Information Technology, Organisations, and People: Transformations in the UK Retail Financial Services Sector

By Jeff Watkins | Go to book overview

8

MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
Changes in the nature of technology and its uses and applications (Chapter 6) influence the way the IT function is managed in the organisation (Chapter 7), and the management strategies adopted, in turn, influence the pace and character of technological change. An organisation’s progress through the transition from automation to integration and business transformation depends on the skills of its managers and the appropriateness of their approach to management control and IT and business strategy. Whilst management theories in fields such as accounting, finance and production were well established by the 1930s, most conceptual frameworks for theories of management in the IT field have been developed only since the late 1970s. This lack of management theory meant a lack of management training and education and a shortage of management skills in the IT field. This has been exacerbated by the rapid pace of change. Concepts of effective management practice in computer systems development have changed dramatically since the early 1980s when the PCs first appeared and advances in communications technology were made (see Friedman with Cornford, 1989). More effective approaches to IT management are being developed as knowledge and experience with different systems and technologies grow, and as the dialogue between end-users, IT staff, and management improves. One important lesson learned is that management strategies must be flexible, open to review and continuous improvement if they are to keep pace with the kind of continuous change that the sector faces today. This chapter focuses on three key IT management concerns highlighted in the findings of our surveys in the retail financial services sector. They are as follows:
• the need for different levels of management control at different stages in the assimilation of a technology;
• the need to align business and IT strategies;
• the growing emphasis on using IT to establish and strengthen effective links with organisations in the external environment.

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