The Impact of Information Technology and Business Processes on Achieving Holistic Organizational Effectiveness

Shortfalls in  information technology and business process effectiveness are significantly impacting the Holistic Organizational Effectiveness (HOE) of  most businesses, governmental, not for profit and other types of organizations. 

Today, organizations rely heavily on technology and business processes to make their people more effective, to perform many mission critical tasks, to provide services to customers, to store and access information and to perform many other important actions. When information technology and business processes are planned,  implemented and supported inadequately or ineffectively, organizational effectiveness is significantly impacted. Employee productivity and the ability of employees to perform their jobs effectively is impacted. Customer service and support are also impacted, as is many other aspects of running the organization effectively.

The Holistic Organization Effectiveness Survey takes a broad look at information technology and process effectiveness. The survey rating scale is 1 – 5 where 5 = Effective and 1 = Ineffective. The overall average rating of 3.32 and the HOE Survey ratings for Technology and Business Process Effectiveness are very low (see below), indicating that information technology and business process effectiveness is seriously impacting organizational effectiveness at most organizations.

  • 3.32 – Overall Section Average – Technology and Business Process Effectiveness
  • 3.66 – Providing Timely/Knowledgeable Technology Support to Facilitate Productivity/Customer Support
  • 3.40 – Implementing Information Technology for Productivity/Information Access/Security/Quality/Support
  • 3.20 – Providing Technology Training to Enable Employee Productivity/Value from Technology
  • 3.17 – Implementing Employee and Customer Friendly Business Processes to Enable Efficient/Effective Transactions
  • 3.17 – Assessing IT Customer Satisfaction to Ensure IT Effectiveness/Employee Performance Using Technology

These HOE Survey findings are very much in line with the findings of comprehensive IT customer satisfaction surveys Quantisoft conducts for businesses and other types of organizations. We also see evidence of significant shortfalls in information technology and business process effectiveness in many of the employee engagement surveys and customer satisfaction surveys we conduct.

Examples of IT and Business Process Shortfalls identified in detailed surveys

The following IT and business process problems are identified in organizations whether they have in-house or outsourced IT:

  • Business processes that are inefficient, impacting productivity, process timeliness, quality, customer service/support, information access and availability, etc.
  • Problems with IT help desk and desk-side/onsite support (very slow or no response to requests for help, inability to resolve problems, lack of knowledge, lack of professionalism, closing out unresolved service tickets, lack of needed after hours support, etc.)
  • Insufficient, ineffective or no IT customer training provided for new applications and major changes in applications, and for new employees.
  • Poor rollout of new applications.
  • Applications that are cumbersome to use, that lack needed functionality, etc.
  • Slow networks that are often difficult or impossible to access when working from remote sites.
  • Old and underpowered desktop and laptop computers that are very slow, that take several minutes to boot up and that crash often.
  • Ineffective/inadequate processes for replacing desktop/laptop computers, printers, scanners, smartphones, office/desktop software.
  • Ineffective/inadequate communications from IT and between IT and IT customers.

These clearly are not the HR/OD issues that are often thought of when thinking about organizational effectiveness, yet IT and business process shortfalls have as great an impact on organizational effectiveness at many organizations as the typical HR/OD issues, and possibly even greater impact.

Key qustions for you about IT and business process effectiveness in your organization

  1. How effective are your organization’s information technology delivery and support, and business processes?
  2. Does your organization’s senior leadership team have an accurate understanding of how effective (or ineffective) your organization’s ITdelivery and support, and business processes are?
  3. How are information technology and business process shortfalls impacting your organization’s HOE, workforce effectiveness, customers, ability to compete effectively and bottom line?
  4. What needs to be done to increase the senior leadership team’s understanding of the costs associated with IT and business process shortfalls?

Chances are that your organization is already spending a lot of money on IT and supporting business processes.  The last thing your senior management wants to do is spend more money on IT and business processes. Spending more money may be a very smart move in order to achieve a larger payback. That said, it is often possible to streamline processes and get more value from the IT dollars already being spent by analyzing business process effectiveness and by surveying IT customers to learn about what needs to be done better. Here are some questions you may want to ask:

  • Is your organization getting enough value for the money being spent?
  • Is your organization spending too little on information technology and business processes?
  • Can you get more value for the technology and business process dollars spent by doing it better, or do you need to spend more?

In summary, achieving high levels of information technology and business process effectiveness is critical to achieving holistic organizational effectiveness in any organization.

About Howard Deutsch

Howard Deutsch is the CEO of Quantisoft, a New Jersey based full-service survey company conducting employee, organizational effectiveness, leadership feedback, customer satisfaction, IT customer satisfaction, enterprise risk and other types of customized surveys since 1999. Howard has extensive senior line management, internal and external consulting experience in many industries. He has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA in Finance from St. John's University. He was an adjunct faculty member for several years at the Seton Hall University School of Business.
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