Even the simplest use of technology can dramatically improve your business' productivity and efficiency. Arguably, the greatest advantage of information systems is their ability to give users the information they need to carry out tasks efficiently.
Importance of information systems
IT systems can produce:
- custom data to help with a specific task or decision-making
- custom format (eg list, chart, etc) which can be tailored to the user need
- real-time data, particularly useful where fast action is needed (eg mechanical fault)
- archived data, particularly useful for reports, analysis and business planning
Other ways information systems help businesses
Technology can also benefit a business by enabling:
- operational efficiencies
- cost reductions
- supply of information to decision-makers
- better customer service
- continuous availability of the systems
- growth in communication capabilities and methods
To maximise the benefits of your IT system, you have to fully utilise all its features and functions. For example, you can:
- Use instant messaging, emails, voice and video calls, and even chatbot technology to improve communication with customers and suppliers. This could save you time, money and effort, allowing you to react quickly to new work.
- Integrate various IT systems to reduce administrative costs. For example, you can link your online e-commerce shop front with stock control and accounting systems to streamline your processes. See how to integrate your back-office systems.
- Use labelling products with unique numbers and scannable barcodes to boost your efficiency, and improve your stock control and supply chain management.
- Use different solutions, such as customer management systems or mobile technologies, to improve levels of customer service. These may help you record, organise and plan contact with customers, access customer details on the go and view customer interactions Read more about customer relationship management and mobile technology.
It is important to weigh up benefits of new IT systems against the costs and potential challenges. One way to ensure that your new system delivers value is to align IT with your business strategy.