Information and communications technology systems include desktop computers, laptops and tablets, fixed and mobile telephone systems, communications networks and software. Organizations use ICT systems to improve different aspects of their business with the aim of reducing costs, increasing efficiency and improving their competitiveness. An effective ICT investment can make an important contribution to an organization’s success and growth.
ICT systems enable organizations to store, process, analyze and share vast amounts of data. The information available from corporate data enables managers and employees to make decisions quickly and accurately so that they can manage operations effectively and respond rapidly to business opportunities or threats. Communication networks also enable decision-makers in different locations to work together easily when they need to take joint decisions.
Increased Manufacturing Productivity
By automating business processes and giving employees ICT tools, organizations can improve individual and overall productivity. On the production line, for example, solutions such as computer-aided design can help to reduce set-up times and improve manufacturing accuracy so that employees spend less time on reworking. Access to manufacturing data enables managers to plan production more effectively, making better use of resources and reducing lead times.
Improved Customer Service
Quality of customer service is an important differentiator for businesses. Organizations can use ICT solutions to offer faster response to and higher standards of service to customers. In a call center, for example, agents can access databases that provide comprehensive customer information, including purchase history and product preferences. The information helps agents deal quickly and efficiently with inquiries, boosting customer satisfaction. Service personnel working in the field can access customer, service and product databases using smartphones with secure Internet connections. This enables them to fix problems quickly and effectively, again boosting customer satisfaction.
Communication networks enable project teams to collaborate effectively. By using videoconferencing or web conferencing over the Internet, teams can hold virtual meetings that bring together members from different locations, or different organizations, such as suppliers or business partners. This helps to create stronger project teams and enables the teams to maintain progress on important projects, rather than waiting for members to meet in a single location. In a product development program, for example, teams can reduce overall project time and get new products to market faster, giving the company a strong competitive advantage.
Improved Financial Performance
ICT solutions can help organizations reduce costs, increase revenue and improve profitability. Using videoconferencing to host meetings between members in different locations, for example, reduces travel costs. Production data can help quality staff identify problems, reducing waste and reworking costs. Call center agents can use information available on their customer databases to increase revenue by identifying opportunities for selling additional products or services. Cost reductions and revenue gains make an important contribution to overall profitability.