The Role of IT in Businesses
Information technology plays a very vital role in the running of a business: that is through systems such as software’s which enable the business to function efficiently. Information technology systems enable employees of an organization or a company to function efficiently in their duties, hence perfecting their work. Some of the systems which assist individuals in the work place are: computer aided design, word processors, statistical analysis software’s and spreadsheets. These systems are used in day to day life and information technology managers should embrace them as a vital component in business other than sidelining them. These technology systems help employees in a business to work either collectively or individually thus improving the performance of the business (Brooks, 2006).
Information technology also helps people to communicate across the globe through the internet which helps in advertising the company’s products. The most used network system is electronic conferencing which is designed to improve communication systems. Another mode of technology which is essential to businesses is the information technology management system. This application helps in data processing which it eventually transforms into substantial information, which is used by the senior management in a business for appropriate decision making. The management application system helps in efficient and effective flow of information in all levels of the business (Brooks, 2006). Information technology helps to integrate the entire business thus making it easy to manage. Therefore, business executives who feel that IT is just a supporting function should think twice before making such unnecessary judgment. Without the use of information technology in businesses the performance of the same will be very slow, since data processing would be done manually.
Standards for IT Purchases
Purchasing of information technology products can be a tricky venture; this is because in the current markets many products have been counterfeited thus making it difficult for a buyer to know the genuine products or systems. Consequently, for a manager who is entitled to purchase these products, he/she should seek professional assistance in order to buy quality products and of the required standards (Weill, 2004). The manager should also put in place guidelines of purchasing these types of systems and ensure that they are bought from an ISO satisfied dealer. It is also important for the manager to come up with a quality management system in the company. Such a system will help in monitoring the products which have been purchased and incase they are faulty the system will detect automatically.
Before making the final decision in purchasing, it is important to sample different products from different dealers so as to choose the appropriate product. The management of a company should also consider putting in place quality objectives before purchasing any of these products, such a method will enable them compare the products in the market and what they want to purchase. The standards objectives should be consistent in order to adhere to the quality policy of the company or business. The standards discussed are very vital to the company since they enable the management to purchase information technology systems which meet the requirements of the user and which are reliable for the future. The standards set by the management also help in purchasing of products which will be used for a long term purpose (Weill, 2004). Technology systems are very sensitive and fragile and they should therefore be carefully analyzed before purchasing them.
Aird & Sappenfield Article
The economic situations of today have forced many companies to outsource in order to seek new talents and to bring their products quickly to the market. Outsourcing helps companies to realize benefits such as:
- Saving costs
- Improving quality of products
- Access to quality talent
- Gaining in intellectual property
- Risk management
Many business expatriates in America have considered the adverse improvements which have been brought by the new technology, but they wonder if the companies in the U.S will go back to their trend of global outsourcing. However taking into consideration the available evidence this is not likely to occur. Global outsourcing is driven by talent which is obtained globally, the urge to manage overhead costs, tax incentives, and labor arbitrage but not technology (Foust, 2006). Technology is just an enabler of business but not a mover of the business or a driver. Companies should invest more in technology rather than engaging in offshore outsourcing for saving cost which impacts negatively on the productivity of the company.
In order to engage further in outsourcing, technology should focus on merging the businesses around the globe and review the practices in such enterprises in order to do away with redundancy. Some companies shun outsourcing of human labor due to security reasons; information technology should ensure that such companies’ information is secure. The mode of communication between enterprises should also be reviewed so that better and efficient methods can be integrated which will make the cost of doing business to go down. Technology should also balance workloads, provide protection in order to safe guard enterprises against loses and theft of critical information. If the above factors were to be reviewed, global sourcing would be increased and therefore enable businesses to save cost. It is estimated that many American companies save up to 40% by exporting their human resource and technology systems oversees. These functions are balanced because they enable a change of focus in resource allocation for a business thus enabling the management to invest the funds in other activities which will add value to the enterprise (Foust, 2006).
IT Managers & Their Role in Business
Management of information technology involves exploring and review of information systems by determining the strategic and the capabilities of operations of an enterprise. IT managers ensure that procedures are followed in designing of a product or service in order to meet the consumers’ requirements. Businesses that want to exploit technology successfully should come up with a strong and well equipped IT leadership and management. IT managers have a responsibility to ensure that IT projects are implemented with accountability and transparency. It is very important for any business to have information technology managers so that they can offer technical support to other employees who do not have the knowledge in technology.
The role of an IT manager is to assist in implementation of technical information technology infrastructure and also help in planning of IT projects. It is also the role of an IT manager to create a good relationship to the vendor and to manage the procurement of IT systems (Badawy, 2008). Other roles of an information technology manager are as follows:
- Maintain a backup solution for the corporate files
- Offer help in monitoring the e-mail server for the company
- Offers technical support in maintaining technical hardware
- He/she assists in maintaining and servicing computers and other technical hardware
In order to reinforce their role in business, IT managers should be involved in research work so as to come up with new systems which will be of benefit to the enterprise. New technologies help a business to stay ahead of its competitors and it also helps in creating a bigger customer base. IT managers should also be involved in educating other staff members about information technology in order to improve on the services they offer.
Badawy, M.K (2008) Technology Management Education: Alternative Models. California: California Management Review. 40 (4), pp. 94–115
Brooks, P (2006), Metrics for Information Technology Service Management, New York, Van Haren Publishing, pp. 76–77.
Foust, D (2006) The Future of Outsourcing. New York, Business Week.
Weill, P (2004) IT Governance: How Top Performers Manage IT Decision Rights for Superior Results, Harvard Business School Press: Boston.