Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) are the most powerful enablers of economic development since the Industrial Revolution – they contribute approximately two-thirds of all economic growth in the advanced economies (source: IMF). However, the scientists, engineers and technologists who understand the technology and its application contexts typically represent only a small fraction of those who have to implement sustainable ICT solutions in the real world.
Doyletech has gained extensive experience with ICT planning and implementation projects, having worked with public and private sector organizations throughout Canada, the Caribbean, and India. A typical assignment for us is to assist federal government planners in emerging and developing countries as they design and implement nation-wide ICT programs.
To be effective, ICT strategic plans must leverage the power of people, innovation, education, information technology, and infrastructure. They must enable the acceleration of technological and organization change necessary for service providers to survive in a competitive environment as well as support governments’ national economic development planning objectives to provide universal access and the evolution towards a knowledge-based society. As such, the planning effort must address a broad spectrum of complex topics and issues that challenge the traditional approach based on the limited knowledge, skills, and experience of those involved in the planning process. Recognizing the limitations of this approach, we offer a unique set of integrated planning support services that supplements in-house research and development efforts.
The following outlines our major ICT strategic planning and implementation offerings.
Doyletech’s ICT Strategic Planning Research
We carry out independent research on international best practices for ICT strategic planning and present the results of this research to clients in interactive workshops we host at our facilities in Canada or on-site at client organizations. The following are the types of strategic planning research we conduct:
Products and Services – This subject area addresses the definition, pricing, promotion, packaging, and provisioning of services. It also addresses demand and supply capacity for such services.
Technology and Infrastructure – This subject area focuses research on new and emerging technologies that might be leveraged to expand existing infrastructure and enable the delivery of a new generation of services. Our research helps clients mitigate the technology risk by gathering and analyzing information about appropriate technologies that can provide increased access and additional functionality at minimal cost.
Legal and Regulatory Environment – This research area addresses current and future public policy and legislative frameworks, such as licensing, under which service providers must operate and the impact it has or will have. We examine the practices in knowledge-based economies (KBE) so as to develop a set of practical best practices.
Finance and Economics – This area examines alternatives such as universal service funds for funding the expansion, operation, and maintenance of the telecommunications infrastructure and services. It is also concerned with the economic analysis of alternatives to justify the business case for implementation of such expansion programs and minimize investment risk.
Business and Organizational Models – Our research focuses on gathering and analyzing information about viable alternatives to the status quo. We do this by looking at alternatives which mitigate the business risk. We may do this, for example, by separating the risk associated with delivery of business services from the risk associated with the management and operation of the telecommunications infrastructure. We also examine organizational models such as Open Access Models for the management of different parts of the network by different service providers.
In our research, we make use of relevant publications and studies made available to us. We complement them with published material available from secondary sources and with our extensive Knowledge Base (see diagram above). In undertaking our research activities we leverage our existing contacts in the technology and telecommunications industry and development agencies, in particular the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Industry Canada, and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), both located in Ottawa, and the World Bank.
Doyletech’s ICT Professional Development Programs
The professional development programs are comprised of workshops and study tours. The study tours are intended to supplement the knowledge acquired in the workshops with exposure to the learning experience of other subject matter experts in the field from both the private and public sectors. The following are the types of professional development programs we conduct:
Workshops – These are typically management skills development workshops, or workshops on international best practices for ICT strategic planning. We currently offer two management development workshops.
The first is the ICT Strategic Planning Methodology Workshop, a two-day workshop that provides participants with an opportunity to learn what exactly an ICT Strategic Plan is and the rationale for developing one. It also presents a structured methodology for developing and implementing an ICT Strategic Plan. See diagram to the right.
The second is the Organizational Change Management Program Design Workshop, a two-day workshop that provides a broad framework that will serve as a foundation for effectively implementing change management programs and for building change management competencies. Ultimately, the rationale for the planning activities that are undertaken is to implement some form of technological and/or organizational change. And change must be managed. The initial investment for implementing ICT solutions is only the beginning – changing the organization’s work practices is 80% of the cost. See diagram at the end of the page.
We also provide workshops based on our ICT international best practices research. They are intended to provide a good academic and comparative basis for research being carried out by in-country researchers attempting to develop ICT strategic plans at various levels (national, government, ministry, department, etc.).
