What is Information Communication Technology? ICT stands for Information and Communication Technology. It deals with the application of technology in information management. From the earliest form of writing till date, man has been preoccupied with the desire to update, reduce time and space used in sending and receiving information and continue to remove drudgery in communicating ideas as much as possible.
ICT has been described as the uses of existing digital technology to help people and business organizations use information. Therefore, any devices that can store, retrieve, manipulate, receive and send information in a digital form are part of information communication technology.
With the aid of computer technology, business communication activities involving information creation, information storage, information retrieval, information transfer and information evaluation and use are easily carried out through office automation.
Office automation is the desire to improve the information management capacity of an organization by ensuring that appropriate and up-to-date technologies for improving workers’ efficiency and productivity, reducing cost of operations and drudgery associated with manual labor, and improving workplace environment are acquired and used by the staff. It must be emphasized that the computers remain the most basic equipment for office automation today.
List of ICT Tools in Business Organization
For many businesses that rely on the old style of paper-and –file office, information processing, storage, retrieval and dissemination are done through paper documents. This style is highly laborious, time-wasting, prone to errors and expensive. Copies of important documents are lost in transit, some are mutilated, operations are delayed and many offices and cabinets are filled with irrelevant papers and files causing rodents and other insects to fester.
Advances in technology worldwide have brought a change to activities in a businesses. Computers have come to replace paper and file as information is becoming highly mobile and compact daily. A truck-load of papers and files in many cabinets can be reduced to some megabytes on a storage device, and can be transmitted from one office and country to another within seconds. Therefore, businesses are now automated and paperless. Simply put, ICT tools are used by people within the business environment to create, receive, store, send and manipulate information from one person, office and place to another, and are also deployed by these people to communicate with the clients, suppliers, customers, consumers and shareholders. Here are some of the ICT Tools in Business Organization:
The internet is an important ICT Tools in business organization connecting millions of computers to one another round the world. The interne are connected by coaxial cable, satellites, fiber optic lines, phone lines and wireless connections. They therefore source for data and transmit data to enable users have access to unlimited volumes of information at a time.
From the intranet which is available for use only in a restricted area to the World Wide Web that is universal, the internet is a source of information; helps business organization to conduct their businesses online and removes distance barriers. With the internet, various interpersonal interactions are now possible online. For example, businesses now have websites for their customers, clients and suppliers to access information and communicate directly to staff members, Twitter and Facebook accounts, WhatsApp, and other interactive social media platforms.
A computer is an electronic machine that can accept, process, store and communicate large amount of information. It comprises the visual display unit (monitor), the central processing unit and the input unit. The computer has a big capacity for managing information by acquiring, processing, storing, retrieving, transmitting and maintaining data.
The computer as one of the important ICT Tools in business organization can perform many operations with high speed and accuracy because of its in-built software.
Millions of information can be stored on a computer in bits and they can be easily seen, retrieved and transmitted in seconds. The hardware of a computer comprises the mouse, keyboard, central processing unit, monitor (visual display unit) and other accessories. The computer software programme are installed on the computer to make it work. A computer software ‘consists of a set of coded instructions that a computer operator gives to make the hardware work.
Through desktop publishing, individuals and organizations can produce newsletters, periodic in house magazines, brochures, annual general reports and even a complete book. Business organizations also use it to produce letterhead stationery, invoices, estimates, price lists, catalogues and accounting reports.
Read Also: What is Business Report and Its Types?
3. Electronic Mail (e-mail)
This ICT tool is a medium for exchanging messages between and among computers connected by telecommunication lines. These computers use computer-based tools, known as programs and protocols for composing, modifying, editing, retrieving and disseminating messages.
Electronic mail system allows one person who uses a computer to send a message to another person by sending the message to the mail box of the second person, when both of them are connected by the telecommunication lines. The receiver (second person) has the opportunity to read the message, print and display it on the monitor. E-mails can be sent to many computers at a time; they are cheaper and more convenient than phoning and faster than postal delivery.
4. Mobile Phones
With the mobile phones, staff members, managers and their teeming stakeholders, clients and customers are in constant communication. It is a latest technology tool that allows better interpersonal communication. Apart from the fact that it is cheaper and easier to communicate with the mobile phones, internet enabled mobile phones are also used to send e-mails, exchange pictures, sounds and text messages between and among telecommunication subscribers.
Almost everyone have access to mobile phones globally and many businesses are using this platform to communicate with their customers, suppliers, consumers and clients. Customers can now lodge their complaints, order for goods and services, interact better with the staff members and ensure that customers are served satisfactorily.
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