Uses of ICT in Business
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Uses of ICT in Business
ICT is an acronym that stands for Information Communications
Technology. The concepts, methods and applications involved in ICT are
constantly evolving on an almost daily basis. It is difficult to keep
up with the changes - they happen so fast. A good way to think about
ICT is to consider all the uses of digital technology that already
exist to help individuals, businesses and organisations use
information. ICT covers any product that will store, retrieve,
manipulate, transmit or receive information electronically in a
digital form. For example, personal computers, digital television,
email, robots. Importantly, it is also concerned with the way these
different uses can work with each other. In business, ICT is often
categorised into two broad types of product: -
(1) The traditional computer-based technologies (things you can
typically do on a personal computer or using computers at home or at
(2) The more recent and fast-growing range of digital communication
technologies (which allow people and organisations to communicate and
share information digitally)
Standard Office Applications - Main Examples
E.g. Microsoft Word: Write letters, reports etc
E.g. Microsoft Excel; Analyse financial information; calculations;
create forecasting models etc
E.g. Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Access; Managing data in many
forms, from basic lists (e.g. customer contacts through to complex
material (e.g. catalogue)
E.g. Microsoft PowerPoint; make presentations, either directly using a
computer screen or data projector. Publish in digital format via email
or over the Internet
E.g. Adobe Indesign, Quark Express, Microsoft Publisher; produce
newsletters, magazines and other complex documents.
E.g. Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator; Macromedia Freehand and
Fireworks; create and edit images such as logos, drawings or pictures
for use in DTP, web sites or other publications
E.g. Sage, Oracle; Manage an organisation's accounts including
revenues/sales, purchases, bank accounts etc.
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A wide range of systems
is available ranging from basic packages suitable for small businesses
through to sophisticated ones aimed at multinational companies.
Computer Aided Design
Computer Aided Design (CAD) is the use of computers to assist the
design process. Specialised CAD programs exist for many types of
design: architectural, engineering, electronics, roadways
Customer Relations Management (CRM)
Software that allows businesses to better understand their customers
by collecting and analysing data on them such as their product
preferences, buying habits etc. Often linked to software applications
that run call centres and loyalty cards for example.
The C part of ICT refers to the communication of data by electronic
means, usually over some distance. This is often achieved via networks
of sending and receiving equipment, wires and satellite links. The
technologies involved in communication tend to be complex.
Many businesses and companies worldwide rely on ICT to help them with
everyday jobs. Many jobs have become easier due to ICT, such as
adding. Some people would have to manually add figures in their head.
Now they can use calculators or a spreadsheet to find out the sum, in
a short space of time. Just about everyone is relying on ICT in some
way. In the sphere of work, computers have many more advantages
compared to manual ways of work.
Forms of ICT in Businesses
Many companies have software personalised for them so they can easily
use the programme and it is relevant to their industry. It also helps
create a positive reputation of the company as customers will think
that the company is modern and up-to-date with new technology. Here
are the most common types of programmes used by companies:
A database is an organised store of data or information, which can be
manipulated to perform queries. Companies can use queries to search
for required criteria, e.g. - HSBC could use a database to perform a
query to see which customers had not deposited any money for the last
The most common type of database programme is Microsoft Access.
However, there are many other database managers, such as Infodex Pro.
Access is more widely used and is therefore, mostly used by
businesses. The company may make there own database programme
Lots of companies in industries use databases to process and store
information. E.g. - Tesco uses databases to contain information on
food prices and products etc. Vodafone uses databases to store its
clients to record or modify information on them.
* Data easily stored and accessed
* Data can be modified if needed
* Data can be corrupted, and it can destroy records, affecting an
* Hackers can alter data.
Word Processing Programmes
An example of a word-processing programme is Microsoft Word. Microsoft
Word is a word-processing programme which allows you to create and
edit text and graphics in letters, reports, Web pages, or e-mail
messages which can then be printed out. Companies like HSBC could use
Microsoft Word to send letters to clients and investors about their
bank statements. By using Microsoft Word HSBC can stay in contact with
the world, which in turn will help the company expand and diversify.
