Although with huge investments on IT amounting to millions of dollars over a five year period the bank was able to achieve great milestones like decentralized global organization, lower project preparation, approval time an risk, and exponential increase in knowledge sharing , more delighted customers etc, but the real dream of world free from poverty still remains elusive. Billions of people still live on less than $2 per day, thousands of children still die daily, large income disparities still exist and the HIV/Aids in developing countries is just beginning to be looked into.
The problems in the world are in fact so huge that that IT in isolation is not just the only solution but it is definitely one of the major solutions powerful enough to at least bring about noticeable changes at the speed of light if properly utilize but in order to do so a basic knowledge base and enthusiasm on the part of those implementing it and those using it is really required which has really been a cause of concern within the confines of the world bank.
The table below represents the balance score card of the performance of the world bank in the past 5 years period.
The major challenge is that the resources are available but to use those resources also required high degree of talent and expertise at all quarters. The users and implementers have to be imaginative enough in order to exploit the benefits of IT to its maximum limit. This lack of imagination was one of the major challenges. Also the other challenge was non readiness to accept the change by the user community.
The user community was found to be increasingly deceptive of the advantages of the newly implemented system because of there lack of knowledge and almost always resistance to change. There was a period of dissention during and after the implementation. New system implementations brought about a dramatic change in the way the employees had to function and they really had to refocus and realign themselves to the new computing environment due to which there was a downfall in the productivity just when the users started to using the new software.
At the same time since the development in It has been quite spectacular over the past 5 years period a great challenge has also been to keep up with it. With the technologies getting obsolete at a very fast rate and the new unimagined technologies coming up with there obvious uses and high promises, it becomes difficult to restrain one self if you already have all the basic elements in place for the implementation of that technology as was the case with the world bank even when the benefits are not exactly quantifiable in numbers for example the client connections offered a CRM framework to address the clients on one to one basis across the world while at the same time giving a high value of attention to security and access. While this increased the client satisfaction to new horizons a training and communication campaign had to be perpetrated for several months to teach the employees and the customers alike.
It has brought about the proliferation of such goods/services which has uphill not been rightly comprehended by its users who are still accustomed and habitual to using old systems which have been passed from one generation to another over thousands of years Therefore most of the users require a lot of encouragement support and training for making IT successful. Just putting the hardware in place is not going to automatically make them use the systems.
This is a major constraint for the IT policy. These are tough constraints for an information technology policy. The IT must also be used and not merely obtained for rapid advancement. Although most countries particularly underdeveloped and developed are being benefited from IT but not to that an extent as in most of the places and even departments within the organizations, the awareness of IT not only quite low but is also and expensive and arduous task to grow more.
Although it is very clear that the countries which create and IT infrastructure and apply the same also will enjoy tremendous advantage. Yet in many areas especially the developing ones, there is a mistrust as far as the benefits of the IT go. There is also a perception that technology has gone out of control and its further developments are also resisted from a number of points of views. Therefore this factor could also be crucial in determining the way it has to be developed.
Hence from this standpoint the world bank has three major deterrents in reaching its milestones through IT .They are
- Homogenous Formulation of the policy,
- Encouragement to use IT,
- Providing efficient Compensation mechanism for constraints and deficiencies in markets.
In order to override these challenged the world bank must keep on increasing its own IT capabilities through further investments in the IT projects, further push the educational planning and execution and again redefine its policies for the private sector which can go a long way in improving the prevailing infrastructure and knowledge conditions kin the host country. The major challenges for the World Bank really are to promote the use of IT in the government and social sectors, educating the humans and developing a new breed of enthusiastic IT culture by promoting researches at various levels in the client countries which will foster further developments in the IT industry, Network infrastructure, and the legal framework for IT.
World bank must successfully continue to stress and talk about the past present and future benefits of information technology to all interested parties so that they also start thinking in the same. This would be particularly beneficial for the underdeveloped countries where the access to technology is minimal. By virtue of the large number of benefits. Since the major block for the IT spread in many countries is the weakness of telecommunications technology another challenge would be to facilitate the development of infrastructure especially in the underdeveloped countries to accommodate IT.