During the last ten years information technology has experienced unprecedented levels of change, this technology is not only influencing the way in which we conduct business, it is changing the way in which we conduct our lives. We are a business-centered society. In today’s competitive world, business professionals are increasingly aware of the value of managing relationships and communicating effectively, both within the workgroup and with their customers. Information technology has become an important part of most businesses. Information technology is a system used to control, manage, process and create information though technology and computers. In a survey written more than twelve years ago, John Browning wrote: “Information technology is no longer a business resource; it is the business environment”.
1 Presently, ongoing advances in information technology, along with increasing global competition, are adding complexity to the business organizational environment. An organization’s response the environment will continue to be the crucial determinate for its effectiveness. Business organizations needs to process information and make decisions will be substantially increased. The capabilities and flexibilities of computer-communication systems make them increasingly relevant to organizations by being able to respond to any specific information or communication requirement. 2Computers have enabled companies to produce more data in the last 30 years than in the last 5000 years. Companies make large investments in Information Technology to enable then to manage the large amounts of data and make it available to the people who need it.
Information Technology may be considered as comprising of five basic components – computers, communications technology, work stations, robotics, and Computer chips. 3 Although Information Technology describes a large range of systems there are still some underlining common features. An information system in the business world incorporates a group of people, equipment and procedures. It is there to collect, record, process, store and retrieve and present information that can be viable for the success of a business.
There are a number of ways Information Technology can improve a company’s performance. Increased efficiency: if programmed correctly, computers can monitor the data collection processes very efficiency, while also checking for human errors and providing help and guidance to the user. Most large-scale organizations are using computer-assisted interviewing as standard in many of their surveys simply because of the remarkable achievement good data collection programs. Modern computers are fast. They are able to complete tasks 100’s of times faster than we would be able to. The average PC can already perform most multimedia functions such as reproducing photographic pictures as sharp as any film.
The advantages for companies can range from creating advertisement for your company to monitoring stock controls. Many companies success is dependent on the data that it is able to retrieve. Shared databases, enables companies to remove barriers between departments giving staff more accurate information and greater competency to serve customers. Internally, a company can use Technology to streamline, integrate and synchronize key operating processes (such as procurement, order fulfillment and customer service). This can enable a company to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of supply and distribution channels.
Benefits are achieved when a company harnesses information and knowledge located inside and outside the company to improve the performance of individuals and groups as they make decision and take actions.There are many computer software packages geared toward business such as: word processing software (it enables the user to write, edit and format documents); spreadsheet software, (used to prepare and analyze numbers like those used for fiscal services, sales and budgeting); Database software (an electronic filing cabinet, it records, updates and store information); desktop publishing software (used to produce a number of advertisements such as brochures, catalogs, advertisement and newsletter).The individuals and groups in question may belong to the same organizations or they may be customers, suppliers and business partners working with company employees to achieve common goals; as well as making .