Information Technology for Competitive Edge
Information is a very broad subject. In a broad sense, information is processed, structured and organized information about anything or anyone. It gives context to other information and allows decision making in all its aspects. For instance, a single customer’s sale in a particular restaurant is information- this becomes information if the company is able to identify which is the least popular or most popular dish.
However, information is also more detailed and complex. In fact, information technology, computer systems and database management software are rapidly evolving. The development environment of information technology has developed to cater to the demands of the information market place. As a result, IT experts can cater to more needs of businesses and be more effective in meeting business demands.
Information technology is the process by which people use information technology (IT) to make things happen. In essence, information technology is used to create the means by which information is managed. Some examples of information technology are database management software, computer systems, web services, e-commerce platforms, intranetworks, online information, and multimedia. In a broader sense, information technology also includes the processes by which information is created, used and maintained.
In a broader perspective, we could say that information systems are the means through which an organization develops and deploys its own ability to collect and manage information. In other words, information is a subset of activities aimed at making things happen. Organization’s success depends on how well it uses information technology and database management software. Information technology develops the means through which organizations use information to gain advantage over their competitors. Organizations therefore need a better system of information to develop their competitive edge.
Organizations that fail to deploy a better development environment often find themselves at a competitive disadvantage. One way to develop an information technology system is to purchase computer systems and database management software from a vendor. However, these systems can be expensive. Organizations should also consider developing their own information technology infrastructure.
In this regard, organizations must have IT infrastructures that are flexible enough to meet any demand for information. The information technology systems should be scalable to accommodate future needs, or at least remain viable in the face of future needs. It is advisable to design an information technology system that is developed using open source software, since this will allow an organization to evolve and stay current with emerging trends in the information system marketplace. Organizations should also consider outsourcing IT requirements whenever feasible, especially if the IT requirements are less costly than developing internal IT capabilities. Finally, organizations should seek guidance from experts in the information technology arena before proceeding with an information technology system project to ensure the best results.