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The following report will outline how a business communicates effectively and efficiently within their company on a daily basis with the use of information communication and technology.

Free essay example:

Applied ICT                Unit 1


The following report will outline how a business communicates effectively and efficiently within their company on a daily basis with the use of information communication and technology. I will research how new technology has changed the way companies communicate internally and externally. I will also research in depth the nature, purpose and use of information in an organisation.

As most businesses use ICT to order online goods and most businesses has their own websites this shows companies have embraced ICT and new technology.

I will also explain how information circulates in a business with email, EDI and other things to transfer data which is vital in the business. I will show how within a company they use internet and intranet. I will also explain how information circulates within an organization and the different departments within the organisation and how in a business they use ICT to store large amounts of information on their costumers.

The information on their costumers is held as it is needed to bill their customers and to send them information about the product they have bought and information on new products they might be interested in. I will research two companies and gather three documents from each and analyse the personal information on each and access how the organisation uses this information. To do this I will use the internet and email to businesses  

Section 2

Nature, purpose and use of information.  

Within an organisation information is a very valuable resource it’s the key element in running a business. With out information a business would not survive the business would not no what there paying or how munch they should be paid. Without up to date information the managers within a business could not make big and important decisions within a company this shows how essential information is. Without information a company could be ruined as it may go down the wrong direction.Every organisation, regardless of size, requires information to make it work.Without current and, accurate information, the Managers in the organisation cannot make good decisions about anything.

For example one company that uses information throughout is Tesco. Tesco has an online ordering form that requires a log in information table. Within the form the costumers have to fill in a lot of in formation for example Name, Surname, Address and Email. This information is used to deliver the order to the costumer the order form also has email information to advertise new products and to give the costumer valuable information.

Below is and ordering form which shows the information in which you have fill out to receive your product. The example below shows a Tesco online ordering form.



Another example of a company that uses online ordering forms is Argos the online catalogue shopping website. The Argos online store can also help you check all the latest prices, check your product is in stock, make a purchase reserve and even locate your nearest store. Within the Argos online ordering store Argos has a large variety of products like electronics, kitchen products, laundry items, gifts collection, office and computer products, sports goods and personal care items. ICT is very important to Argos as Argos use the internet to advertise and sell there products through there website www.argos.co.uk.

Within the Argos website there is an online ordering form for costumers within the online ordering form the information includes Name, Surname, Address and Email. This information is required to send the costumer there product and also to send them information and updates of new products within Argos. This is an example of the online ordering form within Argos.



Section 3

The use of ICT to process information

Within a business the use of EDI is extensively used it refers to the structured transmission of data between organizations by electronic means. It is used to transfer electronic documents from one computer system to another. EDI is used through Email which is a method of exchanging digital messages. Many organisations use Emails to communicate quickly and efficiently internally and externally to their organisations for example: if a company would like to communicate a message to all staff, generally the fastest, cheapest and most effective way would be to send an ‘All staff email’.

 This message will be received immediately to all intended contacts.

Another advantage of using emails to communicate is that you can set up a distribution list to intended contacts this can be set up quickly and is easy to use and therefore will save time when sending out emails. The disadvantages of using emails to communicate is that viruses can be spread round the organisation, companies will need to keep up to date with anti-virus software etc or this will have a negative effect on the company. Spam mail can also be sent via emails and this can have a negative effect on the day to day running of organisations.

Video Conferencing is used widely by businesses to communicate with other companies. Video Conferencing is very convenient for businesses video conferencing has to offer is the ability to meet with people in remote locations without incurring travel expenses or other expenses associated with face to face communication. There other advantages of video conferencing which are:

  • Companies are able to have meetings easily between branches that are situated very far away.
  • Companies are able to save on travel and hotel costs, previously incurred through transporting different employees to one place.
  •  Meetings can be organised at short notice.
  • Employees are able to work from home, increasing work flexibility.
  • Meetings do not require large room facilities.

