ICT for processes – Pearls from Gates

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, suggested the following applications for ICT – Information and Communications Technology

For knowledge work:

  • Insist that communications flow through the organisation over e-mail so that you can act on news with reflex-speed
  • Study sales data on-line to easily find patterns, share insights, understand overall trends and personalise service for individual customers
  • Use PCs for business analysis, and shift knowledge workers into high-level thinking work about products, services and profitability
  • Use digital tools to create cross-departmental virtual teams that can share knowledge and build on each other’s ideas in real time, worldwide
  • Use digital systems to capture corporate history for use by anyone
  • Convert every paper process to a digital process, eliminating administrative bottlenecks and freeing knowledge workers for more important tasks


For business operations:

  • Use digital tools to eliminate single-task jobs or change them into value-added jobs that use the skills of a knowledge worker
  • Create a digital feedback loop to improve the efficiency of physical processes and improve the quality of the products or services created
  • Every employee should be able to track all the key metrics
  • Use digital systems to route customer complaints immediately to the people who can improve a product or service


For commerce:

  • Trade information for time
  • Decrease cycle time by using digital transactions with all suppliers and partners, and transform every business process into just-in-time delivery
  • Use digital delivery of sales and service to eliminate the middleman from customer transactions – and if you are a middleman, use digital tools to add value to transactions
  • Use digital tools to help customers solve problems for themselves
  • Reserve personal contact to respond to complex high-value customer needs


All managers should take note

As Andy Grove of Intel said: “In the future, all companies will be internet companies” – so managers who are not ICT/ digital literate will be left far below


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