The use of information technology in business drives innovation, and as every successful entrepreneur knows innovation is the path to success.
Indeed, innovation in business has the same impact that steam had on the industrial revolution, in fact, it’s hard to imagine any business that has not benefited from the digital revolution.
Even something as hands on as agriculture uses computers, farmers use computers for production records, financial planning, field management, research on technical issues, and procurement.
Nowadays the formula for business success is simple: drive innovation with information technology.
So, the first thing start-ups in any industry try to figure out is how to make smart IT recruiting choices; after all without a backbone of information technology, a business is not going to go far.
Keep reading to discover the importance of IT in business and how it can benefit you.
Business’ Love Affair with Information Technology Innovation
We like to imagine that the human race has always been innovative, but innovation was a slow and steady affair for most of the 20th century.
It was the work of individual genius or think tanks, or for the most part, brilliant people innovated and the public slowly adopted the idea.
The mainstream love affair with innovation began with the invention of the computer, but it attained momentum with the birth of the Internet.
In the 1980s, innovation and IT in business were not necessary for success; an entrepreneur could do well just by deploying a proven business model – efficiency was not a prime directive.
Following tradition was a sensible way to stay in business and considered good acumen.
A store owner, for example, was content with using a cash register similar to the one invented by James Ritty in 1879 to prevent his employees from pilfering his saloon profits in Dayton, Ohio.
All this changed on 6 August 1991, a little-remembered date, when the World Wide Web went live to the world.
There was hardly a mention of the use of information technology in business in any newspaper on the planet, at the time most people around globe had no idea that the Internet existed.
Although Tim Berners-Lee’s invention changed the world as we know it, it was only toward the end of the decade that the Internet became popular.
The Rise of Innovation in Business and Information Technology
The rise of innovation can be traced to the human race getting smarter, according to the Flynn Effect, general IQ began to rise since the 1930s.
The average IQ has risen from 80 points to 100 points since then, in part explained by improved human nutrition.
While innovations in travel and multimedia improved collective intelligence, these were mainly passive forms of learning.
But today, computer applications and the global brain have switched on active learning and improved how fast people learn new things – alongside their exposure to larger quantities of more up-to-date information and data.
Information technology fosters innovation in business in the same way, innovation results in smarter apps, improved data storage, faster processing, and wider information distribution.
Importantly, innovation also makes businesses run more efficiently, and innovation increases output value, enhances output quality, and boosts output productivity.
How Has Information Technology Revolutionized Business Practice?
Innovation through information technology has created the following radical changes in business:
- Online shopping is more efficient than shopping in a store.
- Digital marketing is more efficient than high cost newspaper, television, and radio advertising.
- Social networking is more efficient than going to clubs.
- VoiP communication is more efficient than legacy telephony.
- Cloud computing is more efficient than a private computer network.
What Separates Successful Business Innovators From the Pack?
Businesses that have embraced the innovation paradigm tend to have the following characteristics:
- They have more accurate business planning
- They have more effective marketing
- They have higher global sales
- They have more systematic management
- They use real time monitoring
- They offer instant customer support
In fact, it’s hard to think of long-term business growth without the push of information technology.
5 Reasons That Explain the Significance of IT in Business
The technological revolution has improved businesses this century in the following five primary ways:
1. Information technology has given business the tools to solve complex problems.
Improved hardware (more memory, faster processors, sharper visual displays, etc) combined with smarter applications (Mindmapping software like X Mind, collaborative software like Kanban boards, organizers like Google calendar, etc) have made it easier to research data, analyze it, and plan scalability. Many tools available to solve complex problems.
2. Information technology allows businesses to make better decisions.
Good decisions in business are based on solid market research. This can be done through engaging teams through video conferences, reviewing public sentiment on social media and industry forums, and using online surveys to get customer feedback. There are also tools like Microsoft CRM Dynamics and Google Analytics that can empower your business to take better decisions using market research.
3. Information technology has improved marketing.
Internet marketing using online advertising methods (SEO, PPC, Facebook Ads) are far more accurate ways than traditional marketing of finding target audiences, discovering their needs, and building a marketing campaign to persuade them to buy. It’s difficult to see how many people read a newspaper ad. It’s easy to figure out how many people clicked on an online banner, and this is just one example of how information technology can empower marketing.
4. Information technology has improved customer support.
Customers can receive support from multiple channels telephone, emails, social media platforms, webinars, and so on. Additionally, customer relationship management systems help businesses understand customer behavior – and even help filter and manager your customer base according to recorded behaviors.
<5. Information technology has improved resource management.
Cloud computing allows a company’s employees to use any device anywhere in the world to access their enterprise-level software, this can facilitate decentralization of business operations.
This can potentially reduce traditional overheads such as office space lease rentals and even open doors to international workers on competitive rates of pay.
The Importance Of Information Technology in Business: The Bottom Line
If the purpose of business is to increase profits, then innovation is the way to make more profits – faster and more reliably.
The story of Jan Koum gives us a clue how much big businesses value innovation, he went from a life on food stamps to billionaire because of his invention of WhatsApp – and the innovation of easy-to-use encrypted messaging systems.
Overall, innovation is at the heart of the changing face of business in the 21st century, and the importance of IT in business is now more relevant than ever before thanks to emerging technologies such as cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things.
Stay tuned with B2C to find out more!