The Role of Information Technology in Business
While information technology obviously sounds familiar to most of us, still we only take it for granted without realizing its crucial role in every aspect of our life. In business for example, there are increasing trends that companies leverage on information technology to stay ahead of competition and increase their productivity and efficiency in business. But again, what role does exactly information technology play in business all these times? Even if it does have beneficial impacts on your business, is it the same for everyone else and will it continues in the future? Only time can tell. For the meantime, let's travel back in time and find out what kind of role does information technology have for us.
The term information technology only comes to use after its first appearance at later years in Harvard Business Review. Despite the fact, the core concept of information technology has actually been applied since prehistoric period where people have started using symbols and drawings as a means of communication. After all the basic idea of information technology itself is to use technology and information to make your life easier and communications are certainly part of it. You may also want to note that technology we are talking here include any inventions to help do something or solve problems. Earlier information technology applications include numbering systems and calculator. So guess what, it really has something to do with numbers (and of course business and money) in the first place. After the invention of first computer on 1948, information technology starts to gain its momentum and keeps evolving until present time. Since computers can be considered as the key innovations to the development in information technology, from that time on information technology is literally defined as tool, application, systems or simply products which are based on computer-processed information.
In general, information technology whatever it takes form, has one thing in common - they enhance our life in any aspects including in business. However, in business and organization context, it takes central role especially thanks to seamless flow of information between parties involved. Among others, it allows us to better connect with other people from anywhere, anytime and thus faster decision making process. But again, as any other things, these benefits in business also comes with price. The application of information technology, depends on the its flexibility and scalability, needs a substantial capital to start with. Usually, the greater size of your organization, the greater investment you need. The investment itself will not only consist of the technology itself but also time and human resources. If you think it worths, then go ahead. Only, make sure to spend wisely and effectively. After all, the information technology exists in the first place to help making money not wasting it right? Above all things, there is no doubt that information technology play a very important role in business in that it creates more opportunity while saving more money and time.
The Value of Information Technology in Your Business
If anything, the role that information technology takes up in your business is to make everything run faster. Compare if you count wages manually, just how many days it will take, not to mention if there is miscalculation. Machines, computers, and any other artificial entities obviously win over manual method and human being when it comes to accuracy and calculation. The reason is because they use programmed algorithm and exact data. In many ways, automation with information technology in business help us to cut down stages in work flow because technologically advanced machines/computers are capable of handling and processing a lot of data or tasks at once without a hitch. Also, unlike human, they are less susceptible to ambient interruptions and thus be able to work more effectively and efficiently in shorter time.
With so many amazing innovations in information technology for the past decades, there are simply a lot of different ways to become more competitive in your business. You can send and get information in every way possible. Internet, smartphones, tablets, notebooks, video conference, TVs, video call and many more. In the case of cloud computing technology, you can retrieve, process, store, and access data and information faster and more efficient thanks to cloud computing technology. As such, important documents and credentials related to your business will also be safer since everything is kept on the cloud. You will also need less or perhaps no more physical space and resources to manage all the data and information related to your business.
Another role of information technology in business which is no less crucial is to minimize costs. In the first place, automation will reduce even eliminate the need for human power to do certain tasks. On different occasion, information technology application in business can help alleviate overall operating costs because you do not have to make frequent close or distant trip to see and talk with customers, clients, business partners, or even your own colleagues. In the same way, you can also make the most of your time thanks to mobile devices. You can practically work from anywhere, anytime. Sending emails, editing documents, and doing presentations while on the go. Now your office can tag along wherever you go. You no longer have to be confined to the office and still become more productive in business.
Along with faster flow of information from and to diverse communication channels, you can easily distribute and retrieve important information as well as receiving responses in real-time. For instance, you want to launch new products but not sure if they will sell. One possible solution with information technology is to create social media-based campaign or post video on YouTube before it really gets into the market to drive buzz and interest among prospective customers. This way, you can more or less analyse how the market will respond to your products and make necessary actions. Or if your superior is away for business trips and the client need to close the deal, you can simply use video conference system to settle things. Thanks to the advance of information technology, you can accelerate decision making process and most importantly, brings money into your business.
Previously, your products and services are only exposed to certain group of people within your network. However, with the advance of information technology, you now can reach a wider audience than you ever expected. Instead of words of mouth, recent information technology products such as social media or social games promotes viral marketing where messages are passed like domino effects to unidentifiable amount of audience which may or may not be your target audience. In one way, you can deliver messages of your business to greater amount of audience without making much effort. However, it is argued that most of the time this method just does not work due to its anonymous nature.
Last but not least, information technology also assume a role in improving your business because of the insight and understanding it offers. Like previous example of creating buzz prior to new product launch, you can actually gain significant data of your target audience buying behavior as well as general market insight. By better understanding market demand and consumer buying behavior, you will be able to tailor a more specific, if not well-suited solutions and hopefully, boosting sales or performance.