This paper explores how the efficiency resulting from utilizing information systems plays a central role in shaping modern businesses. The paper further explores cloud technology in details and how it impacts on the current trend of technology.
Moreover, the paper discusses the importance of information technology on issues of planning and protecting confidential information thus preventing major losses. Finally, the paper concludes by explaining the importance of planning to enhance efficiency in utilizing new technologies in businesses. One of the major technological advances that can make a business more effective and efficient is the use of ERP software applications. Moreover, a business is better off when it employs an accounting package.
Such packages ensure accuracy and effectiveness in accounting / financial work. Accounting packages are designed in a way that they carry out huge amounts of transactions almost instantly which would otherwise consume a lot of time to be performed manually hence costing a lot for the business (Newman 2009, p.58). Database management systems software plays a crucial role in managing organizations’ information. The DBMS software ensures that an organization or businesses can easily collect information, securely store, manage and update the same as necessary. For example, most organizations have a wide customer bases. With a wide customer base, it is difficult maintaining customer related files or information especially when it comes to personal details.
However with a data management system (DBMS), such an endeavor is simplified. The software allow for customer data to be stored in a sequential order to facilitate sorting, referencing and enquiries (Newman 2009, p.96). A data warehouse, which is a central storage area, can be used to facilitate easy storage and retrieval of information. The digital technology has enabled more robust online selling because it allows for retrieval and storage of a wider array of information on products and customers/ clients. This technology allows for interactive transactions between organization and customers over the internet. An interactive way of doing online business helps towards elimination of delay times for transactions, orders and payments. Another technology that organizations are adopting is data mining technology.
Data mining technology is critical for organizational information management because it allows for sorting and fast retrieval of data from archives (Newman 2009, p.111). Data mining enables easy gathering, arranging and analyzing of information in an organization. Such ease comes in handy for example when trying to establish or determine trends or when an organization seeks to compare performance of products in the market (John, 2009, p. 60). Data mining technology also comes with tools that allow for reporting or querying for data from databases. When reporting and querying technology is incorporated in most databases, it allows employees to easily generate reports and interpret the same for execution of plans in the organization. Other packages may also be used e.
g. word processors to perform typing work and report writing (Newman 2009, p.134). All these software applications must be accompanied by the relevant hardware, so businesses must invest in efficient computers, printers, scanners and other hardware to be able to run its operations softly and efficiently. A network will also be very essential in disseminating emails or instant messages within the business or across its customer base both internally or externally.
Websites play a great deal in enhancing the efficiency of a business. By employing the web technology, businesses benefit by accessing useful. For example, many organizations are using websites to conduct surveys on their products.
Search engines, which are websites designed to locate information on the World Wide Web can be powerful sources of knowledge. Despite web usefulness, the business must take extra care in testing the credibility of the information from websites (George, 2003, p. 43).
The business may also use internet newsgroups to access business information. By creating its own website, the business will be able to market its products and services online hence increasing on the customer base.
Information technology is always changing. A most recent innovation is called cloud computing.
This is a technology that allows an organization to carry out transactions on the internet without having servers within its premises. Cloud technology has widely been used by businesses and has considerably decreased their cost of information management (John, 2009, p. 69).
This technology allows its users to store information on ‘the cloud’ and by so doing; they can access their information from any computer as long as they have internet access. This technology allows for efficient usage of resources as a centralized storage process is created. It allows for sharing of infrastructure thus saving organizations a lot of money (John, 2009, p. 87).
What this implies is that if the business puts up a website on a cloud, it means that if more users access the website and the business needs more computing power dedicated to the website, the business can get it instantly and the user needs will be met with ease. This is a major advantage that comes with cloud computing; the business only uses what it needs. Cloud computing has three major segments (John, 2009, p. 112). First there are the applications over which business transactions are run. These applications allow organizations to carry out transactions via the internet without having to install any on-site server. Due to not having to install on-site servers, the costs involved reduce drastically. If there is an on-site server, the organization has to look into related maintenance of hardware and processing necessary licenses and other installation costs.
Cloud computing relies on interactive software sold on demand basis. As a result, the pricing of such software differs greatly from user to user. In normal computing, an end user buys a software license from a dealer or provider and goes to install the same on his or her on-site servers (George, 2003, p. 76). After the installation the end user continues to pay annual subscription fees and the license provider continues to update the software. As need may necessitate, the service provider occasionally sends the user update information on how to get the best out of the software (John, 2009, p. 133).
To access this updates, the end user must have internet connectivity and enable or allow accessibility to the license provider. The second segment in cloud computing is the platform. Platform plays an important role in deploying the cloud application. Platform is used to refer to the products used to set up applications. Platforms are the interfaces over which the users are able to interact or deal with the programs or applications provided by other parties. Without the cloud technology platforms, uses cannot access customers or other partner’s applications thus rendering the whole system ineffective. The final part of cloud technology is the Infrastructure.
Infrastructure is the major component or backbone of the cloud computing concept. There are organizations that provide the infrastructure i.e. servers, storage space and everything. These infrastructural vendors provide the processing and physical storage mechanisms (John, 2009, page 169).
Information technology planning
Information technology planning is very essential in every business.
This involves disaster recovery measures and control processes meant to protect confidential information and to prevent any major loss of information (Goetsch, 1999,p.37). This measures may include data encryption whereby information is encrypted to protect against unauthorized persons accessing it, regular backups made to ensure data which is lost can easily be recovered (Goetsch, 1999,p.56). Another way of ensuring security is through data masking. In this process, data is stored in a database cell that is locked to the access of only authorized individuals using measures such as passwords.
This is a software controlled process, which involves erasure of sensitive data as soon as it has served its purpose. In often cases, the software overwrites data thus destroying sensitive information that could later be tapped into by people reusing the machine (Goetsch, 1999, p.87).
In conclusion, the new developments in information technology such as cloud computing have completely changed how businesses are conducted. Efficient strategic planning, monitoring and implementation play a pillar role in enhancing efficiency within an organization. One consideration users of information technology have to bear in mind is information security.
All organizations embracing new information technology have to institute security measures. To embrace information technology fully and benefit immensely from the same, proper planning is a prerequisite. For many organizations, cloud computing is the most efficient and cost effective way accessing and using information technology.
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