How to Use Information Technology in Business

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Information technology has been a part of business since the early days of the computer and continues to grow in importance. Modern businesses utilize information technology to increase income, reduce costs, improve productivity and handle basic tasks, such as processing telephone traffic and solving simple problems. As information technology continues to evolve, its use in the business environment will continue to grow and expand into new fields and applications. Applying IT solutions or applications to a business requires planning and research to implement successfully.

  • Build a data warehouse to store business collateral and function as an archive for important documents. This technology can serve as a repository for items such as sales materials, business forms, employee paperwork, tax records, accounting records or customer information. When linked with an Internet server, a data warehouse can reduce costs by allowing users to download forms or other materials, rather than storing these items and incurring shipping costs.

  • Build a database of business important information for manipulation and reuse. For example, a database of customer information and history can be used to track purchase trends, plan for future purchases, determine cross-selling possibilities and serve as a reference for support issues.

  • Build a bridge between traditional business functions and the Internet using information technology. For example, a web-based customer support center can provide answers to frequently asked questions, solve simple issues, provide product documentation, link to software downloads and upgrades, and offer information on new products or services. This type of service can help reduce call center costs, including labor, telecommunications charges and office space expense.

  • Utilize social networking as part of information technology solutions for marketing, public relations or customer support. As social networking sites become more prevalent, the opportunity to utilize these services to build customer loyalty, disseminate information, market new products and find new customers will continue to grow.

Tips & Warnings

  • Incorporate IT security measures into all new applications or solutions.
  • Provide an option for human contact for anyone uncomfortable with new IT applications.
  • Plan a break-in period for new IT applications.
  • Proper training of employees on new IT solutions will help ensure success.
  • Never implement IT solutions without proper testing.
  • The IT system will break down at some point. Plan for repair and recovery before it happens.

References

  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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