New tech efficiency framework remains to be adopted in Pakistan
By: Shahram Haq
LAHORE: In a world where information technology is fast becoming a core requirement in managing the affairs of any government organisation or private corporation, Pakistan continues to lag far behind. A vast majority of businesses, industries and government organisations in the country are operating without deploying any certified IT standards.
Even though a few smart companies have started updating their internal systems according to global needs, a majority of these are multinationals which regularly reengineer their processes due to the stringent requirements laid down by their global headquarters.
Within the IT industry, a list of standards and best practices, including the ISO 20000, ISO 27001, etc, and multiple frameworks are available for reference, which can help companies implement a useful IT infrastructure. One of these is the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), which is being increasingly employed in the modern world.
The ITIL has been adopted by thousands of large organisations worldwide, including the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the UK National Health Service, the HSBC bank and The Walt Disney Company.
An ITIL guides management as to how to use IT as a tool for growth of their businesses. Its five core guides map the entire ITIL service lifecycle, beginning with the identification of customer needs and drivers of IT requirements, through to the design and implementation of the service into operation, and, finally, on to the monitoring and improvement phase of the service.
Pakistani industries in general do not meet international standards, which often results in economic losses to companies. And though each company has set its own patterns according to its individual requirements, these are not up to international standards.
“We often avoid implementing such sophisticated frameworks within our company, as they are costly and need continuous upgrading, training and much more,” an official of a Lahore-based company told The Express Tribune. “We have set our own standards and are managing things accordingly,” he added.
However, a few organisations in Pakistan already have implemented the framework or are in the process of implementing it. And the framework is being adopted as per the priorities and size of the organisation.
“As far as the implementation of IT standardisation is concerned, we have to follow what our head office tells us. We upgrade our systems regularly, in fact, a team of professionals from Europe looks into such matters by upgrading the systems and providing training to local professionals,” Rauf Hameed, Manager Corporate Communications at Tetra Pak Pakistan, told The Express Tribune.
“Businessmen normally consider this to be a costly measure, but they don’t know what benefits such frameworks will eventually return to their business,” Ahmad Aziz, a Lahore-based IT expert, explained. “If a supplier implements such frameworks and provides training to its employees, it gets improved IT services, reduction in overall costs, improved customer satisfaction, improved productivity, skills and experience and improved delivery of third party service. International buyers always look for such standards,” Aziz added.