Technology is a term we all are accustomed to. It is defined as the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, and we live in an age where every day new scientific and technological tools appear, giving solutions and answers to an increasing number of practical uses and issues. When it comes to business, it is imperative to utilize technology, this means of producing new resources, as innovation is the only sensible way for a business to thrive in today’s environment. In the 1980’s, for example, innovation was not important for professional success, because following traditional methods that were proven in the past was a sensible way of staying in business. Nowadays, embracing technology is a one-way street.
There are numerous and obvious advantages that all organizations, who do exactly that, share; technology has made communications more efficient and less time-consuming. They have access to data that can be assessed in real-time, data that due to the technological agent is based on facts and statistics created objectively. They can generally save time and money speeding up the workflow, as they can understand how to best manage their resources. Those companies stand out of the competition, they grow by adapting to the future and progress investing in the best possible human capital, recruited with the use of improved screening and targeted processes.
Peter Thiel claims that “technology just means information technology”. That shows the importance of this specific advance to the growth and progress of any business. Information technology is a tool that can be used to solve complex problems, making easier for the user to research and analyze data and plan accordingly. When it comes to marketing, it is way more accurate than traditional marketing tools as it is very difficult to measure how many people read a magazine ad, where it is very easy to figure out how many people clicked on a link or an online banner. Data management becomes crucial too. Progressive organizations can track indicators such as productivity levels, expenses, profitability over time and return on investment. They can thus identify areas of improvement and make this process part of their strategic planning. By analyzing the information, they can design a course of action with confidence. They can prepare cost estimates and forecasts based on past data, as they can check how past actions affected the desired outcome. With guidance from the information system, they can streamline their operations.
Characteristics of good information
How one manages their operations depends on the information they have. The term ‘subjective information’ describes something that is currently unknown. The old model before the enablement of information technology relied heavily on subjective information, wasting time and resources. Subjective information is not accurate or up-to-date. Useful information must be tailored to the needs of the end users and be relevant to their purposes. It has to be complete with respect to key elements of the problem in hand and communicated in time, for issues to be addressed. Finally, it has to be easy for the user to understand, consistent and above all reliable, based on actual statistics and trends. Information technology is business, according to Bill Gates, who said that “Information Technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other”.
As imperative as the use of information technology is for the private business world, the public sector should be as well taken into consideration when it comes to progress. A private business has the goal of increasing profits and reducing costs of their operation. Certain aspects of business life such as marketing and targeted audience are very important for that, but the public sector has a totally different role. It offers services to the whole of society. It doesn’t create wealth, but sustainability and re-investment of profits for the common good. It is often funded by government money, paid in essence from everyone’s taxes. Accurate and objective information about commuters’ habits and busy routes can be used in public transport, for example, for the betterment of the offered service. Professionals managing the transportation sector could plan ahead addressing issues that need more focus, reducing congestion and improving travel times and reliability. Schools and academies have an even more important role, the education of children and the shaping of tomorrow’s adults. Therefore, it is even more imperative that they use information technologies. With its use, they can reshape the business process in order to eliminate any obstacles preventing them from providing the best service they can. As administrators of public money, those in charge of running public organizations must ensure that they implement any tool at their disposal that will help them capitalize on their strength and direct most of their resources to their main mission. In this age of information technology dominance, it is ‘criminal’ to waste public resources because instead of objective, quantitative data that are reliable and accurate, they plan and operate based on subjective information, on unreliable narratives and outdated practices, denying the offered service necessary funds.
Pablo Picasso once said “Computers are useless. They can only give you answers”. This just shows the importance of the human factor in all this. A computer cannot ask questions but can give you answers. Any professional should love to have a database comprised of consistent and objective data, where they could find reliable answers to the questions they’re asking. And having the correct answers, they can plot optimal operational direction, saving time and money and improving the service provided.