Many CIOs said IT’s greatest value is in managing the information their organizations depend on to do business, regardless of the technology they use (Ragowsky, Licker, Gefen, 2008).
Another important aspect in it implementation is how to apply technology within the social context of the people or organisation who use the technology (Appelbaum,1997). Technology implementers need to find a minimum set of functionality that is required to support the social context of the organisation.
The Great Wall of IT
We cannot deny that IT is an important driver for organization to succeed in the 21st knowledge economy. The technical and logical mindset of IT people tends to isolate the IT division from the rest of the organization. There is an invisible great wall surrounding the IT division. There is a need for organisation leaders to understand what IT is all about. Leaders need to immerse themselves with IT. Some even say that a manager in an organisation need to have some stint managing in IT division to be able to lead in an organisation.
The challenge lies in front of IT is how we can bring back “information” to IT. IT need to be able to deliver the right kind of information according to social context of the business. Let’s take a look at a common IT use transferring knowledge and information. IT provides various ways to transfer information between people and organisations. Emails, chatrooms, web pages, electronic documents, are only a small subset of available technology to transfer information. Implementing these technologies without careful consideration of the social context of the organisation will be meaningless. These technologies will only be beneficial if it supports the knowledge need of the people who use them.
Effective Knowledge Creation with Technology
IT implementers need to be able to identify the type of knowledge or information that the user wants to have. People need requires knowledge for different level of need (Probst,1998).
Some group people require knowledge to sustain their organization strategic goal in the market place. A good example of such knowledge is understanding user behaviour to create personalized recommendation. Lunch.com mine Facebook user social behavioural pattern to provide product recommendation for their users. IT plays a big role for this type of knowledge demand by providing real time data retrieval on the web using scalable second-generation distributed database.
Other people require knowledge so that they can do the job that their organisation assign to them. Cutting edge companies that make advance innovative products often require their worker to employ new techniques to produce new technology. IT enables their workers to find data by providing an environment where technical like minded people can gather and exchange ideas. Online forums, mailing list, wikis, blog are some platforms that workers can use to collaborate with like minded people to get superior knowledge to deliver better solution in their workplace.
This example illustrates the need of carefully analyzing the need of the information or knowledge goal of an organisation. Different types of goals require different set of enabling technology. An important challenge is to identify the right set of technology to support the different knowledge goal of the organisation.
Breaking the Great Wall of IT
We need to tear down the wall that surrounds IT. Organisations need to make real effort to facilitate effective communication inside their workplace to promote awareness and understanding on what the vision and mission of their IT division.
Organisations also need to re align their IT implementation to fit into their organisations social context. The challenge is how to formulate an IT strategy that supports the business objective. It is time that IT bring back the actual information that organisations need.