IT in Governance? Why Not?
Over the years we have all seen the massive transformation in all facets of our lives driven by Information Technology (IT). The rate at which new Information Technology innovations are sprouting appears to render the most recent technologies obsolete within a year. Take for example the household television set whose shift from flat-screen TVs to Smart TVs happened within the bat of an eyelid.
The human drive for better and more efficiency has attracted IT innovators from all aspects of life ranging from health to education to farming with the benefits being readily identifiable. However, when it comes to corporate governance and the application of IT, it is safe to say that most organisations are yet to embrace technology in its entirety mainly due to data protection risks but also due to fear of the unknown in which most choose to retain the status quo and ‘comfort status’.
What such organizations fail to consider is that in governance, IT is more than just the seamless sending and receipt of emails and attachments. In governance, IT is tasked with aligning technology with business strategy with the main objective being to ensure that the Company progressively moves closer to achieving it set objective through the application of IT.
In Kenya, the realisation that traditional banking has been turned over its head by the application of technology and the desire for convenience is a clear example of how IT can be married with strategy. Banks are quickly adapting and setting up mobile applications and online banking system as a means of achieving their strategies in growing their customer numbers, reducing operating costs and improving customer experience.
In the current COVID-19 situation, most Organizations are realising the positive effects technology would have in cushioning against shocks that may arise as a result of the epidemic. Organisations are rushing to set up IT systems such as mobile access to office data to allow employees access the servers as they work from home thus increasing efficiency, adopting virtual meetings for both board and general meetings as a means of ensuring continuity all this in an effort to ensuring that the daily operations and more so the wheels of the integral components of the Organisation keep rotating.
As we cheer, celebrate and salute our gallant servicemen that are holding stethoscopes instead of guns and draping white lab coats in place of military combat gear, let us also play our part by embracing technology and utilising it in ensuring that we keep the Country running as we observe the guidelines for mitigating the spread of the virus.