Advice to Small Businesses on how Information Technology can Improve Business Performance
by Panashe Sibanda, 1044230
Previously, there was no measurable scale by which one could quantify the benefits of implementing IT into a business (D.A. Marchand, W.J; Kettinger; J.D. Rollins, 2002). But recently, business models have been developed to conceptualise the association between information technology and business performance and it was found that IT is indeed a valuable resource that improves business performance (M.J. Cotteleer; E. Bendoly, 2006), however, the degree to its usefulness relies highly on its complementary resources, the firms trading partners and both the competitive and macro environment to which the firm is subject (N. Melville, K. Kraemer; V. Gurbaxani, 2004).
The question remains just what processes are undergone? And given all other factors of management are operating favourably, what improvements are likely to occur?
The underlying activities that occur within any business process include the gathering, organising, storing and transmitting of information. Information technology involves the transformation of this data, algorithmically, so that it may be digitally represented (E. Brynjolfsson; L.M. Hitt, 2000). Adopting an Enterprise System for one will enable the business to facilitate these processes. However, implementing one is a rather tedious and costly process that can arise in numerous implications. The correct procedures need to be taken.
Benefits of the said system, such as improved management and administration, are almost immediate. Because all technology aims to ultimately hasten, to sometimes synchronise and possibly even integrate processes, advantages range from improved information visibility and transparency (C. Spathis; J. Ananiadis, 2004), more informed decision making and consequential analytic perspective for explaining and anticipating future actions (W. J. Orlikowski; D. C. Gash, 1994).
- Brynjofsson, E. and Hitt, L. (2000). Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance. Journal of Economic Perspectives, [online] 14(4), pp.23–48. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2647074?uid=3739368&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21106348404321 [Accessed 10 May 2015].
- Marchand, Donald A., William J. Kettinger, and John D. Rollins. Information Orientation: The Link To Business Performance. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc, 2002. Print.
- Cotteleer, Mark J., and Elliot Bendoly. ‘Order Lead-Time Improvement Following Enterprise Information Technology Implementation: An Empirical Study’. MIS Quarterly 30.3 (2006): 643–660. Web. 10 May 2015.
- Melville, Nigel, Kenneth Kraemer, and Vijay Gurbaxani. MIS Quarterly 28.2 (2004): 283–322. Web. 13 May 2015.
- Orlikowski, Wanda J., and Debra C. Gash. ACM Transactions on Information Systems 12.2 (1994): 174–207. Web. 10 May 2015.
- Spathis, Charalambos, and John Ananiadis. Journal of Enterprise Information Management 18.2 (2004): 195–210. Web. 10 May 2015.
- Image 1. (2015). [image] Available at: http://pjitm.com/Images/InformationTechnology.jpg [Accessed 13 May 2015].