What is Information Technology (IT)
Information Technology is any computer-based tool used to work with information and support the information -processing need of an organization. These tools include; computers, software, routers, servers, printers, modems, just to name a few.
Businesses will increase their efficiency when they embrace Information Technology. The primary goal of a business is to serve its customers. In this age of information technology, a business can gain the competitive advantage when it uses information technology to its maximum. Today perfect service is only possible if a business has the right information in the hands of the right people at the right time and this can only occur through the appropriate use of information technology. This means that the challenge facing any business is to plan for, develop, manage, and use its three most important resources, i.e., information, information technology and people – to provide perfect service to its customers. Below I have listed a few uses of information technology both in our society and in business.
USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN BUSINESS
Either small or big business, they will need to scale out a plan to utilize opportunities brought by ‘’Information Technology’’ Businesses use IT in four ways to support (1) information-processing tasks, (2) decision making, (3) shared information through decentralized computing and (4) innovation. Below are detailed points on how business can use Information technology to succeed.
- Supports Information Process Tasks: Businesses are using IT to help basic information-processing tasks. These tasks range from computing and printing payroll checks to creating presentations, to setting up Web sites from which customers can make orders for products or services. During this stage, a business can use IT to create company database applications which can allow employees access information at any given moment. They can also use IT tools to set up networks that enable departments to share information without any hassle or wastage of time.
- Supports Decision Making Tasks: Businesses also use information technology to support decision-making tasks, and this is achieved through (OLAP) online analytical processing. ‘’OLAP’’ is the manipulation of information to support decision making. OLAP can range from performing simple queries on a database to determine which customers have overdue accounts to employing sophisticated artificial intelligence tools such as neural networks and genetic algorithms to solve a complex problem or take advantage of an opportunity. In case, let’s say the ‘’OLAP’’ supports effective decision making. You can also perform OLAP by using databases and data warehouses.
- Supports Shared Information through Decentralized Computing: Decentralize computing is an environment in which an organization splits computing power and locates it in functional business areas as well as on the desktop of knowledge workers. Shared information is an environment in which an organization’s information is organized in one central location, allowing anyone to access and use it as they need to. Today, most businesses have created a decentralized computing structure which brings together the entire spectrum of the business’s information in an orderly fashion so that it can be accessed and used by anyone who needs it. This structure of information is most often a database, which is designed to support the concept of shared information directly.
- Supports Innovation: Information technology tools not only help information-processing tasks, decision-making tasks, and shared information through decentralized computing, but they also enable innovation. Tools like the internet, present us with the opportunity to make research on any subject, the information acquired during the process can be used in the creative design of services or products.
USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY TO SOCIETY
Society has embraced information technology ‘’IT’’ in various ways. IT has impacted (1) education, (2) communication, (3) job creation, (4) agriculture, and (5)entertainment. Below I have listed specific uses of technology in our society today.
- Online Education: Unlike in the past when education was tied to specific boundaries, now the education sector has changed. With the introduction of online education services, students can learn from anywhere using the internet; this has helped in spreading of essential education materials to all students across the globe. Online education is also being enhanced by the creation of a mobile application which enables students to access education material via their mobile phones.
- Social Networks and mobile phones: Society has used information technology to create technologies which can simplify communication and relationships. Mobile phones have made communication more convenient and social networks like ‘’Facebook.com ‘’ have played a significant role in helping people discover their old friends and create new ones as well. Also, people use online dating platforms to find longtime lovers, sites like Match.com are known for connecting people and these relationships always result in marriage, which is a good deed for the society.
- Job Creation: Today, their so many companies which have been created using information technology, and this has solved the problem of job scarcity to a certain degree. Many of these big IT corporations were started from homes and bedrooms, but now they employee lots of people hence adding value to our society. An excellent example of these companies includes Google, Facebook, Amazon, Dell, Microsoft, Linkedin, Twitter, just to mention but a few.
- Modernized Agriculture: Information technology has also played a prominent role in advancing the agricultural sector. Nowadays a farmer can sell his/her products right from the farm using the internet. All they have to do is set up a website for their products, orders are placed directly via the online site and the farmer will deliver to the client fresh products; this cuts out the middlemen who tend to increase the price of agricultural products with the aim of making profits. In this case, both the farmer and the consumer benefit. The consumer gets the product at a low price when it is still fresh, and the farmer makes more money.
- Modernized Entertainment: The invention of technologies like Ipads, video games, home entertainment system, enhance user life. Music and movies can be accessed online for a small subscription fee. Companies like Netflix and Hulu, have played a significant role in making home entertainment better.