ROLE OF ICT IN A BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
The use of ICT and technology has affected every aspect of business, transforming not only the way that business is conducted but also creating new business sectors and jobs. Examples are companies like Google, Amazon, Safaricom M-Pesa and e-Bay.
Some examples of the nature of this change include:
Marketing and e-Commerce:
The use of websites has allowed companies to develop new and cheaper ways of reaching new markets, offering customers the opportunity of buying goods and services whenever they want and often at reduced cost, while also enhancing the level of customer service.
II. Finance: Practically all companies now use software programmes e.g. Sage, QuickBooks and Excel to manage their accounts. This has allowed them to look at financial information when required, monitor and respond to their customers purchasing patterns. The result of this has been for many companies a reduction in their accountancy fees.
For many businesses the need for staff to be away from the office attending meetings or to be based in another geographical location has grown alongside employee demands for more flexible working patterns. However effective communication and ability to access information remains critical to the productivity of these staff members. Therefore, through the use of technology many companies now use a range of technologies to enable this. These include mobile phones, e-mail, broadband, laptops, etc. thus ensuring that companies are able to be flexible and adaptive depending on their business needs.
Virtually all businesses now have or have access to a computer. The existence of two or more computers in an office almost always leads to the creation of a network. The main advantage of doing so is that resources can be shared e.g. printers, internet access, files/information can be managed and shared amongst workstations and the security of information can be better managed through a network. Increasingly, networks are not just confined to the office but are being adopted so that they allow home/remote working that supports changing business needs.
Inventory management systems track the quantity of each item a company maintains, triggering an order of additional stock when the quantities fall below a predetermined amount
Customer Relationship Management
Customer Relationship Management systems store every interaction a company has with a customer for future reference. The customer has a better, more focused experience and the company benefits from improved productivity.
A payroll system is used to maintain pay accounts of employees, easily and quickly.
Human Resource Management
HRIS help in recruitment, Human Resource Planning, wage and salary planning, personnel record keeping and training and development.
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