Your shout! On whether IT strategy or the board come first

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On whether IT strategy or the board come first

In response to strategy clinic, which asked how the IT department could become more involved in formulating a business strategy with the board and how to get better feedback

Which should come first, the business strategy or the IT strategy? There are arguments for both.

Last week Anthony Harrison from NCC Global suggested that a formulated IT strategy would prompt the board into developing a clear business strategy. My response to this is that surely IT is there to support the forward progress of the company and to enable business processes to happen more efficiently, not the other way around.

Ask for meetings with the individual department heads and ask them what they are planning for over the next few years; what are their fiscal targets in terms of sales increases, efficiency improvements, productivity gains, etc?

What are their plans to achieve these targets? Ask them, "If I can help you achieve your targets, would you be happy?" I defy you to find anybody who would say no. If the department heads realise you are there to help them achieve their targets, they will welcome your assistance.

The targets in each department will be different and the IT solution will be correspondingly different. It is unlikely that all solutions can be achieved and it is pretty much guaranteed that there will not be the money to implement everything. Has this been explained to the right people in a way they will understand?

An IT strategy based upon the needs of all departments, to various degrees, should get the buy-in from everyone, once the extent to which this strategy assists them to achieve their own targets has been demonstrated.

Nigel Davey, Group marketing manager, Emerthames Group

On the inevitable flaws in biometric ID cards

In response to John Higgins, who wrote that the government is misguided in its national identity card scheme and should collaborate with industry on IT and biometric matters

Am I the only one finding this rush to implement biometric passports and ID cardsÊdisturbing?

Does anyone believe the argument that they will improve security and stop crime? It did not stop the 11 September terrorist attacks in the US and it will not stop terrorist attacks here. It just makes life more troublesome for the rest of us.

Given the often unhelpful attitude of the police to people who are victims of crime, I would not like to be the first person to report their ID card stolen, or to claim it has been cloned, or assert that there has been a false positive identification.

No identity card in the world is foolproof or uncopyable, or has uncorruptable staff managing it - absolutely none. Countries which require them engender a culture of suspicion. This is totally contrary to the freedoms we have long held. See www.privacyinternational. org/issues/idcard/personal. html.

Nowhere in your article was there any mention of the degree of opposition (such as www.stand.org.uk), or of the future potential for abuse of ID cards. Though, to be fair, John Higgins did point out the problems of biometrics. How can anyone impose standards using technologies that have not yet been proven reliable?

It is quite plain that the elected government of this country does not trust its citizens and wishes to manage and control us. There are ways to introduce ID cards that would benefit people, such as not collecting all of the individual data in one place. However, I very much doubt that would even be considered.

So a call to arms. If they try to introduce them, just refuse. If enough people say no, it cannot happen - there would be more people in the jails than on the outside

David Bolton

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