Microfinance Institutions have numerous options when they are defining the strategic role IT will play in their organization. Some of the possible questions to answer when defining the role are:
- Where Should a MFI Start from?
- Finding the Right Balance between the Needs and its Chosen Technology?
- Should a MFI opt for In-House or Outsourced Technology Solutions?
- Should it consider Shared Solutions?
- Choosing the Right Vendor or Partner?
Where Should a MFI Start from?
MFIs have two components to consider when evolving a strategy for role of IT in their organization. First they consider the Management Information System (MIS) and the other thing to consider is the delivery system. In order to build sustainable operations for the MFIs it is crucial that the base i.e. core MIS is absolutely right before moving on to the delivery system to be placed on top of it.
Finding the Right Balance between the Needs and its Chosen Technology?
In order for an MFI to get the right fit, it is essential that the MFI is clear on its business strategy, objectives, who the intended customers are and what products does the MFI intend to deliver; only then should the MFI settle on the desired technology.
In-House or Outsourced Technology Options?
Basically, there are three options. Firstly, the organization can buy off the shelf. Secondly, it can access specialized technologies developed by someone else modified according to the needs of the organization. Thirdly, develop from scratch new solutions either in-house or by partnering with someone else. Whichever is the best fit for the organization it should chose that option.
Considering Shared Solutions?
The organization deciding to implement has to consider whether opting for a proprietary solution is the best way forward or should it create a shared solution to address its needs. Whichever option it takes it should keep in mind the business case for each option that it might opt for.
Selecting a Technology Partner?
When selecting a technology partner it is important to obviously partner with someone who has the necessary technical expertise, along with an understanding to operate within your budget constraints and is committed to providing dedicated support for the agreed upon solution.
Once answers to these questions are clear, it will help to identify the right technology partner for your organization and its evolving needs.