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10May

Information Technology and Enabling Services

Information Technology and Enabling Services

Executive summary

Information Technology and Enabling ServicesIntroduction of information technology and enabling services has brought revolution to the several business field while impact of IT/IS technological innovation is even more for the service organisation to provide better customer experience and enhance organisational efficiency by saving cost with the help of technological innovation. Present paper provides the application of technological innovation for national library board in Singapore so as to enhance organisational effectiveness and to build world class knowledge based environment for the users of library with the advanced information technology tools.

National Library Board has employed several latest information technology tools such as the data management system, eLibrary Hub, self check machines, SMS services and DIY membership registration kiosks. Employment of all these technological tools for the purpose of providing latest facilities to the users with hassle free way so that customer ease of use can be enhanced. Another usage of implementing IT as the enabling technology in service sector would be saving in terms of manpower which would be significant amount. As in present case NLB has saved cost of $50 million per year by employing latest technological devices which would reduce human intervention in library work.

Reason for becoming particular IT process as benchmark

IT innovation and technologies adopted by NLB become slowly the benchmark for entire library systems. The RFID system was first of all adopted by NLB and later on company named LogiTrack which evolved the system for NLB got patent into this and in current time it has become benchmark technology for any library in the world. Reason for adopting RFID as the benchmark technology was easy tracking of the books given as loan and managing inventory of books and other learning resources which was not possible. Further RFID system helped in faster processing of the book loans as in NLB queue time was reduced to 5 minutes from initial time of 45 minutes.

DIY concept has become the benchmark service in library and other related services industry. With the help of technologically advanced tools such as the self check machines and membership registration kiosk manual intervention would reduce and people can avail library service themselves (Engeström, 2001). Further other tools such as the SMS services which would allow user to pay their dues any time is another benchmark as it would add to better customer service and recognition of revenues for library at faster pace.

Shortcomings and inefficiencies of their predecessors

Predecessor systems used for management of library were not efficient enough and management of library were facing several issues which can be summarised as below:

  • Improper data management tools: The data management tools used by NLB prior to L2000 plan were inefficient and they do not allow user to access information and other collections available in the library.
  • Customer service: Systems used in past were not efficient and did make use of lot of library staff in order to process the issuing of books or returning the books which become automatic with introduction of newly developed system and no manual intervention was required.
  • High staff cost: Earlier system allowed employing many library staff for processing book loan, returning or clearing dues for the users which would cost approx $50 million for the library. With development of new system NLB saved in cost of more than $50 million each year just into employment cost saving (Fichman, 2004).
  • High queue time: Due to time taken by staff in order to process the information source and locating particular book or CD high amount of time elapsed every time. Due to this during peak time users have to wait for as long as 45 minutes in order to process their request which has been reduced to just 10 minutes with the introduction of new system.
  • Single resource management and access; initially with the help of earlier system developed by the library users were able to access to information available in the particular geographically located library. While with the development of new system users can access the information and knowledge source located in more than 60 libraries from a single geographical location (Sennett, 2008).
  • Traditional due payment: At initial stage users were allowed to pay their dues and manage account through physical enquiry only. Newly developed system allowed them to make enquiry through SMS and make payment through SMS as well.

Conclusion

NLB is offering excellent customer service with the usage of information technology up-gradations in its system. NLB has employed several latest IT tools and equipment which includes DMS, ELibrary Hub, SMS services, DIY registration kiosk and discussion forum. All these technological innovation done by NLB were first time experienced in the library system and become as the benchmark into the industry looking at the great advantage which these tools and techniques offers for its stakeholders in terms of the financial savings and process innovation which has been smoothen with the introduction of latest technology into the service sector (Dourish, 2004).

Initially Library management systems were not that upgraded and users were facing many issues with the old system along with the other stakeholders involved in the process. These inefficiencies and shortcomings of the legacy system over current age advanced system includes poor data management system, payment method, cumbersome account management for users and high cost involved into system in terms of manpower as manual intervention was required in each and every process for library system earlier.

Recommendations

Information Technology and Enabling ServicesFurther in order to manage the library functions with higher efficiency and to enhance customer value proposition NLB should try to attempt for innovating in terms of better information technology so that better customer experience can be created and efficient management of NLB can be done. Some of the key recommendations for NLB can be forwarded as mentioned below:

  • NLB should reach out to maximum users through various communication channels so that capital expenditure & technological innovation done by NLB can be leveraged by maximum possible people. This would also provide high number of membership for the NLB so that they can collect their capital expenditure in terms of fee charged.
  • Further NLB should extend the model of IT in such a way that users can take benefit of online presence without physical contact point. This would allow library resources to be used by maximum possible number of users who may not be located into geographical area where these libraries are located but still can avail various information resources which are located at several different places (Gephart, 2004).
  • Further NLB should encourage the shopping mall library model so that there are maximum numbers of available information sources for the users and NLB should not invest in order to manage all such resources and through strategic partners these resources can be managed by NLB.
  • Efficiency can be further enhanced by developing a model where in users can build self help groups and exchange books which they require among themselves by just transferring the books as per user.

References

  • Dourish, P. (2004) Where the Action Is: The Foundations of Embodied Interaction, MIT Press.
  • Engeström, Y. (2001) Expansive Learning at Work: Toward an Activity Theoretical Reconceptualization, Journal of education and work, 14, 1, 133-156.
  • Fichman, R. (2004) Going Beyond the Dominant Paradigm for Information Technology Innovation Research: Emerging Concepts and Methods, Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 5, 8, 314-355.
  • Gephart, R.P. (2004) From the Editors: Qualitative Research and The “Academy of Management Journal”, The Academy of Management Journal, 47, 4, 454-462.
  • Glaser, B., and Strauss, A. (2007) The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research, Transaction Publishers: Piscataway, NJ.
  • MacCracken, G. (2008) The Long Interview, SAGE Publications: London.
  • Sennett, R. 2008. The Craftsman. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
  • Swanson, E., and Ramiller, N. (2004) Innovating Mindfully with Information Technology, Mis Quarterly, 28, 4, 553-583.
  • Engeström, Y. (2001) Expansive Learning at Work: Toward an Activity Theoretical Reconceptualization, Journal of education and work, 14, 1, 133-156.
  • Fichman, R. (2004) Going Beyond the Dominant Paradigm for Information Technology Innovation Research: Emerging Concepts and Methods, Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 5, 8, 314-355.Order Now