Role of Information Technology in Organizations
During this lecture, we will discuss the role Information Technology plays in organizations.
I’d like to begin our lecture by taking a minute to discuss technology in general.
As long as there have been human beings on this planet, there has been technology in some way, shape, or form. Whether it was the cavemen carving and shaping rocks to use as wheels or creating the first personal computer, technology has driven the evolution of our species and our civilization. According to Brian Arthur in his latest book, The Nature of Technology, “More than anything else technology creates our world. It creates our wealth, our economy, our very way of being,” Think about this for just a minute. Wouldn’t you agree? When discussing technology, it’s often difficult to separate it from society as a whole. Technology allows us to look at the world differently and to see beyond what is, in a matter of speaking, to what could be. This ability has allowed us to create innovative solutions and technologies that have helped our society flourish through the generations and well beyond what we ever thought were imaginable. It’s important for us to understand that when we are first developing and exploring concepts, we need to be creative but yet keep in mind what is reasonable to create. It is this exciting combination of creativity and reason that encourages us to learn from our past mistakes, push boundaries that we did not think were possible, and dream future possibilities.
Now let’s shift gears and discuss the basic role of Information Technology in organizations.
Information technology or IT as it is commonly referred to, has recently become essential for organizations to efficiently conduct business. I don’t care if you are a global corporation that maintains a room full of mainframe servers, or a one person operation that owns a single computer, IT plays a role in how efficiently you operate.
From a very basic stand point, technology helps organizations efficiently manage information that is vital to their operation from the flow of data to employee records. Technology also allows organizations to operate with little manpower which helps to lower the cost of doing business. It connects the organization to their distributors, their customers and their employees. Also, because of its ability to lower costs, it allows instantaneous access to information so organizations are better able to offer lower pricing of their products without having to sacrifice quality.
There are countless reasons that IT is essential to businesses, however, for our purposes, I think we will just focus on four of the most important roles of IT which we briefly list below:
- Email is the chosen form of communication for many businesses and provides an easy and low cost way to for the business to communicate with employees, distributors and customers. The Internet also allows businesses to communicate, advertise and sell their products to people around the world.
- Helps businesses manage their inventory by keeping track of the quantities of each product they want to keep in stock and will trigger an order when the amount falls below the pre-determined quantity.
- Most businesses now store electronic versions of all documents that are instantly available for immediate access.
Managing Customer Relationships
- IT helps businesses improve how they manage relationships with their customers by using software that will record all interactions a business has with a customer.