Information technology (IT) has become a vital and integral part of every business plan. From multi-national corporations who maintain mainframe systems and databases to small businesses that own a single computer, IT plays a role. The reasons for the omnipresent use of computer technology in business can best be determined by looking at how it is being used across the business world.
The use of Information technology bought innovation in business. Innovation results in smarter apps, improved data storage, faster processing, and wider information distribution. Innovation makes businesses run more efficiently. And innovation increases value, enhances quality, and boosts productivity.
Innovation through information technology has created the following radical changes in business:
- Online shopping is more efficient than shopping in a store.
- Digital marketing is more efficient than high-cost newspaper, television, and radio advertising.
- Social networking is more efficient than going to clubs.
- VoIP communication is more efficient than basic telephony communication.
- Cloud computing is more efficient than a private computer network.
Businesses that have embraced the innovation paradigm tend to have the following characteristics:
- They have more accurate business planning
- They have more effective marketing
- They have higher global sales
- They have more systematic management
- They use real time monitoring
- They offer instant customer support
Key roles of Information Technology in Modern Industryback to menu ↑
Communication Between Employees, Suppliers and Customers
For many companies, email is the principal means of communication between employees, suppliers and customers. Email was one of the early drivers of the Internet, providing a simple and inexpensive means to communicate. Over the years, a number of other communications tools have also evolved, allowing staff to communicate using live chat systems, online meeting tools and video-conferencing systems. Voice over internet protocol (VOIP) telephones and smart phones offer even more high-tech ways for employees to communicate.back to menu ↑
Inventory Management Systems
When it comes to managing inventory, organizations need to maintain enough stock to meet demand without investing in more than they require. Inventory management systems track the quantity of each item a company maintains, triggering an order of additional stock when the quantities fall below a pre-determined amount. These systems are best used when the inventory management system is connected to the point-of-sale (POS) system. The POS system ensures that each time an item is sold, one of that item is removed from the inventory count, creating a closed information loop between all departments.back to menu ↑
Data Management Systems
The days of large file rooms, rows of filing cabinets and the mailing of documents is fading fast. Today, most companies store digital versions of documents on servers and storage devices. These documents become instantly available to everyone in the company, regardless of their geographical location. Companies are able to store and maintain a tremendous amount of historical data economically, and employees benefit from immediate access to the documents they need.back to menu ↑
Management Information Systems
Storing data is only a benefit if that data can be used effectively. Progressive companies use that data as part of their strategic planning process as well as the tactical execution of that strategy. Management Information Systems (MIS) enable companies to track sales data, expenses and productivity levels. The information can be used to track profitability over time, maximize return on investment and identify areas of improvement.
Managers can track sales on a daily basis, allowing them to immediately react to lower-than-expected numbers by boosting employee productivity or reducing the cost of an item.back to menu ↑
Information technology in Marketing
Internet marketing using online advertising methods (SEO, PPC, Facebook Ads) are far more accurate ways than traditional marketing of finding target audiences, discovering their needs, and building a marketing campaign to persuade them to buy. It’s difficult to see how many people read a newspaper ad. It’s easy to figure out how many people clicked on an online banner.back to menu ↑
Customer Relationship Management
Companies are using IT to improve the way they design and manage customer relationships. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems capture every interaction a company has with a customer, so that a more enriching experience is possible. If a customer calls a call center with an issue, the customer support representative will be able to see what the customer has purchased, view shipping information, call up the training manual for that item and effectively respond to the issue.
The entire interaction is stored in the CRM system, ready to be recalled if the customer calls again. The customer has a better, more focused experience and the company benefits from improved productivity.
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