Small Buisness in I.T
Computers and Technology
Submitted By ricki100
Communication is key in a small business. Whether communicating with your customers, contacting your vendors or sharing relevant information about your business, your information must come through in an accurate and preferably winsome way. In a technologically focused business climate, technology is an important facet of your ability to communicate. There are several advantages to using technology over more traditional means of communication.
True Cost of Ownership
The true cost of technology to communicate when you compare it with much slower means of communication such as mail delivery is relatively low. As technology continues to be standardized and made more efficient, the cost of using it in communication continues to decline. While the actual cost of a traditional communication method such as mailing a letter may be very small, the actual cost in lost efficiency and misplaced letters should be considered carefully. In a small business, some things can wait, while others simply cannot.
When communicating with technology, you can find and deliver data to your employee or customer anywhere. When you need to contact your employee on the field, you can text message or email his smartphone or tablet both simple and complex information rather than he being forced to wait until he arrives back at your facility to receive it. With the high-quality digital still and video cameras available, you can provide pictures or video quickly and in very high resolution to help your employee complete a task. A customer can get real-time information as to the status of an appointment and can communicate needs in a prompt manner. She can also provide helpful feedback quickly so you are able to fill her need quickly and efficiently.
Technology has made documentation and archiving of communication quick and easy. With the use of databases and inexpensive storage, you can save emails and other communications and can query them as needed for future use. Compare that with filing paper copies in an immense array of expensive file cabinets to attempt to archive later and it is easy to see a cost and efficiency savings in documentation. The required space to store cabinets and the employees to find the data, not to mention the gradual degradation of ink on paper, makes traditional means of documenting communication quite challenging and inefficient.
With technology, you can have live video conversations with people in multiple countries using simple webcams and a teleconference service, an option much more efficient and less expensive than flying all involved parties to a central location to meet. You can communicate new products or services to people throughout the world -- in real time using social media -- who can purchase your goods at any hour on your website. You are in effect open 24 hours a day to anyone on Earth with internet access using eCommerce technology. These customers can browse your FAQ links to answer questions until a live adviser is available to assist. Inexpensive or free language translation is available on the internet on sites like Google Translate, which help bridge cultural communications' hurdles to facilitate worldwide customer service.
Disadvantages of information technology
Those in business have come to rely on technology to keep them up-to-date, overcome the competition and inspire innovation. Technology is seamlessly integrated into everyday lives, as it is used to manage inventory, track contacts, make products and provide speedy internal and external communication venues. However, technology can also be a source for lost profits.
Having cutting-edge technology is an ongoing expense. There are initial purchasing costs, as well as ongoing maintenance, updates and training expenses. Should a system failure occur, loss of revenue can result due to loss of services rendered or product production halted.
With cases frequently in the news, it is no surprise that there is a risk of cyber crime when utilizing technology. According to a U.S. Department of Justice news release, people as young as 21 are running technology-based crime rings, stealing consumer information and costing customers and companies millions of dollars. A 2007 Computer Security Institute survey reported there was $21.1 million lost due to financial fraud, $8.4 million to viruses, $6.9 million by system penetration by an outsider and $5.7 million due to confidential data theft. In addition to those problems were insider abusers costing organizations money due to mobile hardware theft and abuse of email or Internet privileges.
With technology playing such a large role in the workplace, people have become disconnected from final products and each other. Job tasks are often delineated; therefore, fewer people are a part of the final creation. This can lead to dissatisfaction or workplace boredom. In addition to this, as more employees utilize technology in everyday communication, messages are being misunderstood, often making workers appear rude. People reading email, texts or instant messages, for instance, cannot accurately measure tone or utilize body language as points of reference. However, venues such as video conferencing eliminated some communication obstacles.
Aside from issues ceasing work production such as system failures, interruptions can include email and instant messages. According to CNET News, on average, it takes eight minutes for a person to return to a creative state. Some business people, such as Dan Russell, senior manager with IBM’s Almaden Research Center, has embraced daily disconnection. He checks email only twice daily and occasionally schedules out-of-office time to get creative. There are other forms of technology vying for employee time including online games, music and videos.
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