Businesses are constantly evolving, seeking new ways to improve their practices, increase their efficiency, and make larger profits. To succeed at this, businesses are always looking for ways to organize data and communicate with potential customers, partnering businesses, and employees in-house. IT systems help businesses do this, and in some larger companies IT is important enough to have its own department.
What is IT?
IT stands for information technology, and IT systems refer to all the computers and software that the business uses to reach its goals and fulfill its strategies. Hardware like desktops, laptops, cell phones, and scanners are very important parts of IT, but even more valuable are the programs themselves. Some businesses develop their own IT programs, while others buy the license to use software created by others. Small businesses may use only free, open-source technology.
One of the most important jobs of the IT system is to facilitate communication. Once an IT system is in place, it will be used to communicate between employees, customers, and other businesses more than any other medium. Email, social networking and teleconferencing are all part of effective IT systems. A good system will allow easy communication and remove any distance barriers.
Marketers create advertisements and brands, but they need data to work with. IT systems supply that data. Marketers use IT systems to collect information on what consumers are buying from the company, what kinds of things they are buying, why they are buying them, and what can be done to encourage them to buy more or to increase customer loyalty. These analysis programs can be complex and are charted through IT programs. Graphic design and advertising campaigns are also created within the IT system.
IT systems affect the basic structure of data in a business. If a manager must access a file, what part of the computer does the manager look at? What does the manager search for? Does the manager need to enter a password to look at the file? What about lower employees? IT systems decide how data is organized and what security protocols are applied to it. IT systems also control workload and work processes.
IT systems control the software accountants use to tabulate the financial status of the company, and how accountants can share this data with other members of the company. A good IT system will allow an accountant to check for errors, run automatic analysis programs, and send effective data sheets and charts to the proper people in a timely manner.