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Higher Education: Difficulties Implementing IT Strategy (Proofreading Sample)


Higher Education: Difficulties Implementing IT Strategy


IT Strategy- Higher Education
James Chegwidden
IT (Information Technology) strategy always plays a key role in developing a competitive market for any particular product. Different organizations use different tools to develop and implement an IT strategy. Not only companies but also the educational institutions have now given significant importance to the implementation of an IT strategy in the organizational and or institutional structure (Morrison, 1998). In order to improve efficiency, companies as well as educational institutions require continuously updating their technical expertise in order to be competitive in the market. (Foster & Hollowell, 1999). One of the most important factors that should be considered in using IT are the tools in the specified or targeted strategy, which should be carefully designed so to come out with desired results.
This research paper is focused on one academic enterprise known as Angelo State University (ASU) and its recently adopted Competitive Information Technology Strategies. The paper also focuses on the degree to which this university relies on its implemented IT strategies. In addition it describes the benefits and techniques by which information technology could be brought in use by ASU. There is an in-depth analysis conducted of various strategies that would or could be utilized by various types of enterprises. All of this analysis would be affected by the amount of resources an enterprise could bring to the table.
IT Strategy- Higher Education
IT Benefits
Information technology is a broad concept. It can be defined in a way that technical expertise can be involved in the management of information (Nana, 2009). In the competitive environment informational efficiency has profound impact on the profitability of the business. Strong technical expertise in dealing with business process efficiency leads to a stronger competitive advantage for the company. Therefore, information technology has significant importance at the entrepreneurial level (Pieterson, 2009). There are different benefits of information technology at the entrepreneurial level; some of them are as follows
* Information technology helps in creating a globalized business by incorporating an efficient enterprise resource planning system.
* The real time dissemination of relevant information within organization improves the efficiency of the business.
* The business communication system becomes cheaper, quick and efficient. Different departments of the organization as well as educational institutions are linked with the centralized system of business process (Katz, 1999). The level of security within the system depends upon the organization. If the company has established strong checks within the organization then only relevant information can be accessed to the relevant personnel, but if no firewalls exits then all employees can easily access all the information regarding the business process.
* Cost efficiency is one of the most important and significant factors that can be achieved with the implementation of a strong IT strategy within the organization. The cost efficiency can be achieved if directional strategy is implemented with the predefined objectives of the organization.
* The working hours can be increased and the business can provide 24/7 services through online activities without the requirement of a physical presence of key business personnel.
* The risk of loss can be mitigated with the help of implementing a highly efficient IT strategy. Risk control methods can be improved with the help of implementing relevant and directional IT strategy as well.
Difficulties Implementing IT Strategy
Information technology is highly technical and requires highly professional, experienced and technical experts to design and implement relevant information technology strategy for the business under consideration (Ringle & Updegrove, 1998). Some common challenges and difficulties which can be faced by an enterprise in implementing IT strategy are as follows:
Understanding Business Need
The most important consideration or difficulty in implementing an IT strategy is to develop and understand the business need of the IT strategy. It can be explained in the same way manufacturing concerning business requires the supply chain management function to be smooth and generate production efficiency so the company can create a competitive advantage by quickly penetrating a market. Now the IT needs to implement strong ERP (enterprise resource planning) that can provide centralized business processes and access can be given to all the relevant personnel to quickly respond to information. People processes and technology are the mainstream tools that IT oriented enterprises continue to follow. Looking at the case of Angelo State University, they incorporate the people, processes and technology in such a combination that ensures maximum benefit for their organization. These benefits include streamlining the processes and the top most process that IT can deliver to an organization such as the ASU is to provide information in a timely manner. An important question to ask is, why it is so important for an academic enterprise to incorporate IT strategies. The logic is obvious, an academic enterprise is also a business and like any other business, it needs to hire the right people and retain more students and an IT strategy make it possible for them.
Changing Employee Mindset
Most of the old employees, which are involved in typical assignments throughout their professional life, feel hard to learn new technology, so the implementation of the IT strategy becomes a complicated task. New technology implementation requires a new work environment and new way of doing business. Therefore, if the new technology is implemented without changing the mindset of the old employees, which are considered key employees because of their high level of experience, can make the IT strategy ineffective.
Cost-Benefit Analysis Difficulty
Another important consideration while implementing an IT strategy is the difficulty in conducting the cost benefit analysis for the business regarding the IT strategy. The main reason for this part to be difficult during implementation of the strategy is the consideration of opportunity cost, which would be created by implementing the IT strategy. For example, the implementation of an IT strategy for any kind of business requires significant cash flow. If the same cash flow is kept in the bank or invested somewhere else it would also generate some profit. The value or rate of that profit must also be incorporated in the cost-benefit analysis of the business and use the net gain or loss to value the strategy.
Difficulty Conducting Trainings
As mentioned above the old employees may not want the organization to bring about the implementation of an IT strategy. One major reason is that they are required to be trained for the new business or IT strategy. Training all the departments or relevant departments is a long and cumbersome task. For example, incorporating the IT strategy in automating the production process for the manufacturing concern business requires an in-depth analysis and understanding of the whole production process. In addition to this, the value chain model should be carefully studied and understood by the IT experts.
Various IT strategies
There could be various techniques which could be utilized by the enterprise in order to implement a successful strategy (Hong, 2009). Information technology assisted techniques have various forms; it could be used for planning, mapping, and developing of strategic analysis of different extents such as PESTEL, SWOT analysis, simulation, and multiple regression analysis. These techniques if applied manually, would add nothing to the value of the enterprise.
Analysis of Enterprise Strategy
The enterprise selected for the IT strategy is Angelo State University. This section of the paper covers the current IT strategy of the ASU, its dependency on IT and what steps can be taken to improve its IT strategy. The section begins with the introduction of the university.
Introduction to Angelo State University
Founded in 1928, Angelo State University is the member of the Texas Tech University System. As a significant contributor to the society, it offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in disciplines such asliberal arts, sciences, and professional disciplines. The university is career oriented and to stay on top of its deliverance streak, the university needs to have distinct integration of research, teaching, services, creative and co-curricular activities (“ASU facts,” 2011). The introduction alone is significant enough to point out why IT strategies are so important for this academic enterprise.
Current ASU IT Strategy
The objective for implementing IT strategy in the university is to develop a vision for technology. This involves receiving feedback from students and faculty members on current processes. One major aspect of a successful IT strategy in an academic (as well as any enterprise) is to identify new opportunities, and analyzing students’ feedback does that for ASU.
ASU IT Strategy Development
Before developing a successful IT strategy, it would be helpful to consider the goals of the university, also known as the “mission.” The mission of the university is to provide secure, reliable, and useful information resources that help empower the generation and the information knowledge base to provide students with the tools to establish themselves in the society as productive community members. To achieve these goals, there is a certain set of rules and guidelines that the university administration needs to follow
* The need to stay customer focused
* Need prompt and reliable newsfeed from campus inform...
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