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Recent Developments in Information Technology

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Recent Developments in Information Technology The uses of IT Information technology (IT) involves gathering data and then processing it to produce the information the user requires. Information technology has changed the way we work. It has created number of new jobs in businesses, such as IKEA. Examples of jobs created by information technology include: Programmers; Technicians; System Analysts; Web Designers; and Consultants. However, information technology has also replaced traditional jobs. For example, some factory workers are replaced by production line robots. These production-line robots are more accurate than humans, do not take breaks or go on strike and are consistent in their quality of work. Information technology can play an important part in the success of an organisation, e.g.: * A word processing package can be used to design invoice stationery and send business letters * A spreadsheet can be used to draw up a business plan and to calculate the income and expenses. It can also be used to carry out 'What-if' calculation, to test out the affects of raising the prices but lowering the sales, using less expensive components * A database package can be used to keep a mailing list of customers * A presentation package can be used to design presentation slides and present them in Company meetings * A publisher package can be used to design advertising or promotional packages * A fax machine can be used to communicate with potential suppliers, wholesalers, distributors, printers, etc * The Internet can be used to sell products to new and existing customers, and as a valuable research tool * On-line banking can enable users to keep up tabs on their cash flow * Telephone and answering machine are used as a mean of communication Advantages of using information technology in a business include: * Speed of processing * Vast storage capacity- number of transactions can be stored on the disk for processing and analysing in organisations such as banks and retails stores * Ability to search and combine data in ...read more.


This process can be very frustrating, especially if a customer is anxious to see how well the business' shares are doing. Access to corporate data for on-line just-in-time reporting This is a process where customers can able to see what is really happening in businesses, such as IKEA. E-mail An e-mail (also known as electronic mail) is a way of sending messages, data, files or graphics to other users on the network. An e-mail will allow messages to be sent to anyone on the network, even on the other side of the world, just for a price of a local telephone call. When messages arrive to their destination, they are then stored in a mailbox. When the user receiving the message connects to the network, they are informed of the incoming mail, waiting to be read. After reading the e-mail, the user can: delete the message; file the message by storing it on the disk; send back a reply; or forward the message to one or more people. IKEA use e-mail as a means of internal and external communication. For example, a HR manager sends a copy of the Health and Safety regulations to the Warehouse manager. Another example is a staff member sends an urgent letter to a supplier. IKEA customers also use e-mail to contact their local IKEA store by sending the message through their Company website. Advantages of using an e-mail include: * The message is usually receive instantaneously * It is very simple to compose, send and reply to e-mail * Large files, such as video clips, audio files and documents can be attached * E-mail can be encrypted for extra security * It is a convenient and low-cost communication * Messages can be sent from your PC without having to leave your desk Disadvantages of using an e-mail include: * Sometimes an important message may get lost along with other 'Spam' (junk) ...read more.


standard to the offline products * Expensive to set up e-commerce systems * Risk of fraud * Lack of knowledge * Lack of IT facilities However, most of these barriers can be overcome through such things as government initiatives and training. Recent Developments in e-commerce According to Peter H�gsted, the head of IKEA UK, the Company will be planning to launch an e-commerce home shopping service within the next 12 months (see Appendix). IKEA will soft launch the new e-commerce service in the summer and autumn. This new e-commerce service will target customers living in certain areas outside London, enabling them to pay for products over the Internet. If the new e-commerce service becomes successful, IKEA will then launch it throughout the UK later this year (2006) or early next year. At the moment, IKEA's customers can only browse the products displayed on the Company website, before going to the stores. Advantages of online-shopping include: * The stores are never closed * There is no dress code * There are no parking woes * You do not have aggressive salespeople bothering you * Vast resources for product and price comparison are available * Products can be found that are not available locally The drawbacks of online-shopping include: * The inabilities to physically check out the items you are purchasing * Losing the power to negotiate the price and payment terms that may exist in local stores. * Items ordered online are sometimes on backorder but the consumer is not always informed until weeks after the purchase is made * Not always knowing if a site is a legitimate and safe site to shop * Having to pay for shipping costs that far exceed the true shipping rate * Returns and exchanges can sometimes be difficult because of the lack of face to face negotiations ?? ?? ?? ?? Unit 15: ICT in Business E7/C4: Created by Baljinder Duhra - 150 - Unit 15: ICT in Business E7/C4: Created by Baljinder Duhra - 166 - ...read more.

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