Competition in business is increasing by day. Price of goods is not just the factor that has to be overlooked while considering the overall development of business but quality of products and services to customers should also be considered. Time also plays a major role in all business activities. An improvement in business performance should consider these aspects thoroughly. One of the main areas that have to be taken into account to make an overall performance improvement in all the factors mentioned above is process management. The time has come that calls for the need for minute investigation of business processes, its analysis and incorporation of necessary changes which has to be done on a daily basis. Advancements in business processes have to take place on a larger-scale in order to meet the need for improvement in the business performance. This calls for eminent technology tools.
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Impact of Information Technology on our lives
Information technology is an area that has developed a lot during the recent times and has a chance of developing to a great extend in the near future. It helps us in storing data, improving communication between people, printing of information, processing of information all in one system. Many business and non business activities that are time consuming can be done easily in lesser amount of time. It also helps us to do jobs at much lesser cost than it was with the conventional system.
Information Technology has by now become a part and parcel of almost every streams of life. Its effect is seen in fields of education, transportation and communication, banking, medicine, engineering, research, agriculture, insurance, retail business and what not. From elementary education to space technology man has made extensive use of information technology due to its easiness, reliability, accuracy and flexibility. You can communicate with your business client who is far away from you through teleconferencing. You can purchase through internet from a shopping centre that is miles away from you. E-banking, e-reservation and e-business have become common terms now-a-days. From office you can ask your washing machine to wash your clothes or your oven to cook your food. You can be at home and still attend a meeting with your boss at his office.
The role of IT industry in our lives is extremely large but it also has some disadvantages. It provides a good communication medium and a data storage system in turn eliminating the use of paper communication and storing the data in paper form. “A popular view is that the gradual spread of electronic information handling will replace paper as the medium of communication so that, in time, newspapers, books and postal communication will disappear. The familiar sight of an office piled high with paper will be replaced by the quietly humming visual display terminal” (Eason, 1988, p.2). Computers have advantages of doing hectic and tiresome jobs within a short interval of time. This will encourage employers to make use of computers instead of depending on vast human power. This may lead to mass unemployment. Conversely, businesses making extensive use of IT would lead to job opportunities that are different from existing job profiles.
IT makes it possible to work from a place that is far away from one’s office. This reduces the overhead of travelling on a busy road and also eliminates the need of travelling to the place concerned. But this also leads to lack of personnel inside the office. Information technology has helped to overcome the cultural and geographic barriers. People may be able to communicate to others living far away from them but they may lose communication with those who are near by. Disposal of e-waste is again an important issue related to information technology. Even though IT has many disadvantages it is still an inevitable part of life.
The key to success in a technology driven economy
Advancement in technology always had a key role in the development of business environment. For example the invention of mobile phones has resulted in an efficient way of transferring information. But the invention of computers has proved to be a revolutionary development in technology. It changed the way people viewed their life and how things are done. With the advent of computers we have entered an age of information economy. In this economy we are in a dynamic business environment in which faster production, efficient transportation and communication, vibrant changes in business processes, quick analysis of operational changes, efficient and timely decision making etc plays a crucial role. There are myriad techniques provided by information technology to gain success in this e-business era. But the use of right technology at the right time for the right purpose can prove to be a proficient business technique in this technology driven economy. In future the success in business will depend heavily upon the capability of an organization to keep track of developments and positive changes in information technologies and apply it in business processes. Future business firms should use the networking facilities of information technology to transfer information. This will help in effective and fast information flows within and outside the organization. Firms should make use of global communication media namely internet to eliminate the limitation imposed by space and time. E-commerce is a discipline of Information technology that gives immense opportunities for business organizations to operate successfully in a highly competitive world. Storage of large amount of data, faster information processing, accountability etc which are chief features of modern business can be easily implemented using e-commerce. “Success in a digital economy demands change and achieving a seamless flow of information and a business must be flexible and agile enough to adapt to the changing environment” (Tsai, 2003, p.10). “As such, the organization itself must redesign or reengineer its business processes and change its practices to accommodate the agility of information technology” (Tsai, 2003, p. 4).
Examples of changes introduced by technology in business industry
Computers have changed the whole scenario in the banking sector. Facilities such as centralized banking, ATM (automatic teller machine), at par cheque, debit card etc have been a revolution in the banking industry. Now people need not go to their bank premises in order to deposit or withdraw money from their accounts. They can also withdraw money from any branch of his/her bank. There are many banking softwares that help smooth, customer-friendly working of banking organizations. E-transfer facility helps us in payment of telephone bills, insurance premium, school fees etc to be paid from home without moving to the places concerned. Credit and Debit Cards are widely used at mercantile establishments. This gives the customers the advantage of avoiding travelling, carrying large amount of money physically etc. Account statements, transactions and other account details are made available to the customers with a few mouse clicks. Technology has thus transformed the way business is done today and it is for sure that more innovations are yet to evolve.
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Eason, K. (1988). Information technology and organizational change. Taylor & Francis, p.2. Web.
Tsai, H. (2003). Information technology and business process reengineering: New perspectives and strategies. Greenwood Publishing, p.4. Web.