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Ready, Willing, and Enabled

Author: Neelam Dhawan
Managing Director, HP India
Ready, Willing, and Enabled -By-Neelam Dhawan
This article was written when she was working with Microsoft India as Managing Director

The last few decades have seen a phenomenal change in the way we live and work. Everything is faster, better, and ‘more’ – an era of unprecedented global economic expansion that, The Economist magazine noted, “Could witness the fastest growth in average world income in the whole of history.”

The driving force behind this change, of course, is the dramatic advances in digital technology that have given us new ways to communicate, to create and share information, and to work seamlessly with colleagues, partners, and customers worldwide. However, there is an ongoing global debate around the role that information technology plays in creating economic opportunities and business success. While many believe that IT does not matter and its influence and impact are exaggerated, there exist strong proponents of IT who firmly believe that it is the essential engine of progress.

At Microsoft, while we do believe in the implicit importance of IT, we also comprehend that its influence can either be enhanced or mitigated in an organization by the attitude and acceptance it secures from the company’s employees, who ultimately determine whether a business thrives or fails. It has therefore been our consistent endeavor to marry these truths and demonstrate how IT can become a significant tool for enhancing employee performance and productivity. So, we at Microsoft have built our company — and our products for businesses — on an approach that recognizes that business success depends on the thousands of decisions employees make every day. Our business software is designed specifically to enable employees to use their knowledge of customers, markets, and operations to make informed decisions that create strategic business advantage. We call this approach “People Ready Business”.

A recent study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the business research and advisory organization founded by The Economist more than 60 years ago, provides new validation for this approach. Based on a survey of 1,351 senior executives across the world, the study offers compelling evidence that there is a positive correlation between business success and the use of IT to enable employees to optimize decision-making and act autonomously. According to the study, in India 89 percent of respondents believe that ‘enablement’ of employees is critical to their business function. Trends across the globe are similar. Sponsored by Microsoft, the study set out to determine how “enablement” — which the Economist Intelligence Unit defines as the “organizational structures, informational technologies, and other resources that let employees make decisions” — contributes to profitable growth.

In India, for instance, one of the interesting examples is that of the Centurion Bank of Punjab which effectively used technology to help its people share client data across multiple teams for more informed decision-making. Leveraging technology, employees have been able to gain a better understanding of customer segments as a result of better management of customer data. Similarly, Wipro Technologies has been able to expedite strategic decision-making, lower infrastructure costs, secure remote access, and ensure better management by deploying our technology for data warehousing, business intelligence, and reporting purposes.

In fact, the Economist Intelligence Unit concluded, “Firms which embrace information technology to allow rapid collaboration can benefit from their employees’ collective knowledge, improving the performance of individuals as well as that of the organization overall.” The study also found that 58 percent of respondents who use collaborative software work for firms with revenue growth stronger than that of their competitors. According to the report’s authors, “Statistical analysis demonstrates the positive association between enablement and self-reported company performance, be it in profitability, revenue growth, tangible assets, or strategic success. The evidence is strong and consistent across dozens of significant variables.” The report also reveals that in many companies, there is a significant “Enablement gap” and despite organizations having a high degree of enablement, few employees have the requisite IT tools or the information they require.

What this underlines is that businesses overall are, by and large, still in the early stages of IT adoption and deployment despite the fantastic progress we have seen in research and innovation in pure technology. Clearly, this is an opportunity for Information Technology companies, but calls for an essential paradigm shift, wherein the user needs to be placed at the center of the computing experience. Technology should be easy to use, easy to learn, simple to manage, and help the end user at any level within the organization to do his job better. No doubt, it should also save costs by optimum usage of resources, and have a clear impact on the company’s bottomline.

