What is Information Technology Advantages and Contributions

Table of Contents:-

  • What is Information Technology?
  • Contributions of Information Technology to Organisation
  • Advantages of Information Technology

What is Information Technology?

Information Technology means the use of technology to collect, construct, interchange and utilise information in its many forms.

According to the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), “Information technology (IT) is the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware.”

Information Technology manages the utilization of computers and software to exchange, collect, protect, develop, communicate, and safely retrieve information from various resources. IT has a large span covering different fields. The professionals in the field of information technology perform a wide range of tasks, which comprises from designing complex networks to information databases.

The scope of information technology largely depends on the environment of the organization in which it is being deployed. The environmental factors are societal customs, management, economic conditions and resources. The dynamically changing environment impacts the practice of using information technology.

The image below shows the surrounding environment of an organization.

Contributions of Information Technology to Organisation

Given below are some contributions of Information Technology to any organisation:

1) Creates new relationships between customers and suppliers by electronically linking them.

2) Enables tremendous efficiencies in production and service industries through electronic data interchange, facilitating just-in-time production.

3) Provides mechanisms through groupware for coordinating work and creating a knowledge base of organisational intelligence.

4) Contributes to the productivity and flexibility of knowledge workers.

5) Offers developing countries opportunities to compete with industrialised nations.

6) Introduces new ways to design an organisation and new organizational structure.

7) Presents the opportunity for electronic commerce, reducing purchasing cycle times, increasing supplier exposure to customers, and providing greater buyer convenience.

8) Competition and industry structure changes, as seen in the airline and securities industries.

9) Enables organisations to capture the knowledge of their employees and provide access to it throughout the organisation.

10) Provides managers with various electronic alternatives to face-to-face communication and supervision.

Advantages of Information Technology

The advantages of Information Technology are given as follows:

1) Communication: With the help of information technology, communication has also become cheaper, quicker, and more efficient.

2) Bridging Cultural Gap: Information technology has helped to bridge the cultural gap by helping people from different cultures to communicate with one another, and allowing for the exchange of ideas and concepts, thus increasing awareness and reducing discrimination.

3) Creation of New Jobs: Probably the best advantage of information technology is the creation of new and interesting jobs.

4) Globalization: IT has not only brought the world closer together, but it has allowed the world’s economy to become a single interdependent system. This means that one can not only share information quickly and efficiently but can also bring down barriers to linguistic and geographic boundaries.

5) Cost Effectiveness: Information technology has helped to computerize the business process thus streamlining businesses to make them extremely cost-effective money-making machines.

6) All Time: IT has made it possible for businesses to be open 24/7 all over the globe.

Disadvantages of Information Technology

The disadvantages of Information Technology are given as follows:

1) Privacy and Safety Issues: Information technology may have made communication quicker, easier, and more convenient, but it has also brought along privacy issues. From email hacking to mobile phone signal interceptions, individuals now worry about their once-private information becoming public knowledge.

2) Dominant Culture:  Although information technology has undoubtedly transformed the world into a global village, it has also contributed to one culture dominating another weaker one.

3) Unemployment: Unemployment: While information technology may have streamlined business processes, it has also led to downsizing, job redundancies and outsourcing. Consequently, many lower and middle-level positions have been eliminated, increasing unemployment rates.

4) Lack of Job Security: Industry experts believe that the internet has made job security a big issue since technology keeps on changing with each day. This means that one has to be in a constant learning mode if he or she wishes for their job to be secure.

Applications of Information Technology

Information technology is now playing a vital role in the lives of people. It has revolutionized the way an individual used to live earlier. Now, it has made its mark on every facet of the world. Some of their applications in different areas are as below:

Applications of Information Technology are listed below:

  1. Entertainment
  2. Education
  3. Medicine
  4. Business and Industry

1) Entertainment

IT has changed the lifestyle of many individuals. The convergence of various technologies has created multiple options for entertainment like streaming music, animated movies, video games, digital television broadcasts, satellite radio, etc, which can be accessed with the help of mobile phones, PDAs, laptops, computers or television. These devices can be operated with a cable connection or wirelessly using newer CDMA, Wi-Fi, or GPRS technologies. Computers are used in entertainment to create or enhance performance or production. The tools have become so sophisticated that it’s becoming almost impossible to differentiate between the real and the artificial in the videos and the images.

