Information Technology and Business Operations

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Learning Objectives:

* To understand the importance of information systems for business professionals * To identify five areas of information systems knowledge business professionals need. * To illustrate how the business applications of information systems can support firm’s business processes, managerial decision-making, and strategies for competitive advantage. * To provide examples of several types of information system from experiences with business organizations in the real world. * To identify several challenges that a business manager might face in managing the successful and ethical development and use of information technology in a business. * To understand the importance and application of informational technology in different departments of business. * To identify the different ways of using information technology in different departments of business.

Information technology is a wide field, and has enabled organizations across the world to work in an efficient manner. It plays a very important role in effective management and running of a business. The use of information technology in organizations is inevitable, be it any type of company like manufacturing or medicinal sector. It has contributed largely to the process advancements in organizations. Basic Elements of Information Technology

Software and Applications
Software is an important part of information technology which relates to computer applications that enable a company to generate, store, program, and retrieve data as and when needed. There are many software’s developed for different purposes. All operations in the business sector are carried out by software that is assigned for executing specific tasks. Without these computer applications the businesses wouldn't have been able to carry out their functions in a proper and efficient manner. Operating systems, ERPs, special purpose applications, and web browsers are some examples of different software’s.

There are some software’s which are exclusively built to contribute to the proper collaborative working of all sections of the businesses, which are known as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). These are complex applications which enable people to efficiently manage all functions and operations of all processes in the businesses.

Hardware Devices
these are various computer equipments that house the software’s. Devices like microcomputers, mid-size servers, and huge mainframe systems are some examples of hardware. Businesses have to maintain a huge collection of important data. For this purpose, they employ these devices which are responsible for storing confidential company data and retrieving it back when required. Other hardware devices include network devices that are used for providing Internet access to the businesses to work and communicate expeditiously. There are even devices which enable manufacturing tools and equipments to work accurately in the industrial sector. Running Businesses with Information Technology

Small scale businesses need to buy software packages that would cater to their specific management, operational, and functional needs. For this purpose, they need to approach firms and IT manufacturers who deal in such software applications. Other IT services include Internet marketing and email marketing, web hosting and promotions, and maintaining client networks. Larger businesses on the other hand have their own operational and functional employees who develop software applications and work on several IT needs of the businesses. They usually purchase ERP software’s to coordinate different processes and functions into a single application, which is actually more convenient.

Manufacturing businesses may make use of servers and databases to store their vast data regarding inventory, B2B, B2C, FMCG (in the retail business sector), etc. Automobile manufacturers use computers to guide manufacturing and designing tools to function...
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