Expert spells out IT fitness needs

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 May, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 May, 1997, 12:00am

A British research firm has told Hong Kong companies how to gauge the 'IT fitness' of their management.

Tony Brewer, a consultant with Wentworth Research, said at a seminar that the analogy to physical fitness was an easy one for even IT-ignorant executives to understand.

He defines 'IT fitness' as the capability to provide adequate direction for the use of IT and the information gathered by a company. Mr Brewer, who interviewed more than 20 chief executives or company chairmen from Britain and included input from a debate held at a Hong Kong computer conference last year, said managers might need to be IT fitter today and they would certainly need to be IT fitter tomorrow.

'So they must learn how to get fit and stay fit,' he said.

'We provide a means for boards to establish their needed level of IT fitness and their actual fitness.' Mr Brewer said there was not only wide variation between boards but also within management teams.

'This is partly generational - younger directors tend to be more IT fit than older directors of a company,' Mr Brewer said.

'Partly it reflects their previous experience - if they have sampled IT success they are generally more open and enthusiastic.'