What Are the Advantages of Information Technology in Business?
IT Streamlines Communication
Efficient communication is critical to company success. In an increasingly connected and dispersed business landscape, recruiting, retaining, and leveraging employees requires ongoing communication and collaboration. A key advantage of information technology lies in its ability to streamline communication both internally and externally. For example, online meeting and video conferencing platforms such as Skype, GoToMeeting, and WebEx provide businesses the opportunity to collaborate virtually in real-time, significantly reducing costs associated with bringing clients on-site or communicating with staff who work remotely. In addition, IT allows organizations to connect almost effortlessly with international suppliers and consumers.
IT Facilitates Strategic Thinking
One of the fundamental advantages of IT is its ability to enhance a company’s competitive advantage in the marketplace, by facilitating strategic thinking and knowledge transfer. Accessing and leveraging social networks and subscription databases, for instance, has enabled companies the ability to assemble, interpret and transfer information like never before. This has given businesses unparalleled access to customers and consumers, enabling organizations to deliver new and enhanced products. Therefore, when used as a strategic investment rather than as a means to an end, IT provides organizations with the tools they need to properly evaluate the market and to implement strategies needed for a competitive edge.
IT Stores and Safeguards Valuable Information
The storage, preservation, and maintenance of information — known as information management — is another domain in which IT shines. Information management is essential to any business that must store and safeguard sensitive information (such as financial data) for long periods of time. IT affords companies the ability to store, share, and backup files for later use, as well as protecting information from unauthorized individuals. As a result, IT gives businesses the peace of mind that the information they collect and analyze can be properly stored and safeguarded for future use.
IT Cuts Costs and Eliminates Waste
Although IT may seem expensive when first implemented, in the long run, however, it becomes incredibly cost-effective by streamlining a company’s operational and managerial processes. The implementation of online training programs is a classic example of IT improving an organization’s internal processes by reducing costs and employee time spent outside of work. In effect, IT enables companies to do more with less, without sacrificing quality or value.
About the Author
Tim Zimmer is an Associate Consultant at Manhattan Strategy Group (MSG), a management and social services consulting firm that works with Federal, State, and local government agencies