Increasingly, the success of various organizations depends on their abilities to gather, produce, maintain, and disseminate information and knowledge. Knowledge work is particularly important in any information society. The ability of an organization to generate information and effectively employ it through productive fields will determine the organization’s success in the competitive world; and the ability to invent and use technological know-how in the areas of core competence is prerequisite to success of business. The phrase “Information Technology” encompasses the methods of collecting, processing and disseminating information which is vital in management. For instance, there is a growing awareness of the contributions made by information technology in various management aspects. This paper delves the use of information technology in management of various sectors.
Information technology and management
In the education sector, information technology enables various universities to offer degrees through online distance education programs. A new economic imperative in higher education and innovations in information technology drives this revolution in distance education as the universities are moving to instate totally online certification programs, courses and complete degrees (UNESCO, pg 4-5). As the availability and power of information technology grow, various traditional statistics courses are modified to take the advantage of new software developed for carrying out statistical analyses as well as teaching new statistical concepts.
Information technology has is greatly used in business management. With large business corporations becoming the order of the day, there is large amount of data that is created every day. This could be in the form of transaction-data created any time a customer makes purchases, to product-data that is based on inventory level, to category-data that is used to correlate consumption of different products. In ideal situations, this data is useless unless it is converted to a form that business managers are able to understand and use. In such cases, information technology becomes very important. For instance, Management Information System (MIS) which deals with capture, processing, storage, distribution and presentation of information is used. Nowadays, information technology has evolved to an extent that MIS can send information to hand held-computers. This allows the managers to get information as it unfolds and it enhances quick decision making.
In the transportation sector, information technology offers various strategic tools that enhance efficiency, increase responsiveness, reduce costs and improve decision making processes (Allen, pg 1). Information technology enhances great improvements in the transportation sector through enhancing ease-of-use, inventory management and increasing flow capacity. For instance, information technology is used in making travel transactions more convenient and easy. Utilizing of different systems of transport can be highly seamless leading to integrated multi-modal transport. Through IT, payments can be made using a smart card from a single source and can be reflected at different points. Also, information technology enhances the management of reservations. The flexibility of IT is used to manage people and vehicles’ inventories. For example, airlines are the pioneers in the use of information technology. Since 1960, IT has transformed various airline operations and enhanced significant efficiencies. For instance, the load factor is enhanced by the ability to reserve spaces in advance and remotely. Finally, information technology is used to increase the flow capacity whereby little physical infrastructure is used. This implies that information technology has a capability of enhancing transportation equipments’ capacities without new physical expansion. Examples include traffic signals, traffic congestion management and freeway ramp metering. In addition information technology is being used in automation of highways which offers great capacity increases (Mason & Deakin, pg 8-9).
From above, it is evident that advances in information technology pose new opportunities for various sectors in the society. The use of such technologies can transform not only the efficiency at which tasks are performed, but also the pattern of organization and work relationships within the concerned sectors.