P2 1a Describe the external factors which have caused the organisation to use ICT. You should try to find out about each of the following:
Exploiting new technologies
Increasing pace of change
Changing market needs
1b Explain why the organisation uses ICT, in these cases, to help it meet its business objectives.
Exploiting new technologies – In order for the organisation to give tenants a better service, employees at Family Mosaic have been provided with new laptops with new software and a Blackberry mobile. They have given their employees laptops so they can look at any document, email etc on the laptop instead of looking at them in the office. If the employees are not in the office this gives them more of a chance of doing their job quicker and making their tenants happier as their requests is being dealt with promptly. They have been given Blackberry’s to reduce the cost of the phone bill in the office as well as dealing with the tenants rapidly, they can also receive and check their emails on their phone which is more efficient instead of sending post which costs a lot of money to pay for the paper. And if tenants want to be dealt with on the spot, they can just call their housing officer on their Blackberry as each housing officer has their own special number to be contacted, this improves their service as tenants are getting what they want and housing officers are dealing with their requests or queries much quicker.
Supplier expectations – The organisation uses ICT to meet their supplier expectations by all of the changes that they are doing with their new technology. If housing officers are being supplied with new laptops and phones, it means that they can get their job done much faster without wasting time. If a tenant has a query, the housing officer that they have been associated with can deal with their request effectively, as their tenant can call them at any time if they have a problem. Or, if they have sent their housing officer an email, they can check it easily as they can read their emails on their blackberries.
Increasing pace of change – Since the organisation has new technology, housing officers can do their job much quicker than usual and can get things done faster. When they didn’t have this kind of technology it would have taken them a long time to sort out their tenants problems and deal with their query’s. But now the service they are providing has improved as they are doing things faster than usual and are making their tenants happy. As before the service ran slowly as they did not have “swordfish” as their main system and every piece of information that they had e.g. tenants details as their address, telephone number etc, were as an internal memo. So, when staff needed this information it took them a long time to find out all of the information they needed as they were all in files and papers.
Changing market needs – When the organisation was provided with new laptops and mobiles, at the same time as making their tenants happy they are also making their company more efficient. Before, if a housing officer had to communicate with their tenants, to deal with a problem or to give them information that they needed, they had to send them a letter. But now, instead of wasting money on envelopes and paper they can just send their tenant an email to deal with their problems or to contact them. The company also has a new software called “swordfish” were they can store all of the information that they have on their tenants. For example; phone numbers, addresses, nationality etc. Before they made all of these changes, employees had to store all of this information in paper files which occupied a lot of space in the office. So, now that they have the new software to store all of this information, housing officers now has paperless offices. All of the money that the company used on that paper and letters can now go towards improving homes for tenants or improving the service of cleaning. This is a positive thing as it makes the company more efficient and their tenants happy.
Changing legislation –
2a Describe the internal factors which have caused the organisation to use ICT. You should try to find out about each of the following:
Meeting business needs (Costs, competitiveness, customer service)
Other commercial drivers
Meeting business needs (Costs, competitiveness, customer service) – The organisation uses ICT to meet their business needs by doing a variety of things with it. They do power point presentations to help the department understand a role they have to do or how to treat tenants. They also use ICT by having a software called Swordfish were any employee can log in and see information on different tenants e.g. where they live, where they were born, tenancy number, reference number etc. In the Resources and facilities department they use ICT to order stock online, for example; new computers, chairs, paper, envelopes, etc. They also use it regarding stock that hasn’t been delivered yet. Family Mosaic also use ICT to make the company more efficient, they do this by sending tenants emails instead of using masses amounts of paper. In addition to deal with customers they also use ICT to store all of the complaints that tenants have made e.g. rent, housing etc. So, the housing officers can then go back and deal with the complaints without forgetting, this also records whether complaints have been dealt with effectively or not.
2b Explain why the organisation uses ICT in these cases to help it meet its business objectives.
The organisation uses ICT to help it meet its business objectives by trying to find different ways to increase pace of change, the organisation do this by exploiting new technologies as giving laptops and advanced mobile phones to housing officers so tenants can get in contact easier. This also makes the organisation more efficient as they are saving money from the telephone bill and saving by not buying as much paper equipment as housing officers are emailing more rather than sending letters. So, instead the organisation uses that money to improve housing estates that are rundown, this is giving customers satisfaction as they are making their homes look more pleasant.
P2.3. Research and describe examples from other organisations to fill in any categories for which you have not been able to find examples in your placement organisation. (Exploiting new technologies, supplier expectations, increasing pace of change, changing market needs. Changing legislation, meeting business needs, other commercial drivers).
Family Mosaic use ICT to meet their suppliers expectations by having a website that customers can log on to at any time, on that website they provide a service were external customers can pay their rent online without queuing up for long hours at the post office. They also have other services as reporting a complaint and making repairs to their home. This makes customers happier as they do not have to spend hours on the phone waiting for the repair team to be put through and can log on to the intranet at any time to report that repair even when offices are closed. They are also exploiting new technologies as they have new software on the system where they can take the office to the customer e.g. housing officers are provided with their own laptops, this services customers who are not able to travel to the main office and who do not have access to the internet. This way problems and requests are dealt with more efficiently.
P3.1. Describe the ways in which the use of ICT has affected the work of one of your colleagues (or yourself) in terms of:
Complexity (e.g. change in skills, updating skills, support needs)
Capacity (e.g. output, storage, speed, efficiency)
You must state you colleague’s job title or describe their role.
