October , 1999

APEGGA Luncheon Warned:

Remember Business Plan
In Seeking IT Solutions

By Nordahl Flakstad

Implementing information technology (IT) programs for the wrong reasons, while forgetting the business rationale and who will be affected, is a prescription for failure and frustration, said the first presenter in the APEGGA Edmonton District 1999-2000 luncheon speaker series.

Aldo Zanoni, president of Network Learning Masters and vice-president of DevStudios, noted that too often the wrong people are driving technical solutions in businesses. Technology specialists who support servers or Internet, e-commerce and other computer systems understand these technologies. However, Mr. Zanoni in his Sept. 21 presentation said: "They forget that technology has no value unless it supports a business driver."

IT implementation must follow a business or project model.

Business processes will change with the implementation of new technology but the change should support and complement business drivers - be they profitability, cost control, better margins, increased quality or elimination of bottlenecks.

"It's amazing just how often technology gets in the way of correct decision-making."

Rules learned by "process people", project managers and business managers are set aside.

And, Mr. Zanoni observed: "If people were to build bridges like they write software or if people were to build bridges like they implement network systems, I would never get across the river. You would never have any trust in them."

Quoting The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Zanoni noted, that a lack of sound business or project planning contribute to a situation where 73 per cent of IT projects either are not finished, or are completed but with cost overruns exceeding 200 per cent.

"There are companies that only now are beginning to realize that when they compare the costs associated with the new systems, that the benefits that are directly attributable to that expenditure is zero."

The next Edmonton district meeting takes place Oct. 19 (See page 25 of The PEGG for details or the APEGGA Calendar.)





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