Information Technology and Business
Several changes in the telecommunication, hardware and software technologies have played a major role in the evolution of business practices from simple barter trade to more complex and sophisticated IT oriented businesses like the internet and other telecommunication businesses. Within the past one and a half decades now, the rate of change in information technology have greatly improved and it is evident that the world is now entering the era of unavoidable explosive changes in technology like space exploration and telecommunication systems.
This explosive change was combined with the ever increasing computing power and knowledge which in turn saw the beginning of numerous changes in the information technology systems to support the ever changing demands of profit oriented business organizations of 21st century (Yoog, P. 2007). Because of these changes several organizations have decided to shift their managerial approaches and they have opted for new business opportunities offered by information technology, leading to change in how they function.
By definition information technology is being considered to be very wide because it entails numerous technologies like knowledge base, database systems, multimedia activities, telecommunications and groupware technology. All these technologies are complex and have numerous technical issues within them making it a bit difficult
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2003). Therefore one will not be misjudged for arguing that when the major objectives and goals of facilitating the profit maximization is not the focus of IT in a business then it has failed. Many business consultants have evaluated the worth of IT using several parameters such as time required to install it within business premises, the cost of installation as compared to the business turn over, the speed at which it processes all the business transactions and its capacity in achieving the required business success.
For small organizations to determine the worth of information technology they have to measure it using the core business terms like achievement of quality revenue growth, maximum profitability, high levels of efficiency, reliable productivity, good performance index in stock markets and customer satisfaction. Most of the upcoming organizations, firms and companies are therefore striving to develop stronger and well placed information technology to ensure that their businesses gain a competitive advantage in most of the 21st century stock markets.
Among the key and strategic IT approaches in business organizations to achieve maximum profitability include Digital Net Generation to have the ability to transform the traditional ways of sales and marketing to the most modern ways to enable the customers to have new ways of making decisions on brand purchase and use. Apart from this the business organization should also invest in software packages to ensure that all the aims of information are achieved. Though the organizations should take precautions on the types and quality of software packages to use since there are numerous in the markets due to the advancement of IT.
The organizations must also create information technology business value program to measure the achievements brought by IT in their business. Because business organizations deals with different individuals, nations and even continents those planning to use IT approaches must also consider the ethical values of business organization such as; how will involvement of IT influence human behaviors, business privacy and will it really bring good relationship between the customers themselves and between the organization and their customers.
Small organization aiming at attaining maximum profits should be very keen to invest in IT approaches like the software packages, since the use of software packages to meet the profit and information goals of different organization has now become very common because it guarantees an automatic success and tangible returns on the invested capital(Sward 1999).
For this reason information technology more so that of software packaging have been employed in organizations like manufacturing firms and shipping companies by ensuring that they are purchased off-the-shelf to provide better economies of scale and reduce the risk of implementing IT in running their day to day activities. By utilizing the software packages the business organizations will be in a position to develop specialized skills, personnel and develop better performance levels within the business premises.
This is due to using an additional advantage of using modern techniques of IT which the organizations are unable to retain internally but can only be attained through purchases of any software packages from reliable vendors. More so the software packages will take relatively shorter time during installation as well as minimum amount of money for installation as compared to hardware and other forms of infrastructural instalation.
This is a greater advantage to the organization because this situation provides earlier and higher returns to the organization. Further it will also enable the organization to avoid the impossibilities of hiring and managing larger numbers of technical staff. Proper management of IT will subsequently lead to the selection and obtaining proper software packages.
According to Khosrowpour (1999) organizations must consider the following issues during selection; they have to define their user requirement clearly and elaborately, there must be an intensive and thorough research on software packages vendors, they have to request for business proposals from the vendors and finally an evaluation on the vendors’ packages must be done to avoid the uncertainties of purchasing faulty packages.