However there are many disadvantages to video conferencing for example eye contact traditional telephone conversations give no eye contact cues, videoconferencing systems are arguably worse in that they provide an incorrect impression that the remote interlocutor is avoiding eye contact. Appearance Consciousnessis another problem for the user of video conferencing a second problem with videoconferencing is being on camera, with the video stream possibly even being recorded. Another use of EDI is the internet within the internet companies use websites to advertise information. Websites consist of related web pages, images and videos to give the costumer up to date and valid information on different products. The different ways in which information is communicated within an organisation includes paper based communication, on-line communication, e-mail, EDI and conferencing.

Another excellent way to process in formation is through the use of Microsoft power point. PowerPoint is a software package that allows you to create professional multimedia presentations. PowerPoint has many advantages for example PowerPoint has many viewing options you can view the result on a computer monitor, LCD projector. You can even export your show to the web and simply print copies of your slides and give them to your audience. Within power point you can update and fix your presentation in short notice, insert animations that make your text and pictures zoom around the screen and jump into place. You can insert audio/video directly onto a presentation slide. This makes your presentation seamless as you no longer have to bring along a VHS player with you. PowerPoint’s are good ways to effectively get across short bullet points of information. They're good base points for a presentation to remind you of what you need to say. They look good visually; can be easily read if you have a big enough projector and you only need one of them. If you used leaflets in a presentation you'd be wasting paper and ink, power points, although they use electricity are more of an environmentally friendly way of presenting things. Also, they're useful because you can add sound and videos to them which will captivate the viewer’s attention. Plus, they're quick to make and you have as much information on them as you want because you can add lots of slides. They're convenient and easy to transport because you can put them onto a memory stick and then onto your chosen computer.

Section 4

How information circulates within an organization

Businesses such as Tesco and Argos use invoices because it indicates to the customer the products quantities, and agreed prices for products or services the seller has

Provided the buyer. An invoice indicates the buyer must pay the seller, according to the payment terms. Here below is an example of an invoice from the company of CBO solutions.


Different types of documents and reports are used within an organization for example businesses use memos which is a document or other communication that aids the memory by recording events or observations on a topic, such as may be used in a business office. Memos are used in a wide range of businesses such as Tesco and Argos.A day order is any order that is not a good till cancelled order. If your broker does not fill your order that day, you will have to re-enter it the next day this is used in such companies as Sainsbury and EBay. A stop order is an order to buy or sell a security once the price of the security has climbed above a specified stop price .This means the trade will definitely be executed, but not necessarily at or near the stop price this type of order would be used in companies such as EBay which sells goods online.

 A limit order is an order to buy a security at no more, or sell at no less, than a specific price. This gives the trader control over the price at which the trade is executed limit order is used when a company wants to control the price of their product for example online clothing companies used limited order to put a fixed price on their products. Stuck order forms would be used regularly in companies to order in stock for their products this ordering form would be used to send to the supplier details of the materials they need below is an example of and ordering form.


The business measures summaryreport shows information on business measures used in a process. You can use this report when you want to retain a record of the content of a business measures model, or when you want to validate that content

An internal document is a Record made up and kept within the entity in connection with its accounting records. It does not go to or come from external parties. Examples are employee time sheets, employee W-2s, inventory receiving reports, and duplicate purchase invoices. The auditor puts much more reliance on external documents than internal ones since they are derived from outside independent parties. Internal documents do not serve as very reliable evidence in the CPA's examination of a client's records. External document documents needed for the company recordkeeping that have somehow been handled by outside individuals. Vendor invoices and cancelled checks are examples. The auditor can place much more reliance on external documents than internal documents because of the greater independence and verifiability associated with them.    

Section 5

How organization use the Internet and Intranets

Within businesses Internet and Intranet technology have presented great opportunities for companies to grow and develop their trade, nationally and internationally the internet gives costumers instant communication with their supplier. For example the use of the companies’ websites which gives the costumer the price of the product and information on the product. Within the companies website there will be a contact section so the costumer can telephone the company or email the company for future advice or information they may need.

Nowadays websites are an essential part of every profession website makes strong impact on the image of a company. Through website designing you will get identity, global presence and good business channel once you make entry in the www (World Wide Web) and promote the website through web marketing.There are approximately 970 millions Internet users, 15% of the world's population. Thus it is a most efficient way to get potential customers from all over the world through marketing. This is why the website of a company is the most important part of a modern day business.

