In the world of today, the process of information technology is a part of organizations due to the importance of information systems. These are the processes through which one derives solutions to the challenges faced in organizational and management problems. There is also a view among experts that the quantity of interaction between the IT department of the organization and other units are what determines the success of any organization. The entire process of IT can be used in a centralized or decentralized manner.
The structure of IT in any organization should provide assistance in its strategy and must conduct the needed research for this purpose. (Centralized versus Decentralized Information Systems in Organizations) Today, several organizations in all sectors of industry, commerce and government are based on their information systems. In some industries like telecommunications, media, entertainment and financial services, the survival of the organization itself depends on how efficiently it applies to information technology — IT.
A new system called e-commerce has now burst into the arenas of international trade, and that makes IT as a method of conducting modern business. This is now changing the attitudes of the business leaders and IT is no longer only a method of performing existing business, but should also be used for development as that is expected to provide advantages in competition. Thus many organizations today want to develop a more strategic approach to their use of IT, but more have probably arrived at their present situation due to their adoption of short-term ‘tactical’ decisions with IT.
The Evolving Role of Information Systems and Technology in Organizations: A Strategic Perspective) At the same time, many organizations would wish that it were possible to rethink their investments, or begin with a clean sheet, but that is impossible as they have a ‘legacy’ system built up from their approach to IT in the past. It is not possible to start again as we can see that many banks and insurance companies still focus on systems that they had developed over 30 years back.
It is also not required as IT is not the only determinant of success unless the ability and knowledge of the organization have increased radically. (The Evolving Role of Information Systems and Technology in Organizations: A Strategic Perspective) The important part of strategic management depends on learning from experience which means the successes and failures of the past. The results achieved through IT helps only through experiences and experimental analysis that it provides. Thus, it should not be viewed as an essential component for strategic decisions.
The main advantage that IT provides to organizations is that IT helps in the processing of information much faster so that uncertainty can be lower. The uncertainty comes from lack of knowledge, or information, even though it may be possessed at power levels. The advantage with IT is that the information can be collected, gathered and processed in a faster manner. (Benbunan-Fich, 2002) Though most organizations are trying to use for quite some time to solve these problems, it is unlikely that any organization has been exposed to the entire range of experiences in IT.
Still it is important to study the process of development of IT in large organizations as that may be of use in the general evaluation of development of IT in another organization. In general it is known that there are some important matters that result in the speed and effectiveness of IT in organizations. The importance of the different factors in the list changes over time, but it is still important to make a note of the list of the factors. (The Evolving Role of Information Systems and Technology in Organizations: A Strategic Perspective)
Those are the capabilities of the organization, the economics of the technology that the organizations following, the applications that the organization is carrying out and their feasibility, the skills and availabilities that are available within the organization or from outside vendors, the capacity of the organization and it ability to use the applications and the overall pressures that exist on the organization or the entire industry to improve performances. What we are talking about here is Information Technology with the insistence on technology and that means hardware, software and telecommunication links.
This form of technology has both items that one can see and feel, like servers, desktops and network cables; as also items that cannot be touched but only paid for, like software. At the same time, the world is moving to a digital era, and it is IT that helps in the collection, processing, storing, developing and sharing of all these items. At the same time, there are also differences in terms for referring to the entire process and what is called IT in the states is called Information and communication Technologies in the European Union.
This is the item that we are referring to though at times in the past, the two were seen as clearly different areas. (The Evolving Role of Information Systems and Technology in Organizations: A Strategic Perspective) The next important question is to find out how this technology helps us. The first area of help is in business strategy and this helps by creating new opportunities for dynamic changes in products and services. There were some services in the past that had to be handled manually, but can now be handled over the network.
The important advantages cone from re-sequencing which includes parallel processing of data bases; simultaneous delivery of data; time extension of data by making it available 24 hours a day and all 365 days in the year; portability or taking the service and product closer to the user; and re-usability or developing the capacity to use the data collected for one purpose to be used for other purposes. There are also changes to organizational culture and that is the second most important development. The Impact of IT on Organizations) This is through devices like electronic mail and group ware. Information can now flow much faster between organizations and their clients. The changes in organizational culture have also led to changes in organization structures, and this has happened due to the larger ps of control and greater use of group ware. A lot of this has happened due to business process re-engineering and also the requirement to cut costs due to high competition.
There have been efforts to find out whether IT encourages increased concentration or increased decentralization has not given out any clear results, but it certainly permits the organizational structure to be more flexible and fluid, dispersed teams and even teams that can come and go with the requirement of changes in the organization. (The Impact of IT on Organizations) This is also leading to changes in management processes and that includes even routine business processes.
IT has provided methods for collecting information from many sources, directly and collectively through the use of databases and the Internet. Yet, though it has tried, it cannot still replace certain decision making that has to take place in groups and in meeting rooms as there is certainly the need for a master facilitator who can take the group discussion to an end. At the same time it can be seen that the impact of IT is leading to changes in the methods of professional work today.
Practically all offices of today use personal computers and the availability of ready information has made the job expectation also to involve greater levels of knowledge. This is in addition to the earlier required skills of organizing, thinking, writing, convincing, etc. Now, in addition to doing all that, the managers of today are combining the greater knowledge that they are collecting. All the changes in situations due to the use of IT have also come as it is now essential for most people to have direct access to it while they are working.
At the same time, IT itself has to find out methods of controlling the flow of information so that all information does not reach everybody. (The Impact of IT on Organizations) At the same time, a situation has come where the organizations have to now determine whether IT should be a separate department, or become a part of all departments. The different systems suit different organizations. It should be remembered that IT itself has some goals and that may be said to be innovation and efficiency.
Yet, innovation is necessarily cost conscious and the organization has to determine the levels of different goals. (Centralized versus Decentralized Information Systems in Organizations) The most interesting and probably intriguing part of development of IT has been concerning Internet, and a stage has now come through which this medium has started influencing the environment, which is the biggest concern of the world of today. In the recent trade talks also, it was seen that United States has decided to retain its control over it. Does it mean that we are about to find a new source of business?
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