2) Education

The field of education is now witnessing a revolution, which was never expected. Some of its applications in education are as below:

i) Any Time Learning: One can study whenever he/she wants irrespective of whether it is day or night and irrespective of being in India or the US because of the boom in IT.

ii) Collaborative Learning: IT has made it easy to study as well as teach in groups or clusters. With online one can be united together to do the desired task.

iii) Access to Variety of Learning Resources: IT aids plenty of resources to enhance teaching skills and learning ability. With the help of information technology, it is now easy to provide audio-visual education. The learning resources are being widened and widened.

3) Medicine

IT plays an important role in medicine. For example, a scanner takes a series of pictures of the body using computerized axial tomography (CAT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A computer then combines the different pictures to produce detailed three-dimensional images of the body’s organs. In addition, the MRI produces images that show changes in blood flow and body chemistry.

Most critical life support equipment is programmed to respond to changes in the patient’s status in a split-second, thereby reducing the response time and risk of human error. Newer concepts like robotic surgery enable experts to perform surgeries from faraway locations. Genomic studies greatly depend on supercomputing power to develop future technologies.

4) Business and Industry

Information Technology (IT) has revolutionized the phase of business around the world. Local businesses have become international due to a simple website. Information Technology has helped businesses in advertisement. Some of the advantages of IT in business and Industry:

i) Business Operations: With the use of technological innovations, business owners and entrepreneurs understand their cash flow better, how to manage their storage costs well and to save time and money

ii) Business Mobility: Technological innovations improved companies’ sales, and services, and shortened lead time for receiving and delivering goods and services. Enables them to penetrate multiple markets at the least cost.

iii) Customer Relations: IT affects the way companies communicate and establish relations with their clients. In a fast-moving and business environment, they need to interact with clients regularly and quickly to gain their trust and to obtain customer loyalty.

iv) Industrial Productivity: Through the use of business software programs or software packages, it automates traditional manufacturing processes, reduces labour costs and enhances manufacturing productivity. It enables companies to increase production output and efficiency.

Managerial Challenges of Information Technology

1) Challenge of Insularity

Another issue arising from IT and the Internet has to do with increasing insularity. This is a more subtle issue and it seems contrary to globalization but it is not. Information – technology and the Internet make it possible for individuals to insulate themselves from ideas and activities to which they do not want to be exposed. The Internet has the potential to both insulate and expose, but much more attention has been given to the Internet’s potential for exposing individuals to more and more information. Less attention has been given to the potential of the Internet to allow individuals to select information of a limited kind. Because information technology and the Internet bring individuals endless quantities of information, individuals have to filter what they read, see, and do.

2) Challenges of Ethics

As a prospective manager, business professional and knowledge worker, one will be challenged by the ethical responsibilities generated by the use of IT.

For example, The use of information technology might be considered improper, irresponsible, or harmful to other individuals or society. The questions below outline the ethical dimensions of IT.

  1. What is the proper business use of the Internet and an organisation’s IT resources?
  2. What does it take to be a responsible end user of information technology – IT?
  3. How can you protect yourself from computer hacking and other risks of information technology?

The image below shows some of the ethical risks that may arise in the use of several major applications of information technology.

3) Challenge of Globalization

The most potent challenge will involve globalization, especially the globalization brought about or facilitated by the Internet. The Internet enables much more intense interaction among geographically distant individuals, groups, companies, and nation-states than was possible before. The intensity of global interaction necessitates standard rules of operation. Thus, the need for global governance and laws, and international coordination in policies and regulatory frameworks will become increasingly demanding.

4) Challenge to Privacy

Some people think of the privacy issue as arising from computer technology, but it is not just because of this technology that we need to be concerned about. Biotechnology, bioinformatics, nanotechnology, and other technologies challenge our privacy. One can think very little in the future to know that this will create an enormous challenge.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top