Business without website means you are running business without having your visiting card; you can say your website as your visiting card [business card]. By effective profile of your company, products/services you can build corporate image of the company in your business website

The use of the intranet has improved internal effectiveness and made many internal procedures more effective within a company.The fact that an organisation can communicate instantly with another organisation in another continent is having a major influence on the way in which organisations do business.Many organisations have company websites for customers and staff to gain access to company information etc. usually staff will have access to an intranet this could be used for departments to store information for staff to have access to download e.g. insurance documentation, petty cash forms, company legislation information, holiday times etc.

For example intranet is used in my school of De La Salle Belfast the reasons are:

Main objectives

The main objectives of Intranets in Schools are to help schools:

  • enhance communication
  • teach through technology
  • integrate the curriculum
  • improve general school administration
  • Access a standard layout of information consistent through all schools.

Achievement of the objective

The Department will help ensure that:

  • individual school requirements are considered
  • the intranet has a user-friendly interface, which will not require a high level of ICT skill to use
  • teachers are empowered to use intranets as learning tools to facilitate technology curriculum-integration
  • Students use technology in learning.

Ecommerce consists of buying and selling products and services over the Internet, as opposed to the standard commerce practices. It is a subset of a company's eBusiness strategy. Often e-commerce is used to add revenue streams to a standard business.

E-commerce is a subset of business, where products and services are advertised, bought and sold electronically or over the Internet. Many businesses have become extremely profitable through online sales.

Dell Computers is a prime example. Small companies and even individuals can also market their products or services on a worldwide basis through e-commerce. Large companies can reduce sales and stocking costs by selling online. The advantages for organisations engaged in e-commerce are extensive and continue to grow.

UK Laws

The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) is a United Kingdom Act of Parliament which defines UK law on the processing of data on identifiable living people.

The Computer Misuse Act 1990 is an Act of the UK Parliament, introduced partly in response the decision in R v Gold & Schifreen (1988) 1 AC 1063

Information privacy or data privacy is the relationship between collection and dissemination of data, technology, the public expectation of privacy, and the legal and political issues surrounding them.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It is the implementation of freedom of information legislation in the United Kingdom on a national level. It is an Act of Parliament that introduces a public "right to know" in relation to public bodies.

The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 is a law in the United Kingdom which made it unlawful, amongst other things, to transmit an automated recorded message for direct marketing purposes via a telephone, without prior consent of the subscriber.

The Data Protection Directive (officially Directive 95/46/EC on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data) is a European Union directive which regulates the processing of personal data within the European Union. It is an important component of EU privacy and human rights law. The directive was implemented in 1995 by the European Commission.

Understanding why and how organisations use ICT to manage finance


The calculation of people's pay can be very complicated. It can involve any number of the following variables:

  • the number of hours worked on standard pay
  • the number of hours worked on overtime pay
  • the amount of income tax that needs to be paid (this is complicated on its own)
  • National Insurance payments
  • pension payments
  • bonuses
  • commission payments
  • the pay scale that an employee is on in the organisation
  • responsibility allowances
  • Shift allowance.

If these calculations are done manually, it will take a long time to work out the pay for each employee. Most companies use computer software to calculate pay for employees. This allows for easy data entry of all the variables. The software will go on to make the entire complex calculations involved. All this can be done using a standard computer. It might need a large storage capacity, because the pay records will need to be kept for a number of years, in case of queries.

Most people have their pay transferred directly into their bank accounts by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), using the Bankers Automated Clearing System (BACS). This system is used to make regular money transfers from one account to another. It is used for such things as:

  • Salary and wages payments
  • Direct debits
  • Social security payments.


Spreadsheets are used, by finance departments, to do the accounts, predict rises in sales, or to make other financial predictions.

Businesses need cash flow planning to make sure that they stay in profit. A cash flow forecast can be made on a computer spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is set up, so that all the income and expenditure is entered. Formulae are set up to total up the income and expenditure. The expenditure is then subtracted from the income to find out how much profit or loss the business is making. A spreadsheet allows changes to be made to the income and expenditure figures to find out what would happen to the profits or losses, i.e. to forecast.

Forecasting using spreadsheets can be done on any standard computer. It does not need great processing power, memory or storage capacity in the computer.