The main purpose of a spreadsheet is to store numerical data, and to
make calculations using these data. Spreadsheet programs make
financial tasks much easier. A business might use a spreadsheet to
calculate the difference between how much money it receives from sales
and how much it spends. The most common type of spreadsheet is
Microsoft Excel it is widely used by businesses. However, there are
other types of spreadsheet programmes like Lotus 1-2-3. Benefits of
using a spreadsheet programme are:
* Visual Aid (graphs)
One of the benefits of a spreadsheet is the ability to calculate
easily and quickly the impact of possible changes. A company might
wish to identify how much will be involved if rates for taxes would
rise. E.g. - Using the 'What If' query, HSBC could see what would
happen to their investors' money if taxes rose. By changing rates on a
spreadsheet, companies can predict outcomes of their business.
A way of sending messages electronically from one computer to another,
generally through a modem and telephone line connected to a computer.
Ted Baker could use e-mail to contact its customers about offers and
promotions. This increases the company's target audience and is very
quick and efficient as multiple messages can be sent in one 'shot' and
the company will know if the message has been received. Most companies
use email as a method of marketing.
A computer storage medium which can store large amounts of
information; generally used to distribute software or multi-media for
use on computers with CD-ROM drives. CD-ROM disks look just like music
CDs, and cannot be altered by a user. Eidos uses CD-ROMS to store its
games to sell to customers. Ted Baker uses CD-ROMs to store the
company catalogue on the products sold. This is very efficient as most
computers have CD drives and will be able to support the software
without any Internet connections.
This is when a conference is held via a telecommunication device, so
that directors and others can speak face to face through
telecommunication. This allows companies to see who they are
communicating with and allows them to speak to people from other
countries. A company like Vodafone could easily hold video conferences
with world wide branches.
Uses of ICT in businesses
Ø Communication.The transfer of information and understanding from one
point or person to another. The basic elements in the process of
communication are an information source, encoding, transmission,
reception, and decoding. Examples of communication are
telecommunication via mobile phone companies, such as Vodafone.
Ø Data management.Work that involves the planning, development,
implementation, and administration of systems for the acquisition,
storage, and retrieval of data. Examples of data management are
companies such as Ted Baker using data in databases to keep records on
customers and stocks.
Ø Manufacturing. The process of making a raw material into a finished
product; especially in large quantities. Eidos uses manufacturing to
take their games from the primary stage of production to the final
Ø Loyalty/Clubcards. Customers at supermarkets by items and receive
points on their store card. The card is swiped and the details of the
purchases are stored on computer systems. Then the store sends the
customer rewards which suit the customers' regular shopping pattern.
Tesco uses this scheme via Clubcard which is also a form of market
research as well as a loyalty card.
Ø Processing Cheques. An amount of money is debited from your account
and credited into the payee's account. At the payee's bank, the amount
of the cheque is typed at the bottom using magnetic ink. Cheques are
sent to a clearing house, where they are read by a MICR. All the day's
cheques are processed to find out how much each bank pays the other.
Then the cheque is sent to the customers' bank branches, and the
amounts deducted from their accounts. Also, the magnetic characters
are difficult to forge, and can be read even if the cheque is damaged.
This quick system is used by HSBC for more accurate processing than by
hand. This is safer security and will raise customer satisfaction as
they will feel secure with the bank they have chosen.
Ø Operating ATMs. By putting a card in an ATM, money can be withdrawn
from an account. The details on the card are read by a magnetic reader
in the ATM and the machine counts and issues the money. HSBC like
using ATMs because they can employ fewer cashiers and offer a 24-hour
service. Customers like ATMs because they are easy to use and
Ø Home Banking. Home banking uses the Internet or the telephone to
access accounts. You can make payments and transfer funds into and out
of a bank account at any time. By introducing home banking, HSBC can
appeal to a wider target market. This will increase awareness as more
people will be able to use the Internet to pay bills and therefore, be
able to be more flexible.
Benefits of ICT in businesses
* Faster data handling. Data handling is greatly improved by using
computer which would help a company like HSBC as they store
clients on their database. By performing queries, clients could be
found instantly. This is much more efficient than manual filing
which would waste time and take up office space.
* Increasing Office Productivity. Previously everything was hand
written on lots of paper which were filed. Now computer technology
makes things easier and more productive. Companies like Vodafone
can now use templates of letters to send hundreds of letters
without having to re-write the entire letter. Companies like Ted
Baker can use Mail-merge routines to send personalised letters to
selected people in the firm's database. Calculating costs,
producing invoices, keeping account records and the production of
profit and balance sheets can all be done using standard
spreadsheet software. Tesco can use this to calculate prices for
sales. Communication with customers can now be done via email and
the internet. Communication within the company can be done by
using an intranet. Eidos uses an intranet within itself to allow
its employees to communicate with themselves.
