The U.S. Department of Commerce has prepared a Spanish version of an IT management planning tool developed by the department to help small and medium-sized companies in Latin America determine how they might improve their business by using IT.
The Commerce Department’s Office of Information Technologies developed the tool, borrowing a few pages from its efforts on a Year 2000 management tool that was also distributed internationally prior to the date rollover, Tim Miles, director of the information systems division in the Office of Information Technologies, said Monday.
The IT management-planning tool takes users through several surveys to determine their level of readiness internally and externally. This is then followed by an “opportunity matrix” based on their answers and some IT projects they might want to pursue, Miles said. The tool, which is free, also provides a cost-benefit analysis.
“It’s a very structured way of thinking about IT within an organization, its possible benefits to the organization and analyzing the readiness of the organization for IT,” Miles said. The Spanish version of the tool will launch in two weeks.
The Office of Information Technologies hopes to follow up the launch of the Spanish version of the tool with versions in other languages, particularly Chinese and Russian. The office ultimately aims to distribute thousand of copies of the tool around the world. The agency also would like to hold seminars overseas to discuss the benefits of IT and electronic commerce and conduct a workshop featuring the tool, Miles said, adding that the office is discussing partnership deals with U.S. IT suppliers who might help further develop the tool.
Commerce Department officials have discussed holding the first seminar in Chile, followed by sessions in Argentina and Brazil, but no dates have been set, Miles said.
Additional information about the tool can be obtained by sending e-mail to ExportIT@ita.doc.gov. The Commerce Department can be found on the Web at http://www.doc.gov/.