Study Tours – These are custom designed for each visiting organization. Meetings and presentations are delivered by subject matter experts from public and private sector organizations and academia from across Canada and involve the student directly in interactive discussions. These tours and seminars allow participants from other countries to acquire exposure to new and emerging ICT technologies, applications, and business models that can be leveraged to expand infrastructure and deliver new services at minimal cost. They can also meet with service providers and government organizations to explore the entrepreneurial business models required to develop sustainable businesses. They can also acquire an in-depth understanding of the role of the regulatory bodies, their current policies and legislation leading to the de-regulated competitive marketplace.
Doyletech’s ICT Design and Implementation Programs
We also have the in-house technical expertise to design, implement, and manage various ICT projects. Our ICT Practice Head manages the hands-on design and implementation of ICT programs and networks, typically in emerging and developing economies.
The following are our specialties: (1) the design and implementation of wireless and wired networks (including test cases); (2) the design and implementation of Community Access Centre (CAC) Programs and Pilot Projects; (3) assistance with the development of ICT Program RFPs; (4) vendor selection and management assistance; (5) the organization and facilitation of vendor information conferences; (6) website and portal development (including e-government); and (7) troubled project reviews and remediation activities. In all of these activities, we also seek to provide for knowledge transfer so that these programs can be sustained locally over time.
In terms of CACs, we have carried out significant research and implementation. Based on this experience, Doyletech has developed its own model for CAC design and deployment. As indicated in the diagram below, CACs must consider international best practices as well as local ICT development goals and current capabilities and capacities.
Sample of Past Projects
Wired and Wireless Network Design and Organizational Processes for eTecK in Trinidad & Tobago
Working with IBM Global Business Services (GBS) Canada and IBM World Trade Corporation in Trinidad & Tobago (T&T), Doyletech assisted eTecK in the design of a multi-million US$ wireless network for the business and incubation centre in T&T. The work also entailed mentorship and guidance in areas such as organizational structure, business development, technology transfer and incubation, tender and RFP practices, human resources best practices, and general management knowledge transfer. eTecK is an independent state enterprise which owns and manages various real estate holdings, including industrial parks and incubation centres across the country. A major focus of eTecK is also on developing new businesses, particularly in the fledgling ICT and knowledge-based industries, as well as developing T&T’s human capital through innovative educational and/or commercial initiatives.
Vendor Qualification Assistance and Conference Facilitation
We assisted eTecK – Evolving TecKnologies and Enterprise Development Company Limited, Trinidad with a vendor conference in support of their wired and wireless broadband network (with n tier datacentre). We have provided ongoing general advice to eTecK and helped to address questions from prospective network and fibre vendors. IT goverance and business model development and implementation has also been provided.
Design and Pilot Implementation of the Trinidad & Tobago National Community Access Project
The main objective of the program was to provide residents of rural, remote, and urban communities with accessible and affordable access to computers and the Internet. Community Access Centres (CACs) were established over time in every part of the country. Doyletech was also actively involved in project implementation. We deployed several consultants to T&T for implementation of the Community Access Centres across the Republic.
An Assessment of International Best Practices for the Trinidad and Tobago Fastforward Initiative
A set of international best practices were developed for T&T’s Community Access Centres (CACs). We recommended that a strong planning culture be encouraged at the CAC level because of its identified influence on sustainability. We also recommended a strong emphasis on the provision of meaningful local content in the information and the services provided by the CACs.
An Assessment of Public-Private Partnerships for the Trinidad and Tobago Fastforward Initiative
Extensive research was conducted on the emergence of public-private partnerships (PPP) in ICT and how these developments can (or perhaps) should impact T&T’s Community Access Program. Where markets work, the private sector is best suited to capitalize on them in spurring development; where markets are weak or absent – as in the financing of innovation or in extending ICT to remote areas – the public sector can catalyze participation with public funds. In all circumstances, successful joint programs and projects require due diligence, careful design, monitoring, and clear communication at every stage.
ICT Implementation, Focus Groups on Change Management, and Canadian Study Tour for BSNL India
This project involved the organization of a series of Focus Groups and a Canadian Study Tour. This was done for delegates from Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL), which is the largest telecommunications service provider in India and India’s former Department of Telecommunications. It also included delegates from the Agency for Promotion of Information Technology of the state government of Madhya Pradesh. This work was conducted on behalf of IBM GBS Canada, the prime contractor responsible for a CIDA-funded telecommunications infrastructure expansion project in India. The project led to the identification of opportunities for a number of Canadian companies to develop the market for their products in India. As a result, Doyletech has developed plans to carry out market and manufacturing feasibility studies on behalf of these companies.