* Computer Aided Design (CAD)/Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM). CAD
software enables a designer to create a three-dimensional shaped
model of the product, rotate it on the screen to see it from all
angles and make instant changes to the design. Eidos uses CAD to
design many games such as its famous TOMB RAIDER© series.
Products such as phone, which need to be manufactured with this great
accuracy, are suited to this method. Vodafone uses CAM to enable it to
produce phones. The benefits of CAD/CAM are that design and
manufacture can be both carried out quickly and with accuracy - both
quality and productivity should improve. Also human error is minimised
as robots are more reliable.
* E-Commerce. The biggest change on the Internet is the increase in
buying and selling online. The Internet is changing how businesses
operate. All of my companies use Internet web sites to help
customers either with purchasing products or providing
information. This is useful as the Internet is used worldwide and
can also help expand and diversify the business by making it known
Drawbacks of ICT in businesses
* Redundancies. Some people that do not have enough computer skills
to cope in the current workplace. Others worry that computers will
replace people altogether, resulting in redundancies.
* Stress. Some people believe that increases in productivity as a
result of computerisation are making the workplace stressful.
* Cost of Training. There is inevitably an employee who is not able
to perform some of the tasks. This results in the company having
to spend money on the employee receiving training. If a company
like Eidos uses software, especially new software, the employees
need to be aware of how to operate it. This could mean spending
more money on training than on investing into the business.
Usually referred to as a local area network (LAN), this involves
linking a number of hardware items (input and output devices plus
computer processing) together within an office or building.
The aim of a LAN is to be able to share hardware facilities such as
printers or scanners, software applications and data. This type of
network is invaluable in the office environment where colleagues need
to have access to common data or programmes. Companies use either a
LAN or intranet (a private network) to communicate within the company.
From analysing the benefits and drawbacks of ICT business, I can
conclude that ICT has been a innovative change in the business world.
It has brought ground-breaking changes to businesses such as advanced
accuracy and increasing productivity. It is used worldwide. However,
computers are expensive, especially if a high spec computer is
required for videoconferencing. Also, training and updates are
required for the computer which can cost lots if a lot has to be
Despite these problems, I would say that the advantages of computers
outweigh the drawbacks. This is the reason why businesses worldwide
have computers. Without computers, some companies would collapse. A
company that would greatly be affected by a change like this is Eidos.
Eidos produces software and games for computers and if computers did
not exist, their trade would become obsolete.
On the whole, ICT has become an 'essential' part of businesses today.
Essay on Information and Communication Technology and Education
533 Words3 Pages
There is a dramatic increase of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) that integrates with education. All possible types of (ICT) such as; smart mobile phones, computers, are starting to replace a textbook in school and university with an online e-book. These types of technology integrated into a classroom can be a great tool to empower students to get a wide range of knowledge. Using technology in the classroom is affected in positive and negative ways. Moreover, people are divided into two different perspectives regarding this issue. Some people believe that technology will enhance student’s knowledge, whereas, other authorities are struggling to provide technology in the classroom. Indeed, the positive influence of integrating…show more content…
There is a dramatic increase of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) that integrates with education. All possible types of (ICT) such as; smart mobile phones, computers, are starting to replace a textbook in school and university with an online e-book. These types of technology integrated into a classroom can be a great tool to empower students to get a wide range of knowledge. Using technology in the classroom is affected in positive and negative ways. Moreover, people are divided into two different perspectives regarding this issue. Some people believe that technology will enhance student’s knowledge, whereas, other authorities are struggling to provide technology in the classroom. Indeed, the positive influence of integrating technology in education cannot be denied due to the facilitators for communication and improvement of education.
Firstly, students and instructors are comfortable with consolidating technology in instructional standards. Because, Information is accessed easily by technology, and it helps students save more time. It expands and maximizes and gives deeper knowledge. For instant, when the teacher asks his students to search for a topic, students will quickly search on the Internet and gives the teacher their answers within fewer minutes. Moreover, technology allows every resource around the world to be part of students instructional day, and even if the students are going home by bus or car, they can still be in touch with your resources and