Thus, by making businesses ‘people ready’ the technology industry is only now beginning to unleash the transformational power of information technology in the workplace. A new generation of software innovations is making computing more powerful, more affordable, and much more people friendly. Software touches processes central to the businesses such as operations, customer acquisition and retention, supply and partner management, and product and service development. The overall orientation of the software strategy - either system-centric or people-centric - can determine the kind of competitive advantage and future flexibility a business will realize as a result of its investment. It also recognizes the blurring lines between the workplace and home and the need for software for an ‘always on, always connected’ environment.
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Reader's comments(8)
1: From: Mrs. Mary David

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Mrs. Mary David.
Posted by: mary lovely david - Monday 26th, September 2011
2: NO DOUBT BLOG IS WONDERFUL....HOWEVER, I'D LIKE TO SAY THAT wvt MAKE BLOG INTERESTING, ONE SHUOLD USE.... SUCH AS HIGHLIGHTS, BULLET POINTS, SMALL PARA ....THESE WILL ENABLE / COMPELLS ONE TO READ
2NDLY, TOPIC SHOULD BE BETTER THAN CONTENTS, I MEAN PACKAGING SHOULD BE BETTER THAN SWEETS...
PL DONOT MIND, YURSELF Z ON V HIGH POSITION...BUT MR TATA SAID wt COMMENTS IS NOT CLEAR.... I DO REMEMBER A LINE OF ALEX OSBORN,FATHER OF ADVERTISEMENT | BRAIN STORMING,..."BUSINESS WITHOUT ADVT IS WINKING AT A GIRL IN DARK"------.....WAITING FOR COMMENTS PLZ...KIND REGARDS
Posted by: DR R N SINGH - Monday 07th, February 2011
3: tataosah@yahoo.com
Hello.
My Name is Tata I was impressed when i saw your profile at ww.siliconindia.com and will like you to email me back to my inbox so that i can send you my picture for you to know who i am.i belive we can establishe a long lasting relation ship with you.In addition,i will like you to reply me through my private e mail box (tataosah@yahoo.com).
This is because i dont know the possibilities of
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Posted by: tata tatababy os - Friday 30th, October 2009
4: Informative article.
There is no theory to be internalized and applied in this psychology. Ancient practices spontaneously induce what each person needs as the individual and the universal coincide. The work proceeds through intellectual knowledge of the playing field ( jnana yoga), emotional devotion to the ideal (bhakti yoga) and right action that includes both feeling and knowledge (karma yoga). With ongoing purification we approach wisdom. The Bhagavad-Gita is a message addressed to each and every human individual to help him or her to solve the vexing problem of overcoming the present and progressing towards a bright future. Within its eighteen chapters is revealed a human drama. This is the experience of everyone in this world, the drama of the ascent of man from a state of utter dejection, sorrow and total breakdown and hopelessness to a state of perfect understanding, clarity, renewed strength and triumph. May the wisdom of loving consciousness ever guide us on our journey. What makes the Holy Gita a practical psychology of transformation is that it offers us the tools to connect with our deepest intangible essence, and we must learn to participate in the battle of life with right knowledge.
"Freed from attachment, fear and anger, absorbed in Me, and taking refuge in Me, purified by the penance of knowledge, many have attained union with My Being." (Gita 4:10)
Posted by: mulavana parameswaran bhattathiri - Sunday 28th, June 2009
5: Hi,

its very interseting notes,

the world is running very fast / but what for ?

our genaration is going bad way i fee.

regards

sathyan Manjuvil

dubai
Posted by: sathyan manjuvil - Saturday 07th, March 2009
6: No doubt Technology has effected the business a lot and has changed the industrial environment and even in a home the change can be noticed. It is only a starting stage will pentrate in further more areas
Posted by: S K Singh - Monday 09th, February 2009
7: INDIA HAS EMERGED AND THEIR SHOULD BE NO DOUBT.THE TECHNOCRATS AND THE SOFTWARE PROFESSIONALS HAS TAKEN US TO THE NEW HEIGHT AND THE WORLD CAME TO KNOW THE INDIAN BRAINS.
ALTHOUGH IT WILL TAKE TIME TO REACH TO THE BOTTOM.THE ONLY PROBLEM WITH OUR COUNTRY IS THE SARKARI BABUS.THEY ARE NEITHER DIFFERENT FROM US NOR ALIKE.THE IMAGE OF THE COUNTRY WAS NOT REFLECTED BY THE MANFORCE BUT BY THE PEOPLE IN THE GOVERNANCE.PLEASE PREPARE THE SOFTWARE TO UPGRADE THEM
Posted by: vicky bakshi - Tuesday 27th, January 2009
8: hai
this is nagu this very happy say best of luck
Posted by: pattapu naga srinivasu - Saturday 12th, July 2008
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