Find yourself wanting to increase your output while using your time effectively? Streamline your order systems? Gain one over your chief competitors in a growing e-commerce field? You can! If you own – or buy in – the right types of information technology systems, you’ll rejuvenate your processes, work more efficiently, and build on the successes you’ve had so far.
What is Information Technology (IT)?
In essence, and in the popular mind, IT refers to using a computer of any kind to collect, store, and “do something with” any kind of information. “Do something with” might be:
- reporting back, e.g. to robots, humans, or electronic instruments,
- sending elsewhere, e.g. to equipment or to other computer chips,
- checking for fraud or accuracy, or
- any of the hundreds of other uses we’ve now found for IT.
The information collected by the technology is data. And data lakes are now so huge that the term “big data” begins to sound last century! This is where a cloud service provider can help you with scalable storage as your data needs grow.
In addition, though, the security of this information or data is a main task of the IT department.
And before we move on, ICT or Information Communications Technology is simply a broader term that refers to all communication technologies, infrastructure, and components that contribute to the working of the IT department.
What Are the Main Types of Information Technology?
Whether you’re a small or mid-sized business, having several of these types of information systems will enhance different aspects of your business. The following are the most popular in use for business.
Office Automation System
An office automation system helps you automate some of the mundane admin and managerial tasks. These are ones that rob you of the time to focus on income-generating activities. Examples include
- electronic record keeping,
- maintaining the office calendar between your teams, and
- transferring information without human intervention.
With this type of information technology in place, you’re able to improve business communications between team members, streamline those admin tasks, and optimize managerial activities. Around 45% of office tasks could be automated in this way.
Office 365 (including Skype, Teams, and other Microsoft modules) is an excellent example of this if the infrastructure is set up well.
Transactional Processing System
Transactional activities include all of the purchases and sales of products and services. Plus any daily business transactions or activities required to operate a company.
This Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) can be set up to cover all of the contractual, transactional, and customer relationship data. It can also include shipping, processing of sales order entries, sales management, and other transactional tasks. In this way, it leads to transparency of your business to all parties. It therefore saves time and money.
Knowledge Management System
This is a system existing within an organization that stores and allows retrieval of knowledge to improve understanding, collaboration, and process alignment. It helps users enhance their knowledge and optimize collaboration efforts to complete tasks.
Some of the data that’s processed here will include
- company policy,
- sales and other strategies,
- human resource information, and
- customer data.
A key value of this type of information technology is that valuable knowledge is not lost when staff leave the firm.
Management Information System (MIS)
Apart from managing a business, a company has to also manage the personnel, technology, customers, and how they can all perform and work seamlessly. This type of information technology therefore helps managers and other business leaders at managerial levels to do their duties efficiently.
The system helps them retrieve information in the form of data insight, process it, and then generate a report that will help in some common functions such as
- employee record keeping,
- inventory management,
- project planning,
- customer relationship management, and
- business analysis.
Decision Support System (DSS)
This type of IT collects and processes data from different areas in order to support management with decision-making tasks. This form of data insight gives them information beyond the regular monthly reports or summaries.
For example, when management wants to make a decision between two or more options with regard to business operations, they can use the DSS to analyze data to make accurate, timely, and informed decisions.
Executive Support System
Similar to DSS, this type of information system is used by top management in executive levels or business owners to make better decisions. When non-routine issues come up, it can be hard for business leaders to make immediate decisions. This system therefore helps them to make choices that improve the company’s processes and performance.
An executive support system is a more advanced DSS that has much better and bigger functions to compute much more complex data and scenarios.
How Can Businesses Make Best Use of Information Technology?
1 Product development
A business that sells products (whether physical or digital) can greatly benefit from the integration of information technology during their development stages. Data input to the computers will give a heads up on customer satisfaction before harm is done. This in turn means that product managers can make changes to the product quickly and stay on track in the marketplace.
2 Digital advertising and marketing
The internet has made it easy for companies to advertise their products and reach more users in their target audience market. You can boost your business and online sales, connect with your customer base via DTC advertising, and build trust for your brand much more quickly than ever.
3 Networking and managed services
Through networking and managed services, your business can enjoy full support of IT services to enjoy smooth communication through a well-secured network. Most companies, especially small businesses, will choose to outsource this function to ensure they have a full network working all the time.
Some other managed services you can access in this way include cloud services, networking tools and security, etc. This allows you to grow and scale quickly!
4 Operational efficiency
Business operations are the foundation of success to a company. For this reason, it’s essential that you run your operations efficiently with the help of these various types of information technology.
IT helps business leaders save time, money, and resources to achieve more. Remember how business operations continued to run smoothly during the pandemic! IT tools like Skype and Slack, along with the infrastructure involved, made communication simple.
We Can Help!
It’s impossible to avoid all these types of information technology if you want to stay ahead in business. However, there are many options to consider, and knowing where and how to upgrade your systems can be complex!
Why not give us a call so we can help solve your IT issues and put you on a sound path with the latest information technology tools for your business growth and success? Contact us today!