Organizing Information Technology Services

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Introduction

Information systems contribute immensely to the problems in the health care industry. IT experts are of the opining that this industry is one of the most transaction-intensive industries, with over thirty billion transactions every year. Note that these transactions involve patients and providers, suppliers and providers, providers and other providers, providers and insures, and so on. However, compared with other sectors, health care has historically been underserved with information technology. Having that in mind, this paper is going to address the need of organizing information technology services in the health care industry.

Information technology functions and evaluating IT effectiveness

Many transactions between parties in organizations usually take place not so much electronically. As a result, much information is never captured, is captured inefficiently, is captured incorrectly, or is difficult to retrieve and use. Likewise, the industry depends heavily on legacy systems that cannot communicate with one another, not only within the same organization, but often between organizations (Ginter, Swayne and Duncan 78). Therefore, organizations need to fix this messy situation by understanding the functions of information technology. Leganza (103) state that these functions includes;

  1. Capture: this is the compiling of detailed records of activities
  2. Processing:   this involves analyzing, converting, computing, and producing all forms of data and information.
  3.  Generation: this is the organization of information into a useful form
  4. Storage: this involves the retention and protection of information for future use
  5. Retrieval: this involves the locating and disseminating data and information for further processing or use
  6. Transmission: this id the distribution of data and information over a communication network

Organizing IT Staff and Services and managing core IT processes

After the above functions have been met, it is time to use the transmitted information by organizing IT staff and services. It is the role of the IT staff to manage IT infrastructure by installing networks, securing systems from viruses, and performing backups (Thiadens 32). Organizing IT staff and services ensures that information flows smoothly in various departments in an organization. Therefore, each IT staff has to be conversant with the information system that is in use within the organization.

In-House Versus Outsourced IT

Presently, information technology infrastructure is like a parameter that people use to judge organizations as it reflects the level of reliability, its capabilities and security offered. In-house IT entails maintaining an on-site IT team that is available at hand and takes care of all issues that might arise in the IT department (Boggs 1). This team consists of qualified IT professional who have specialized in particular spheres such as system analysis and general support. In-house IT involves training IT experts and maintaining them with salaries. This means that using in-house IT services is expensive for many organizations. On the other hand, outsourced IT involves treating an organizations IT infrastructure as a service. As compared to in-house IT services, outsourcing these services are cheaper as an organization can save 12% t0 17%annually (Intelinet-systems 1).  Recent studies show that many organizations outsource at least one IT functions. This includes;

  • Website development and maintenance (32%)
  • Application development (19%)
  • ASP-type services (16%)

There are many opportunities and challenges that an organization experience after organizing information technology services. First off, organizing information technology services is not only expensive, but also time consuming. The organization might face resistance from employees who are used to the old system and are not ready to embrace change (Turban and Rainer, 78). It takes time before employees get used to the organized IT services. This can be attributed to the employees’ illiteracy or negligence. On the contrary, organizing IT services come with different opportunities. For instance, different department in an organization will operate in harmony. Moreover, an organization would have minimized future expenditures, loss of data, and hastened service delivery.    

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