Information Deployment is the quality of the business processes and their associated information interactions that are delivered over the technology. We are talking about how you create, capture, deliver, use and measure your business information. Information Deployment is the strategic differentiator that your business processes require. Information Technology is now a commodity. But your business processes are your business.
The quality of your business processes and their associated information interactions that are delivered over the technology is really the focus in today’s IT departments, and is a big part of information deployment. Data processing has given way to business process processing. We no longer just move data, we now enable business processes.
Historically, we used manual systems to run a business like paper based orders (purchasing, sales, and production). Then technology was introduced to automate the paper shuffling. Productivity increased, jobs descriptions changed, and the new technology was accepted.
But now that all the numbers are in a computer system, more people want access to those numbers, People want new reports describing new relationships and the IT department has responded by developing more applications for more users. Instead of being proactive the IT department is reacting to demands.
Organizations focusing on meeting users needs with just applications development are missing the boat. Sure you have to develop applications for HR, Accounting, Production, Sales and Marketing. But if all you’re doing is developing applications then you are limiting the real strategic value of the IT department. What is needed now is a way to rise above just reacting to users. The IT department needs a new model based on being proactive to users needs.
Applications development has always been about getting the right data in front of the right user using the right interface. Only now are we are finding that, in our ever-increasing complex world, how you create, capture, deliver, use, and measure your business information is even more critical than ever.
The Internet is a perfect example of how things are changing in the IT department. Users are now entering their own orders online, tracking their shipping and reviewing their account. Paper is being eliminated and as we use principles of Lean Thinking, we find new inefficiencies in our old methods. The Internet is forcing organizations to rethink about information deployment, specifically how Information Technology is used.
The Internet is forcing us to examine our core processes to understand the customers of those processes and determine how to best use the information that is available. Only this way can you get ahead of users demands. The more proactive you become, the less reactive you will be to demands for application changes.
IT as a Strategic Differentiator
In response, the IT department is now being asked to improve business processes. This is a strategic shift to taking on new responsibilities for Business Process Management. The new question is how do you build effective management systems and Manage Business Processes?
Information deployment can be a valuable strategic differentiator. Information Technology is now a commodity. But your business processes are your business. Those with the organizational leadership in place to take advantage of this new shift will beat out those who do not.