My colleague Alexandra is an Area housing Manager and uses ICT on a daily basis to help her with her job. She is the manager of seven housing officer and together they manage 5000 properties. Alexandra had to request a list from the ICT department and they downloaded a list of all 5000 properties with the housing officer’s names and patch codes. She had, to update that list by putting which housing officer was associated with each property and their hatch code. After she had done that she sent the list back to the ICT department they updated the system where the whole company could view the housing officer for each property, this enabled reception staff to put the correct calls to the correct housing officers, and tenants being given the wrong information. This also prevented calls being delivered to the incorrect housing officers and also housing officer’s receiving calls from tenants that had nothing to do with them. By updating the system they were providing a string line service. Without ICT it wouldn’t have been possible for Alexandra to update the list. She has also improved her ICT skills as every colleague went on an ICT course to learn how to manage and work the new system that was provided and how they could improve their ICT skills by doing this. As before all staff had very complex jobs as they had to know where all of the paperwork was kept for each tenant and they had to do a lot of filing and only had basic ICT skills but with the training that they were provided with, their skills was updated and their jobs have become much easier for them and work is done quickly.
P4 Using the following list from which to select topics, describe 4 different ways in which the use of ICT affects the working environment of the organisation:
Health & safety risks
Access to information
Home working – ICT affects the working environment of the organisation because it is more efficient, cost effective, delivering a stream lined service and personalised. It has become all of these things as it saves the company money from sending letters and using the phone to call tenants regarding a complaint or to tell them information on their rent for example. It also makes customers happier as the job is getting done promptly and swiftly.
Access to information – ICT affects the working environment of the organisation as it is now a paperless office, customer satisfaction, more efficient and cost effective. ICT prevents the office from having a lot of papers as information is now stored on the system on a software called Swordfish, as back then information was stored on paper files which took up a lot of space in the office. So now, employees have a vast amount of space in their offices. ICT gives customer satisfaction as things are getting done their way, quickly and efficiently, as now they do not have to wait a long time to have things done. It also makes the organisation more efficient as they do not have to spend as much money on paper and envelopes as they did before, instead they could use that money to repair run down properties in different areas so again they are giving their customers satisfaction.
P5 Describe recent trends in ICT technologies which should include things like:
Potential new technologies
Reduction in market leaders
Reduced job security
Increasing pace of change
We now have plenty of new recent trends in ICT, from wireless to mobile phones that can record like a professional video camera. We now use wireless as it is easier for people to use and we can access the internet faster, also more than one person can go on the computer. Unlike before, people had to use a wire to plug into the computer and only one person could use a computer at a time. This also makes it a lot easier for business people to use laptops as they can take them anywhere at whatever time, so if they need to find out information on something they could easily access the internet on a bus for example. Another recent trend which has lately come out is the new Iphone; this mobile phone is so advanced that people can even access the map on it. You can also access the internet on the mobile phone wherever you are. In addition another new trend is the new Play station 3 where people can compete with each other all over the world because it has built in wireless which means once you are in possession of a wireless router you can connect the play station 3 to it. Television is also using ICT as part of making customers happy, for example; if you have missed your favourite programme you could easily go on to the programmes and sign up and watch what you have missed there with no hassle at all.
P6 and M3. Keep a log of the skills (things you have to do) and the knowledge (things you have to know) that you have to learn at your placement. These could be anything from learning to work with a team of people, through to advanced technical skills.
P6 and M3. Draw up a similar list to that produced in exercise 1 for your colleagues at your placement.
P6 and M3. Thinking about the lists you have produced in exercise 1 and 2, list down how you and your colleagues found out you needed those skills. Think about:
Whether someone asked you?
Did you discover the need yourself?
Was a development plan prepared for you?
P6 and M3. Thinking about the lists you have produced in exercises 1 and 2, list down the methods used for you and your colleagues to acquire the knowledge and skills. Especially think about:
Demonstration by colleague/supervisor
Other non-ICT methods
Software package (CD ROM, internet, package tutorial)
Other ICT method (e.g. VLE)
M1. Explain how and why a particular organisation uses ICT to meet its business objectives.
This particular organisation that I am going to write about is a clothes store called MK One.
M2. Identify three potential concerns which the organisation has regarding the use of ICT and recommend ways in which the impacts can be reduced these may include things like:
Lack of personal contact (body language, etc)
Loss of access to information – ICT can reduce loss of access to information as the organisation can have a back-up memory card with all data and information that was lost. It saves employees a lot of time to go through the computer or doing the paperwork again to get all of it back. This also helps them as if a tenant wants to know information on something an employee can always provide them with it.
Loss of equipment - The organisation uses ICT to reduce loss of equipment as they have cameras all around the departments to make sure that any paper work or equipment such as keyboards or electrical equipment like cameras isn’t lost and doesn’t go missing.
Healthy and safety – A method that the organisation uses to reduce injuries happening within the company is teaching staff five times a year on how to use equipment within the company without getting hurt and also knowing what to do in case of an emergency. For example; in the company every Monday a fire alarm goes off at 10.45 to make sure that it works in case of a real emergency. They also have a warden in every office to guide employees where to go and which door to use in case of an emergency. If an emergency ever happened in the company, the main electrical doors would close and staff would have to exit through the back way which is much quicker. The organisation also has power presentations showing on the main television in the reception showing what to do in case of an emergency.
M3. Compare the use of an ICT- based learning package with traditional methods of learning.
These are examples of knowledge and skills in a different organisation.
D1. In tasks 1 and 2 you described the external and internal factors which have caused the organisation to use ICT and attempted to explain why the organisation used ICT in those cases.
Thinking about the organisation as a whole, suggest three changes which they could make in their use of ICT, and for each change identify the benefits and possible disadvantages.
D2. The organisation will constantly be updating their ICT systems. Explain how they can get the maximum benefit from these changes whilst, at the same time, minimising any problems the changes might bring.