Information technology impact
In this article we are going to discover laconically and most substantially value and influence of information technologies on management activity by the example of travel agency “Plaske” which is one of the most advanced tour operators in the European market of providing tourist services. Having visited the booking service department of one of its numerous branches (where the brightest and every possible kinds of information technologies are presented) and having received a unique opportunity to communicate to its manager, the enormous and valuable information concerning to the given mini-research has been received.
I think that is difficult to argue, that transition to market relations in economy and scientific and technological advance was extremely sped up with rates of introduction in all spheres of a social and economic life of last achievements in the field of information. Information in the field of management of economic processes assumes, first of all, increase of workers’ labor productivity at the expense of reduction in cost/productivity ratio, and also improvements of professional skill and professional literacy of the experts occupied with administrative activity.
So, where is the connection between information technologies and management? All the time the manager must make decisions in conditions of the big uncertainty and variability of market situation: the inflation, a floating exchange rate, change of tax and legal operating conditions, and competitors are always watchful. Besides, there is a constant manager’s question “What if…? ” Computers can count some variants quickly and well and thus allow giving answers to any possible questions of similar type. Perhaps, it is one of the main computer advantages above the person.
But it does not mean that now computers will take all decisions instead of managers. According to the Greed’s law “the computer program does just what you ordered it to do, instead of what you wanted it to do”. The fifth law of uncertainty says: “The Person can be mistaken, but it is only a computer that can confuse everything once and for all”. Therefore computers act in the role of the advisers, that’s why corresponding information systems are called as decision-making support systems , and decision-making remains for the manager.
Nowadays information technologies are a kind of link of tourist branch. The international and internal tourism represents powerful branch on service trade. The basis of the tourist industry is made by firms, tour operators and agents. Tourism service cannot be exposed and viewed at the points of sales as the consumer or industrial goods. It usually bought beforehand and far from a place of consumption. Thus, tourism in the market almost completely depends on images, descriptions, means of communications and information transfer.
So information is a so-called connecting link holding various producers within the framework of tourist branch. The information streams provide connections between tourist services producers; it goes not only as data flows, but acts also in the form of services and payments. Services (for example, spending the night in hotel, rent of the automobile) are not sent to travel agents who, in turn, do not store them until it is sold to consumers. The information about availability, cost and qualities of these services is passed and used.
The same way real payments are not transmitted from travel agents to tour providers and the commission – from tour providers to travel agents. Actually the information on payments and receipts is transmitted. The system of the information technologies used in tourism, consists of computer reservation system, teleconference systems, video systems, computers, information control systems, electronic information systems of airlines, electronic money transfer, telephone systems, mobile message means etc. In the tourist industry the system of the interconnected computer and communication technologies functions.
Besides, separate components of tourist branch are closely interconnected with each other – in fact many tour producers vertically or horizontally are involved in activity of each other. All this allows considering tourism as high- integrated service what makes it even more susceptible for application of information technologies in the organization and management. Providers of tourist services use a number of communication technologies. As a result of information technologies application safety and quality of tourist services grow.
Travel agents and tour operators actively use information technologies – it is impossible to present daily planning and management of operations without computer systems of booking, video systems and systems of cooperating videotexts. Computer systems of reservation have a huge impact upon all tourist branches. Such systems allow reserving all basic trip segments – from hotel places and air flights up to theater tickets and insurance policies. As a matter of fact they arrange the general information system, offering the major distributive networks for all tourist trade.
With one connection through the modem with the servers having the corresponding database, travel agents get access to the information on availability of possible services, cost, quality, an arrival time and departures on a various number of tourist services from the providers. Moreover, travel agents can contact these databases to make and confirm the order. In travel agency “Plaske” such the largest computer booking systems as “AMADEUS” and “Galileo” are used. The average booking volume makes about 500 segments in a month.
For connection to the given booking systems the telephone version is used what in turn suits for small agencies with monthly sales volumes of 200-400 rounds. Average agencies will be more satisfied with the standard version installed at office and including, besides the software, special computers and printers for ticket printing. For the large agencies having its own local computer networks, system “client – server” is preferred. Through a gateway, the server of a local area network, agencies may contact central Amadeus server.
Thus, each terminal of agency has access to system of booking. And the payment for connection to Amadeus of each subsequent workplace is rather insignificant. The agencies with installed Amadeus terminals at the office, should foresee whether they can carry out the minimal volumes of booking. For example, for profitable work process with standard Amadeus variant it is necessary to reserve 575 segments of rounds (air flight, a hotel reservation, etc. ) in a month, and with use of telephone version Dial Up – 200 segments in a month.
“Galileo” – one of the most advanced systems of booking technically. Galileo was one the first who has given to agencies the Windows-version of booking system. Program “Premier” allows agencies to automate work on servicing fully. For example, it makes possible to keep client databases, to create own screen forms and the menu, to save most often repeating requests etc. As you can see the spectrum of influences of information technologies on management is extremely wide, but I am not able to cover all its aspects.
So my basic attention is given to the description of opportunities of information technologies in management and to its influence on the organizations and a role of managers. Summarizing all aforesaid we can state that information technologies possess a wide range of properties which are useful to the managers: ? ? Help to overcome a gap between economy and mathematics; ? ? Are the most effective carriers of modern methods of the decision of economic tasks; ? ? Promote the coordination of economic procedures with the international requirements; ? ? Connect to united information space – economical and educational.
Information technologies allow to make active and to use information resources of a society effectively which today are the most important strategic factor of its development. Information technologies today play the important role in maintenance of information interaction between people, and also in systems of preparation and distribution of the mass information. The urgency of normalization questions in all spheres of a socioeconomic life is quite obvious. The need for development and application of computer programs – effective and adequate to reality and technologies – today grows.
Bringing in the order into chaos and freedom of the market -is the first and yet none-realized necessity of enterprise activity subjects. Here again the computer technology is required, as it enables to optimize and rationalize administrative function at the expense of application of new means of gathering, transfers and transformations of the information. Reform of management methods by economic objects has caused not only reconstruction of process organization of administrative activity automation, but also distribution of new forms of realization of this activity.