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Paul Fick, Jasco GroupPaul Fick, Jasco Group

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become a critical business enabler by promoting greater efficiency, a more agile workforce and the ability to do business regardless of geographic boundaries.

The term ICT refers to a multitude of complex technologies that share a single converged communication infrastructure based on Internet Protocol (IP). Despite the complexity of the individual solutions, more value can be unlocked if the interoperation and integration between such technologies is understood, allowing the overall ICT system to work seamlessly. This does add another layer of complexity. ICT is not only about the technology, but about the services that are required to deploy, configure and integrate ensuring solutions that continue to work so that full value is derived in a business sense.

Whether the overall solution incorporates access to data, enablement of people on the move or at remote sites, connectivity between people or devices, or whether it includes the ability to support decision making, monitor progress or raise alarms, these types of systems ar e critical to the extent that the typical enterprise cannot operate when they are not working as intended.

Keeping the systems working, and ensuring that maximum value is derived, requires very specific skills and experience, which is not always af fordable for businesses on a full time basis. Many enterprises are embracing the concept of managed services, service delivery from the cloud, or the use of expertise on a project basis to facilitate maximum service delivery and value add in the technology space.

ICT is no longer simply about purchasing underlying technology and ICT tools. The days of box dropping are over, as enterprises can source tools online without the need for a reseller. But as technologies are more complex than ever and the mission critical to the successful running of a business, services are required. Such is the nature of the ICT solution evolution that providers no longer simply supply technology, but should rather become partners of the organisation. Delivery of professional and technical services is critical in leveraging the full value of ICT.

About the author: , chief technology officer, the Jasco Group