What we do at Sollo emphasizes the importance of the strategic management for the small business sector and youth owned social enterprises, no matter the dimension or the field. More important becomes though, the implementation and utilization of systems that represents support for business processes and information flows because of focus on cooperation and networking activities of today’s companies. The models created for running businesses are creative but in some cases these are not paying attention to the ICT point of view. There is evidently a large gap between business and technology development and knowledge about those activities.
The accentuated requirements for effectiveness and competitiveness in today’s business and economy are the main generators of the cooperation and networking activities. Today networking has moved towards strategic enterprise networks (e.g. Jarillo 1993; McHugh et al. 1995; Hines et al. 2000). Cooperation between companies has one main similarity: the need for communication and for information technologies and software that supports communication.
Information and communication technologies (ICT) have made possible new business models and even new business structures. There are many opportunities for developing business through new processes, models and methods and, of course, with new ICT solutions. On the other hand, some problems could arise, when the business development lives its own life without taking care of real business needs
The steps a company should execute in strategic ICT planning (Turban et al. 2002) are:
- Set the IT mission
- Assess the environment
- Assess existing systems' availabilities and capabilities
- Assess organizational objectives and strategies.
- Set ICT objectives, strategies and policies
- Assess the potential impacts of ICT
Technological development is not easy, especially for small- and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Technological development needs a lot of effort on the part of a company. It is not easy for the SMEs to utilize new emerging technologies, but it is not easy for bigger companies either. The main point as far as new technologies are concerned is to purposefully create a strategy for ICT in a company. ICT is basically employed at two levels in companies: Operations and Products.
Both levels are needed for competitive business and both levels need clear understanding of requirements and possibilities. But that is not enough: a company needs vision and a roadmap to advance in ICT development, just as vision and a roadmap are needed in business model development. Organizations, moreover, also need strategies to implement roadmap activities in order to achieve the vision state successfully.