The landscape of how business is done is ever-evolving. The way that businesses interact with customers and how those customers purchase goods and services is unrecognizable from how things were done just a couple of decades ago. A big component of these changes is the rise of information communication technology.
Any time you make a purchase online in today’s world, there is likely to be some form of information communication technology involved.
Overview: What is information communication technology?
Information communication technology is defined as the combined technologies and services that involve data management, the internet, telecommunications, and computing. All of these technologies, in some way, deal with transmitting and receiving information.
5 benefits of information communication technology
There are some major benefits of information communication technology that help businesses internally as well as in serving their customers:
1. Promotes new methods of buying and selling
Information communication technology provides ever-evolving methods to buy and sell goods and services, whether to consumers or business-to-business.
2. Unification of data management systems for a better customer experience
With information communication technology, data management systems are unified in such a way that they allow for knowing the buying history and behavioral patterns of the individual customer you are dealing with in real-time.
3. Supply chain logistics
Information communication technology provides an evolved way of handling supply chain logistics for businesses.
4. More robust manufacturing
For manufacturers, information communication technology offers the capability to have a more robust and efficient design and production process. This is achieved through the use of computer simulations, virtualized systems, and precision engineering.
5. Long-term cost savings
While investing in new technology can be costly, the use of information communication technology offers the optimization of operations and the ability to maximize quality while cutting down on costs over the long term.
Why is information communication technology important to understand?
Information communication technology is important to understand for the following reasons:
Reaching new customers
In order for a business to grow, at some point, it will be necessary for that organization to reach new customers. Understanding information communication technology provides the tools and know-how to be able to reach customers in ways that were previously unimaginable.
It is a guarantee that many of your competitors are already likely incorporating information communication technology into the way that they do business. By having a solid comprehension of ICT, you can be assured that you are remaining relevant in the marketplace and may even stay ahead of what the competition can offer.
Understanding information communication technology will give you the chance to improve the experience of your customers. This technology offers customization capabilities that can deepen your organization’s relationships with its clients by providing increased value to your products.
An industry example of information communication technology
A customer goes online to search for a new dress for an upcoming event. This customer has purchased from this online retailer before and has spent a significant amount of time browsing on their site as well. With information communication technology, the online retailer is able to make informed recommendations for the customer based on their tastes and previous purchases.
5 best practices when thinking about information communication technology
When incorporating information communication technology into your organization, it is worth keeping these best practices in mind:
1. Always look toward how it helps people
When working with ICT, there is the chance to get carried away with the possibilities of the technology. Always make sure that your efforts are in service of helping your employees or making for a better customer experience. If using technological advances in a way that does not serve either, then it may not be worth it.
2. Read the room
Engage with the people that will be using the technology as well as the community that will be served by it. Internalize their issues and make sure that they will be addressed by the design of the technology.
3. Use the right tools for your environment
Make sure that the technology can stand up to the environment in which it will be utilized. Also, be sure of its stability.
4. Use project planning cycles that allow for refinement
In the project planning stages of your introduction of information communication technology, there is a chance for it to have initial issues. Work time for iteration and refinement into your plans.
5. Build in monitoring and evaluation at the onset
Be sure to have monitoring and evaluation capabilities set up from the onset.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about information communication technology
What are the four main types of ICT?
ICT is typically broken down into four main categories. These categories are broadcasting, internet, telecommunications, and computing/information technology.
What are the three main ICT systems?
ICT systems include information systems, control systems, and communication systems. With information systems, the focus is on data management and information. In control systems, the concern is over the controlling of machines. For communication systems, the focus is on the transfer of data from place to place.
What is the difference between IT and ICT?
IT stands for information technology, which covers the use of computers, networks, software, and various devices for the purpose of managing or communicating information. ICT focuses on the ways that users handle information through the use of digital technology.
Information communication technology as part of your business
Information communication technology is no longer the future. It is now. In order to be able to maintain a place in today’s marketplace, it will be necessary to embrace some aspects of information communication technology. The important thing is to really look at the needs of your customers and employees when choosing the right ICT tools to incorporate into the way your organization does business.