All sorts of transactions go on in any business. A lot of these transactions are to do with buying and selling. An example of a transaction is the purchase of new raw materials using just-in-time stock control.

When an item of stock runs low, the EDI system will order more of it. When the stock item is delivered, the EDI system will be updated and instructed to pay for the stock. This will all be done electronically, except, of course, the stock item will be real.

This type of system will need a powerful computer system with a large storage capacity. This is because it will be doing a lot of processing and storing a great number of electronic transactions. Similar transactions will go on when the business sells its products.


Businesses need financial reports about many different aspects of their operations, such as:

  • A report of the total sales of their products each day, week or month
  • A report of the stock used during manufacturing
  • A report of the stock that needs to be re-ordered.

There will also be transaction reports such as:

  • Delivery notes
  • Invoices
  • Credit notes.

Sinuses need financial reports about many different aspects of their operations, such    as:

  • A report of the total sales of their products each day, week or month
  • A report of the stock used during manufacturing
  • A report of the stock that needs to

ICT and Manufacturing

Many industries now use Computer-Aided Manufacture (CAM), e.g. cars are manufactured by robot welders and paint sprayers, Benetton manufactures clothes more quickly using CAD-CAM.

The quality of computer-manufactured articles is more consistent and better, leading to greater productivity and reliability. Working conditions are often cleaner and safer. There may be shorter working hours but this could mean more redundancies or redeployment. Skilled workers have seen their skills made redundant by CAM.

Companies must modernise to remain competitive and viable; if non-viable then there may be even more job losses.

Use of computers has created a range of new jobs;

  • hardware manufacture,
  • sales,
  • servicing,
  • technical support (call centres)
  • Consultancy.

New products manufactured due to computers;

  • mobile phones,
  • CDs and DVDs
  • videos
  • satellite receivers,
  • video cameras,
  • digital cameras

Section 6

Research undertaken

Throughout unit 1 of my ICT project I have researched on line, at home, in school and in part time job for documents and to gain an understanding of how companies use ICT and in particular the Internet and Intranets. Online I have looked at many websites which have given me some valuable information on the different parts of ICT which companies use. I have also researched the use of ICT by reading books in my local library and by also using my school library after school to research the use of ICT within a business. I have learnt through my research that ICT can be used in a variety of ways within a business. Its presence in some areas of business is more important than other areas, depending on the business. Its use can mean that businesses improve there efficiency and ultimately their profits. However, it often requires investment and usually takes time to pay off its cost.

Within school I have asked my teachers question on the use of ICT within my school of De La Salle in which the teachers have told me ICT is key in running a modern day school with online registers, information on documents about each individual pupil the schools website which give information and advice to pupils and the use of email to contact pupils. Within school I believe ICT can improve the quality of teaching, learning and management in schools and so help raise standards. I extensively researched internet and Intranets Ihave learnt that the internet is the world-wide network of computers accessible to anyone who knows their Internet Protocol (IP) address - the IP address is a unique set of numbers (such as that defines the computer's location and that the intranet is a network that is not available to the world outside of the Intranet. If the Intranet network is connected to the Internet, the Intranet will reside behind a firewall and, if it allows access from the Internet, will be an Extranet. The firewall helps to control access between the Intranet and Internet to permit access to the Intranet only to people who are members of the same company or organisation.

 I have learnt a lot about the uses of ICT these are the following books and website I have used to gather information:

Cortese, Amy. 1997. Here Comes the Intranet. Cover Story for Business WeekMagazine. The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. 1997.

Gammel, C. David. 1996. Corporate Intranets. Mobility Magazine, October, 1996. Online version http://www.erc.org/research/corpint.htm

Horgan, Tim. 1997. Developing Your Intranet Strategy. CIO Magazine Online. http://www.cio.com/WebMaster/strategy

Ulys, Philip, 1998. The hydi Educational New Media Centre: Findings in Distributed On-line Education. Paper presented as a seminar at the Knowledge Media Institute of the Open University in London, UK.

Welch, Douglas E. 1996. What's an Intranet? Computer Credible Magazine


www.antonine-education.co.uk/Ict.../ICT.../Quiz_AS_1_2.htm  -







The search engine I used to find my information on the uses of ICT was Google as it is fast, realiable; it has its own dictionary, calculator, and spell check.


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