Asking why information technology is vital to business is akin to asking why fuel is important to a car. This is the 21st century. This is the age of the internet of things where buildings, devices, objects and cars with internet connectivity can share data. This is the age where technology drives everything, from farming to education. This is the time where technology should take a good chunk of your money for bigger future returns.
But even with all the benefits of technology, many people still think that technology is more of a cost than a value adding entity to a business. This is partially true because yes, laying the infrastructure, buying the equipment and the vendor-supported software will cost the business a substantial sum of money, but you will get the full value for this is money.
IT mostly enables the other departments to do their work more efficiently. For example, it enables HR to better manage the personal data of the employees, find talent faster, train new hires and generally make easy the onboarding process.
Getting value from big data
Big data means just that, big data. Is it important to a business? Only if a business can derive value from the data. From the gathering of the data across the entire business network, the storage and the processing of the data, well, it is a long hectic process, but it is very important.
From the data analysis, there will emerge market patterns, customer-buying patterns and so on. This information is very important to the marketing team. However, to them, it does not make sense if it is in raw form. IT has to process the data into actionable information.
An expanded reach in and out of the office
Here is what IT enables you to do:
1.The smartphone or the tablet is small and it is a wonder to imagine that having it in your pocket is akin to carrying the whole office with you. You can perform just about any office operation from your internet enabled mobile device.
2.Businesses can have one or more branches in different geographical locations, these branches need to communicate. E-mails make communication easy and flexible regardless of the distance and location.
3.Video and web-conferencing make the interactions between teams located in different regions more interactive.
4.Chat room software can be embedded into the company website to enable communication via instant messaging and so on.
There is no end to the value that IT adds to the business when it comes to communication.
Close transactions faster
This is another reason why you would need to invest in IT for your business. At the end of the day, all that a business really cares about is to generate more revenue. Information technology can help the business to close transaction deals faster.
How? Consider a case where a business engages in e-Commerce. This means that customers visit the website, get information and images about the different products offered there and if they like them, they can go ahead, place an order, and buy online. This is as fast as transactions go!
But it is not only about the direct business transactions between customers and the business. It is also about how fast products can reach the customers, how manpower is reduced, how products can be designed faster, the production process hastened as more people can handle different aspects of the product. This means that products get to customers faster.
Fast business decisions
Think about a CEO who wants to make a very important decision about opening a new branch of the business in a different state. In that case, it would only take him a little time to find information about the economy, business loans and more online.
This is acronym for management information systems, which assist in data storage. Why do we need to store data in business? So that we can mine it for important information about buying trends, to find out what visitors do when they visit our website and many more. IT will implement the systems that a business needs for tracking revenue and expenses. From the trends, the senior management can decide the way forward.
Let us just say that IT plays a big role as an enabler of other processes like marketing and sales, customer service and so on. IT is for business what the railroad was for the old west, an idea whose time was due, unstoppable.