ICT can be used as an enabler of process change. While a process is being evaluated for change opportunities, ICT should be factored into the improvement or innovation analysis. Any consideration of changing business processes should articulate both the opportunities and the constraints placed on the organization by ICT. ICT can enable a new process design, but when ICT is introduced into the process change initiative itself, the organization gains both opportunities and constraints.
ICT can be both an enabler and an implementer of process change. As an enabler, ICT provides opportunities to enhance business processes and creates constraints to change. (ICT as a constraining force is discussed in the next section of this chapter.) As an implementer, ICT provides modeling tools and systems engineering techniques that support process change (see Exhibit 5.2). ICT can assist in process change as well as be changed itself through effective process design.
Adapted from Thomas Davenport, Process Innovation: Reengineering Work through Information Technology (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1993)
ICT infrastructure can enable the following host of opportunities for improvements and innovations: