Currently, one of the most influential factors regarding this area is related to information technology. When some of its components such as flow of information, technological infrastructure and information management strategies are aligned to the objectives and the planning of an organization, functional and organizational risks may be identified to maximize the value of its corporate purpose, and thus achieve business goals.
When the expression “Information Technology” is used, the main tendency is to think of large computers and nothing beyond, so other elements, such as ERP or information itself are not often seen as part of this concept. Some organizations even fail to identify the real importance of their information for purposes of sustainability, strengthening and growth of their business.
Within organizations, a very common phenomenon occurs, maybe harmful: that technological tools to manage information do not satisfy all the organization’s needs. This can lead to double work, misuse of information and leaks. Within “third type” organizations (non-profit entities, non-government associations, volunteer organizations) this phenomenon may be stronger because their nature drive them to access free or inexpensive tools or tools provided by other organizations through different agreements, which are not always congruent with these entities activities.
Another tendency among these organizations is that having no profit aims, their results are not measured quantitatively but qualitatively. Therefore, it is required much more specific information management, according to their precise activities and purposes, as information becomes their most valuable asset, but also the least protected and least exploited.
Finally, the philosophy of seeing information as a valuable resource, and its management as an important part of the effective achievement of objectives and results, is only taken by large companies. In Colombia, this has happened among the financial sector and oil companies, but not in non-profit organizations.
The reasons described above raise a valuable opportunity to offer solutions to enable effective alignment between the objectives of a “third type” entity and the information that they handle. These tools or technological solutions shall solve the needs of information management and effective use according to the aims of such organizations.
For the third type organizations, information is the most valuable asset. Therefore, it is important to give proper treatment and use to information, in order to obtain effective results aligned to objectives.
It is imperative to evaluate each one of their technological information tools in order to identify strengths and weaknesses, how it works, how results satisfy the objectives and purposes of the organization and how those results may be optimized, or, if necessary, looking up for another technology options to provide effective responses.
It is also important to evaluate those steps or activities carried out which require collecting and managing information, to focus strengths and weaknesses and restructure or strengthen where needed.
However, these organizations face extreme difficulties to get advising or consulting on these IT management processes and resources, as those are very high-cost products, and options to access them through interagency agreements or sponsorships much depends on the possible sympathy between this third type organization and the consultant agency. Finally, this is one of the most recurrent issues when inquiring among organizations about their refusal to access consulting on IT.
If it is possible to settle a framework for IT governance in an organization of the third type and make a difference, it should break the paradigm that these entities cannot access consulting opportunities. And therefore, companies dedicated to studying and design models of IT governance should begin exploring this new market with affordable prices or, better yet, the possibility of building a kind of interinstitutional liaison to deliver greater value to both corporate purposes.