Information Technology for Business Improvement

Introduction

The development of technology around the world has been a major boost in the transaction of businesses and manufacture and processing of goods and services. Technology has brought about an assurance of quality for a lesser cost and more efficiency in terms of time (Stallings, 2008). This paper seeks to identify a problem within a business that can be addressed using technological solutions and discuss it using question and answer forum (Adler & Winograd, 1992).

The subject of course project

The Internet, by becoming a vital part of development of technology within companies has led most organizations to develop system integrations to help address their challenges. All organisations, whether big or small face a similar challenge of scarce resources (Curt, 2013). Coming up with the right solutions in order to optimise returns and efficiency is important in order to satisfy customers and maintain quality.

It is common for most companies to overlook this significance and contribution of technology as a major factor in a company’s success. In our context, we look at an engineering firm that wants to incorporate IT solutions into its business in order to improve efficiency and profitability (Gibson, 2011). To achieve this, the company needs to come up with strategies that will help it achieve its goal. It may seem quite a challenging task but one that is possible. What the company needs to do is:

  1. Choose a development process that highlights early and continuous business alignment of the IT solution to the needs of the business
  2. Implement a service-oriented architecture that enables the ‘loose coupling’ and strong networks that are required to build flexible and integrated solutions
  3. Adopt standards and integration technologies such as XML and Web Services that provide the essential “glue” with which to build these solutions into an organization-spanning, consistent whole( Adler, 1992).

However, new technologies can cause loss of productivity as they are embraced due to the learning curve needed and hiring new staff cannot always offset this because of the shortage of skills This would seem to go against the continuous struggle to

  1. Reduce costs throughout the application lifecycle
  2. Reduce development time for new applications
  3. Improve application quality
  4. Increase return on technology investments
  5. Rapidly include emerging technology benefits into existing system

Therefore building one standard or platform won’t necessarily protect our solutions from technology change.

How do we become responsive and resilient to change?

Here are some key principles:

  1. The ability to define a solution that satisfies the needs of the business as a collaborating set of services and components
  2. The ability to define those services and components from a business rather than a technological perspective
  3. The ability to separately define the technology specific mappings for middleware and platform by the skilled staff
  4. The ability to apply technology specific ‘mappings’ to services and components for a chosen platform by less skilled staff
  5. The ability to quickly re-apply new technology mappings to services and components
  6. The ability to re-use mappings to ensure consistency for easier maintenance later

Visual modelling tools play a key role in the development of service and component based solutions; helping to elicit, define and communicate:

  1. The end to end business processes
  2. The business requirements
  3. The system requirements
  4. The specification of the services and components that will deliver the business functionality

Conclusion

In conclusion, technology has revolutionised the way companies do business as it has opened up more opportunities and space for companies to reach a wider base of clients through access. Companies that do not reinvent themselves through technology risk losing business due to competition from companies that are embracing technology in business.

References

Adler, P. S. (1992).Technology and the Future of Work. New York: Oxford University Press.

Adler, P. S., & Winograd, T. A. (1992). The Usability Challenge. Usability: Turning Technologies into Tools. New York: Oxford University press.

Curt, M. W. (2013).Data communication and computer networks: A business user’s approach. 20 channel centre street, Boston, MA 02210, USA: Cengage Learning.

Gibson, C. H. (2011). Financial reporting and analysis: Using financial accounting Information (12th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Stallings, W. (2008). Computer Organization & Architecture. New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of India Private Limited.