David Scott

April 24, 2007 09:15 ET

eCulture: Overdue Awareness for Business

ALEXANDRIA, VA.--(Collegiate Presswire - April 24, 2007) - Organizations are dependent and vulnerable in their reliance on technology, and are ill served by an old-school corporate culture. Thus eCulture, with developing recognitions, protections, and empowerments, is frequently held in abeyance by an obsolete business-culture defined and entrenched largely through last century's experiences and lessons. For every high-profile mishap, such as the technician who wiped out dividend information for an account worth $38 billion in Alaska, or the IRS' ongoing loss of laptops and taxpayer information, there are countless other misfortunes affecting all organizations - outcomes directly attributable to a cultural problem.

Thomas Faulhaber, editor and founder of Boston's The Business Forum Online®, notes, "While much of today's Information Technology (IT) is truly amazing, all technology can easily become alienating. What was conceived to serve and extend the reach of human beings all-too-commonly serves ends of its own. The challenge is to pull disparate groups of people together from the disciplines of technology and business, to define mission needs, and to achieve the delivery of authentic solutions fulfilling the fundamental goals of the organization. This is a cultural challenge."

eCulture then is the mindset that qualifies business for optimum progression through a world of ceaseless technical challenge and change. Any organization can implement raw application and technical components - the test now is making best selection, fit and use of these business supports. In addition, securing data, a system, or the organization itself requires security qualification on everyone's part - their contribution rolling up to the comprehensive security edge of the organization. Accordingly, solutions require a sustaining culture of awareness, training, and appropriate activity - the "people, policy and process" answer for businesses' shifting and quickening technical environments.

Culture sustains people's best-faith activities and qualified engagements, particularly during the stress of change and through the course of time. An absence of eCulture is always evident: discomfort of business applications that are cumbersome to use, the chronic project methodology that requires several costly stabs at success, or high-profile mishaps that put individual identity and business reputation at risk. Cascading effects of disengagement, jealousy, and even protectionism are often the result. Lack of eCulture is an increasingly unaffordable business condition given an electronic world with new speeds-to-market, the overhead of zooming security requirements, and the dilemma of how to manage and utilize an increasing glut of information.

In branding all work with eCultural values, standards and beliefs, there is modern support to planners' and users' efforts to remain vigorous as technology sweeps its way into every corner and crevice of business process. Defined is the business-driven IT strategy, in creating a business serving one. The organization succeeds in managing change as a balance between substantive plans and projects, with enough flexibility to pivot and adjust on an agile basis.

eCulture's principles include, but are not limited to:

-- The necessity and means to bring diverse groups of people together, from the business and technical realms, in managing any organization's progression through time.

-- Recognition of change as a continuum, as opposed to staggered lurches forward. Matching ability to lead and define change, in opposition to following and accommodating change.

-- A comprehensive determination of "where you are," before plotting "where you're going," including treatment of sanctions, sponsorships, and political impairments and enablement.

-- Definition and qualification for a true business implementation team in determining needs and in meeting expectations, through delivery of true solutions.

-- Definition of the responsible forward edge - whether leading, bleeding, or a prudent lag to see what has worked for others - for the organization, the department, and the individual.

-- Institution of the proactive Disaster Awareness, Preparedness, and Recovery plan and policy - in setting prevention as the guiding value and standard; abolishment of the typical, reactive, Disaster Recovery plan and accompanying mindset.

-- Prevention of IDRU: Inadequacy, Disaster, Runaway, and Unrecoverability - including standards of awareness for any nation's security, and lessons to the "local" organization.

-- BizSec - The regional business security team; how your organization can contribute to a security team, with a rollup in helping to secure your organization's local public infrastructure.

Planners of the interwoven business-technology reliance describe the capture of technology's best fit and use as making a jig-saw puzzle- but several people have their hands on pieces that change size and color as they go along. In this environment, people are the greatest challenge - no system, policy or procedure can overcome laxity, ignorance, misstatement of need, or ill-defined expectations. Survival involves managing an accelerating, even forced, evolution of critical technical empowerments.

Organizations cannot afford to wait. In the realm of risk, unmanaged possibilities become probabilities - therefore, any organization's institution of eCulture is not a question of "if," but "when." Modern business must now understand what is necessary in opening the way to a future that the organization defines - in preventing the alternative: future's imposition on the organization.

David Scott is the author of the MBA-text - I.T. WARS: MANAGING THE BUSINESS-TECHNOLOGY WEAVE IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM (BookSurge, 2006). I.T. WARS is a first, holistic, treatment for the business-technology paradigm from a new cultural perspective and need - eCulture - in defining the modern relationship between people, business, and technology. He has directed Information Technology endeavors for many types of organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies, in leading areas such as public relations, patient care, laboratory accreditation, direct-mail marketing, telecommunications, and food safety. In addition he has assisted several organizations in their contribution of human and environmental services. Mr. Scott is a professional speaker and consultant, and has helped many in achieving their institution of the principles of The Business-Technology Weave, in establishing a working, serving, eCulture.

For more information, visit www.David-Scott.net or http://businessforum.com/DScott_01.html.

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