Information Technology In Business- Telecommunication

Information Technology In Business- Telecommunication – Best Study

Information technology: Modern civilization has become complicated and sophisticated and has to survive in a competitive world. With the advent of educational reforms, the mankind is surrounded with a vast amount of data available.

There is a bulk collection of data from different sources which needs to be rearranged and filed in a way that it is available when needed for planning, decision making and control. Looking at the whole of the national and international community, and at the ways the organisations are run, highlights the fact that every segment of society is heavily dependent on communication, processing and storage of information.

It is said that we are moving towards *Information Society’ in which majority of the labour force will be engaged in information processing and the use of information technology.

Information Technology Meaning

The growth of size of business has necessitated the delegation of authority at various levels of management. There are problems of control, co-ordination and communication. The decision making has become a difficult task. The decisions have wider ramifications for the business and a wrong decision may lead to its closure. Management needs full information before taking any decisions.

Good decisions can minimise costs and optimise returns. Management Information System (MIS) can be helpful to the management in undertaking managerial functions smoothly and effectively.

It is an approach of providing timely, adequate and accurate information to the right person in the organisation which helps him in taking right decisions. So MIS is a planned and organised approach to the transferring of intelligence within an organisation for the organisation of management.

Expanding Data Base

It has now been realised by managers that the traditional data collected for calculating profits is not sufficient for planning, decision-making and control. A manager needs much more information than provided by the traditional accounting system. There is a need for non-accounting information about the external environment, such as social, economic, political and technical developments.

In addition, non-accounting information on internal operations is also required for managerial purposes. This information may be quantitative as well as qualitative. The use of computers and operations research has led to enormous expansion of managerial information. This can be seen especially in relation to data on marketing, production and disribution, product cost, technological change, labour productivity etc.

USE OF COMPUTERS IN HANDLING INFORMATION

There is a widespread use of computers in handling information. A computer is an electronic data processing device which can read, write, compute, compare, store and process large volume of data with high speed, accuracy and reliability. It works on the instructions given to it. Once the data and instructions are fed into its memory, it obeys the instructions, performs action on the data and produces results. A computer consists of input devices, central processing unit and output devices.

Input devices help the user to feed the instructions and the data into the computer. An output device carries the instructions from user to memory of computer for processing after translating the information into machine language. The most common input devices include keyboard, punch card reader, paper tape reader, optical readers, speech recognition system, floppy disk and tape drive.

The central processing unit (CPU) is an important part of the system which actually does the computing i.c. addition, multiplication, comparison and all that. CPU’s are of various types, small or big, depending upon their data handling capability.

The third stage in a computer is to get the results. The output devices are used for extracting the processed value results from a computer. The commonly used output devices include visual display unit (VDU), printer, plotters, microfilm, recorders etc. So the use of computers has revolutionised information handling in a business organisation.

Impact of Computers on Manager’s Work Different levels of management have different information needs. Therefore, the impact of

computers will vary for different managerial levels. The lower level managers (supervising level) deal with day to day operations or activities which may include inventory control, payroll, processing sales transactions and keeping track of employee work hours. They normally perform structured tasks which are routine and repetitive. The use of computers is widespread at this level.

Middle level managers are required to coordinate, control and monitor various activities in an organisation and acts as liaison between operational managers and top managers. The tasks performed by middle managers are partly structured and partly unstructured.

The information available at middle level is also available at the level if the company has a comprehensive information system. There will be a limited need of computers at this level. Some people opine that the need for middle managers will be reduced in future.

Top level managers establish the vision and the long-term goals of the organisation and chart its overall course. Their decisions tend to be unstructured. Since they determine the general direction of the company, they need interaction with the outside environment. The decisions of top managers require judgement, institution and experience.

Their decisions are not easily programmable. But even then they can use computers to retrieve information from a database that facilitates the application of decision models. The computers will not affect the job of top managers that importantly than it will affect the job of those at lower level.

CHALLENGES CREATED BY INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

At present the use of computers has become a common thing. Electronic data processing

systems make and store documents in magnetic media. Besides creating compact records, information technology has some challenges to meet i.e. resistance to use of computers, telecommuting, speech recognition devices and implementing computer networks. Resistance to computer application

Some managers resist the use of computers. They are generally in the age group of 56 years or above. They are afraid of looking unskilled if they are not able to understand the new technology or do not have the typing skills which is necessary for inputting the data into the computer.

The earlier substitute of computers is considered to be typing which was the job of assistants. So some managers think that the use of computers is not necessary for them. The chief executive officers say that computers are required at the managerial levels and not above, thus including themselves from their use.

This attitude on the part of managers and others should be avoided. The computers should be used in such a way that everybody is able to make their use voluntarily and realise their importance in day to day operations.

Telecommunication

Telecommunication refers to transmitting different forms of data over different media from one set of electronic devices to another set of electronic devices that are geographically separated. Generally it is thought that telecommunications has something to do with telephones but tele simply

means “at a distance. The widespread use of computers and the case of linking them through telephone lines to company’s mainframe or a fairly large computer has led to the use of telecommuting facility. It means that a person sitting at home can work at a computer terminal instead of going to work place.

The advantage of such work may be the saving of office space, saving in transport cost for going to office and flexibility in scheduling the work. Though there may be a facility of working at home but a person misses a chat with co-workers while going to office.

There may be a better co-ordination in the work of different workers if they sit and work in office. Though telecommuting has some good points but it may not be able to replace the office.

Speech Recognition Services

This is another method of increasing the use of computers. Instead of putting information into computer by the use of keyboard, the voice is fed into it by speaking in a normal manner. Many companies are working on this area.

Speech recognition has been achieved to a limited extent. There are problems in differentiating the sound of words which are spoken similarly but have different meanings. For example, sounds of ‘to’, ‘too’ and ‘two’ and ‘then’ and ‘than’. Such words create difficulty when spoken in a computer.

Once speech recognition devices become successful there will be a revolution in office operations.

Computer Networks

The development of computer systems has improved communication facilities which extend the power of the computer beyond the computer room and allow system benefits to be more widely available.

The other terminal is connected on telephone network or through other methods and the database can be used for required purposes. The blend of computers and communications is now widely used by business organisations. In this way persons at several workstations can communicate with each other as well as access other computers.

With the small computer now available in many offices and homes, there is often a need to share data and programs and other information between various computers. The fact that the data base computer needs to be assessed via an information channel between the computers provides the basis for a computer network.

The work stations can be connected to costly hardware that may be underutilised by a single user. A laser printer may be used by several uses through computer network. Computer network may be used for electronic mail, gathering and disseminating of industry data etc. Since fast developments are taking place in computers and communication systems, computer networks will be widely used in near future for information handling.

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