The World Bank Essay

2251 words - 10 pages

“Enabling Business Strategy with IT at the World Bank”

1. How does IT impact the mission of the World Bank?
Before we dive deeply into analyzing how IT influences the mission of the World Bank (WB), it is important to understand their missions as well as their core strategy and capabilities fostering these missions. We will first notice changes in the capabilities and business strategies before we see the final impacts; every reflection of these changes shines through the glass of IT-enabled business initiatives. Rarely in business cases, do we see top executives present such strong support for IT development due to heavy upfront investment, possible disruptive ...view middle of the document...

“IT was considered a key enabler of the matrix” (McFarland and Delacey, 4). Without instant access to central database through standardized and integrated IT infrastructure and a highly reliable global connectivity services through the Five Point Program, staff could not share and document their expert knowledge. It was sustaining knowledge that is difficult throughout this process. Beyond financial support, the WB leverages IT global thematic networks to offer sustainable knowledge and expertise to clients, as a result changing the basis of banking competition (Applegate 68). It added a new value to the WB current services and relationships with their clients. Clients even seek for help with negotiating with local government on environmental projects. Hence, the WB surely continues to bridge for trusted and long-term partnerships with both public and private sectors over time. At this point IT has helped the WB to fulfill their missions as well as raised switching costs to the buyer side through adding a new value to their services, change the nature of buyer-seller relationship, and build a barrier to entry for potential competitors (Applegate 68- 72).

2. What are governance & organizational issues facing implementation of IT at the World Bank?
While many organizations can recognize potential benefits of IT practices, but uncertainty is always attached to any big IT projects, especially the one that affects operations across the organization. Therefore, well-designed IT governance is essential and inevitable to ensure that the resources associated with an IT initiative are appropriate for the anticipated risk and return and to align the initiative properly with organizational goals (Applegate 404-406). IT expenditure spiked from 148 million dollars in 1997 to over 180 million dollars in 2000, an increase of 22 percent of IT expenditure in three years (Exhibit 7). With an inquiry to revamp the entire IT support system from the CEO, Muhsin needed to build an effective and reliable measurement to the attained strategic goals through IT initiative to enforce compliance governance. Strengthening IT governance mechanism and accountability was one of the high priority issues that Muhsin immediately took on when he became the CIO as he knew that an effective IT governance helps to ensure that IT supports business goals and maximize IT investment (Applegate 409). Another governance-related IT issues also conveyed in the text and shown in the WB case is problem with document content and knowledge management (Table 9.2, Applegate 413). The WB IT team faced a number of IT challenges from global differences in connectivity, affordability, and access technology to the nature of tacit knowledge, unique professional knowledge of individual experts around the world. The power of IT leverage is best shown in nontechnical issues where a collaboration of higher executive immersion and staff sustenance joined to create a solution called “tacit...

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