. It is a problem of psychology of change.

  7. As it is a problem of mankind as a whole, there is no use creating an aggressive movement by the consumer against the suppliers of software to fight for their ‘rights’

  8. What will succeed is a collaborative approach where both the suppliers and the consumers identify their shortcomings and work to overcome them.

  9. Together we can make IT work

 

Benefits

A more aware consumer (green star in the figure below) benefits both the consumer companies and the software companies as is illustrated in the following diagram. 

  

  1. The more a product is consumed, there are more opportunities to improve the product to meet the consumer requirement as there is useful feedback to the supplier. More than any other product, in case of software product it is true that the consumer becomes wiser after use of th product to understand what will make the software meet his requirements better. The supplier also gets more aware of the busines process because of the feedbacks that he gets from diverse users. The product evolves into better product with continuous use, feedback and enhancements.

  2. Successful implementations of software will ensure that the cosnumer gets the benefit of the software and  feels more satisfied using it. This will encourage him to implement more software applications in other areas - in other words to increase his consumption of the  product.

  3. A happy consumer will encourage other companies to buy the same software.

  4. More consumers will ensure that the software evolves to a better product.

  5. Today the consumption is poor because of the poor success rates of computerisation projects, mainly due to failures in implementation.

  6. The more the companies implement successfully, the more will be the benefits seen and more demand will be created. 

  7. This can help the country improve its software image and  ultimately help exports

  8. Computer professionals will be better trained on the practical issues of implemenatation, the people issues, the management issues and the understading the business processes automation.

  9. There is a wastage of scarce IT trained resource as their effort of development and implementation goes waste if it is not used. Ensuring successful implementations will ensure optimal use of this scarce resource.

  10. Apart from the cost saving and improved efficiency and satisfaction due to improved automated systems, successful implementations, there can be immense indirect benefits both to the users and to the software industry at large:

Non-IT CEO's too get an opportunity to contribute to India's software exports by helping improve the products.

For Whom

Who can contribute to this togetherness

Consumers:  

CEOs, Heads of Businesses, Senior Managers or users of software

Suppliers:

IT Professionals, IT companies, Consultants and CIOs

Facilitators:

Management Institutes, Trainers

Tasks

What is required for successful implementations is a ample effort on awareness programs, particularly for the top management, the CEOs and the MDs, who are the key elements in a successful computerisation. There has to be better change management skills, better understanding of the people issues in IT. Senior managers need to be taught not only the computer awareness skills, but also an awareness of their own role in the automation process.

On the other hand, the IT people too need to be trained on the implementation skills, people management skills, human issues of IT, psychology of change and handling the change. IT people tend to focus only on the development of software in the cozy environment of their air-conditioned offices, and tend to avoid the heat of live implementations. They need to be encouraged to learn this special skill of making IT work with people, because only then they can become complete IT professionals.

The tasks on hand then are:

  1. Focus on Role, Responsibility and Rights (RRR)

  2. Make aware the role and responsibility of the CIOs/Head of Businesses

  3. Make aware the role of Department heads, managers, supervisors

  4. Help create IT coordinators from User Department

  5. Make users aware of the limitations of IT

  6. Make users aware of the key misconceptions

  7. Create a breed of implementers

  8. Make the IT professionals aware of the people issues

  9. Help IT reengineer processes before automating

  10. Help bridge the gap between the IT and Users. Bridge the great IT divide

  11. Help management institutes create the right training so that they create IT aware managers.

  12. Help trainers develop the right workshops for awareness.

 If you wish to get involved in this movement, please email your views, feedback, etc. to Prem Kamble

People w/ computer

 

  Together we can make IT work

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