Information Technology and Business Operations

2 Nov

SMEs that have succeeded on the Internet have invariably managed IT resources effectively. IT and business are now virtually inseparable that is difficult to imagine without it as it is SMEs foundation for success (Ang and Slaughter, 2004). In fact, companies that lack of IT systems are exposing to risk of failing in the business sector. In establishing of a good rapport with the customers improves all forms of customer interactions that includes services and support through this emerging IT in the business. IT, indeed have changed the rules of competition in the industry (Cooper and Zmud, 1990). Microsoft and Intel are examples for this growth that IBM has provided.

IT rapid changing offers potential benefits to the SMEs. ITs failure is business failure, too. It is no longer just an IT issue but is a business management issue of great interest to the organisational structure. For IT provides fast online transaction and convenient customer service to the customers.

The IT integration in the SMEs had not become easy for the competencies of the workforce that became the dimension of IT management (Carlson, 2000). Later on, successful IT integration in the SMEs has built solid process in interfacing with the customers. IT has improved the customer interaction in translating the customers’ requests into solutions and accessing customer satisfaction. Today, SMEs has recognised the value of leveraging a continuous use of technology across the entire industry. As the continuous growth of VoIP and IM are the decreasing costs and increasing revenues for IP networks are relatively inexpensive (Chesher and Skok, 2000). IT in SMEs, clearly, has caused significant change in the way voice communication services are delivered 

Natural and man-made disasters do happen anytime, so, the SMEs have effective and efficient disaster recovery plan for each department for they would be held accountable in IT integration in the industry. SMEs data operations should be save while integrating IT in all areas of aspects.

IT has improved the business competitiveness in the Internet for SMEs in competing with larger businesses. The World Wide Web can be accessed without geographical or time constraints where Internet in SMEs is a perfect means for international marketing (Melewar and Smith, 2003). Internet technology has enriched the customers in varieties of ways in monitoring the customer needs to better supporting of its processes. Successful use of Internet in IT has shown fundamental implications in the global marketing strategies of SMEs. It has brought an evolution in the marketing practice, in all aspects of the marketing mix, and to the wider implications in which business is conducting (Chapman, et al., 2000).  The successful use of Internet and IT could be compared to the impact of the printing press invention-which is the first mass media, as the new medium in communications.

In communicating through the new medium of communications has proved its success in SMEs in delivering unfiltered information to the customers without time lag. Customers can communicate with the SMEs from their home or offices without extra cost in the new medium’s impact globally (Ihator, 2001).

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the sending of voice transmissions using the Internet as data packets.  It offers cost savings and improved network use (Black, 2000). Caller ID and call forwarding as its other features are added to VoIP networks at little cost. VoIP over a single phone line allows Internet access and voice traffic simultaneously that uses User Datagram Protocol (UDP) as a transport layer protocol to avoid of losing packets. Virtual connection is needed in the VoIP where its architecture has many components that are providing future roadmaps for telecom networks in the beginning of a more significant move to convergence (Decina and Trecordi, 1999). IP-based data network serves as VoIPs backbone to the many data services that offer video services from videoconferencing to entertainment video. Focusing on the challenges of VoIP enables a host of new multimedia applications.

For some SMEs VoIP integration, it is not possible for them to prevent harming their monopolistic telecommunication markets but is suitable for highly distributed companies even to SMEs as alternative in sending voice over the Public-Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). The adoption of VoIP technology has number of influencing factors to the SMEs.

Instant Messaging (IM) has become of great interest to the SMEs because it is a tool that successfully supports informal communication. Because of its less intrusive, IM is preferred in informal face-to-face (FTF) conversation (Nardi et al., 2000). As a tool for collaboration, IM covers a broad range of topics in fast-paced interactions towards multitasking. In SMEs, informal communication is an important part for the work tasks in negotiating the availability, scheduling, and maintaining awareness (Tran et al., 2005) though the tasks are limited SMEs are making IM occurs where work is. SMEs value IM as a tool to enable informal, lightweight communication between co-workers. The affordances of IM like immediacy and visual persistence is preferred than telephone or email for certain work tasks. Shared workspaces in SMEs have potential benefit as a supplement to existing channels for informal workplace communication.

IM defines its value in allowing users to have convenient means for quickly establishing contact with colleagues whose locations are not nearby and possibly not known. The medium of IMs flexibility demonstrates its value for specific tasks and responds very positively to the low barriers for use in enhancing the system’s convenience.

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