The Impact of Information Technology on Business Administration and Management




THE IMPACT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ON BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION AND  MANAGEMENT (A CASE STUDY OF NITEL, ENUGU)

 Okafor (1987) stressed that among the many characteristics that have enabled men to rise above all other forms of life on earth is his ability to communicate across him time and space.  Many lower animals are capable of transmitting information within their immediate environment but only man has learnt to record information thus communicate across. He also transmits information beyond his immediate environment thereby communication across space.

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The modern man is faced with the surging technology and increasingly complex problem of organization that he has to develop adapt and use new methods of dealing with the enormous amount of information   generated

Daily by both the private and public sectors of the society. Atueyi (1995) defines information technology as the host of system, equipment and materials essentially computer based which are used to achieve the set goals of an organisation in relation to the functions of an office such as obtaining, storing, processing, and distribution of information.

 

According to her, technology evolved the function of the office to rely on different types of improved and standardized equipment. It has also devised varied stage and concepts for effective communication organisation needs to flow consistently between the units and staff concerned in order to avoid a breakdown. Data or information collected is promptly processed and disseminated to appropriate units of management for effective use.

 

The goal of information technology is to produce and give out meaningful information to the relevant body for their use. Information processing consists of procedures through which the offices receives, transforms and disseminate data. Essentially, information technology aims at faster means of receiving, generating, storing, classifying, analyzing calculating, giving summarizing and comparing information.

Wilson (1927) observed that the absence of information is misinformation. Information seeking is purposive and adoptive. Information is acquired because it is deliberately soughed if is fails to be found in satisfactory quality and quantity, and then we are likely to seek elsewhere. Organisation needs to flow consistently between the units and staff concerned in order to avoid a breakdown. Data or information collected is promptly processed and disseminated to appropriate units of management for effective used.

 

The goals of information technology are to produced and give out meangingful information to the relevant body for their use. Information processing consists of procedures through which the office receives, transforms and disseminates data. Essentially, information technology aims at faster means of receiving, generating, storing, classifying, analyzing calculating, giving, summerising and comparing information.

Wilson (1927) observed that the absence of information is misinformation. Information seeking purposive and adoptive. Information is acquired because it is deliberately sought. If it fails to be found in satisfactory quality and quantity, then we are likely to seek elsewhere.

Buchanan and Boddy (1983) noted that the principal capabilities of information technology can be described as information culture, storage manipulation and distribution. It is this that give information technology the capacity to automate the control of work operations.

 

Mcloughin and Clark (1988) optioned that information technology promotes organizational integration by greater accessibility of information to different levels and increase in management control due to faster input and more precise knowledge on work operations.

 

Molokwu (1993) stated that management involves getting things done through and with people. Management is the accomplishment of desired objectives by establishing an environment that is favorable to performance by people operating in an organized group. This is why management has often been referred to as a system consisting of manpower, machines money, material and methods. If any of these components proves defective, there is bound to be some problems.

Management follows a set of objectives where there are no objectives. Where there is no objectives or aims to be achieved there is not management, for it is the goal of the organisation or business that directs management. Every business is established with the achievement of certain aims and objectives in mind. These aims and objectives have to do with human needs. Management is the planning, organizing and controlling the total business activities and the leading of people so that the use of materials’ men and equipment results in the efficient achievement of the planned and desired objectives.

 

In management, co- operation is the key- note of management success. In order to elicit this co- operation, there has to be a reciprocal effect. To achieve the greatest success in business activity the 6ms of management which include?

  • Men
  • Materials
  • Methods
  • Morale
  • Money
  • Machines

Must be properly planned, organized and controlled. Management mixes together these elements in order to achieve organizational goals. These elements are essential in business and management and this is why management is different from provision.

 

  • POSITIVE EFFECTS OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ON BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

It will be saying the obvious and being repetitive to state here that man cannot exist here on earth without proper information network and adequate communication flow. The greatest portion of man’s life depends on information generation receipt, storage, retrieval and dissemination.

 

The ancient Yorubas had great confidence in the Ifa oracle; the Romans practiced divination; the Babylonians trusted in horoscope; the Canaanites depended on necromancy, the personas believed in augury while the Jews looked on to their shrines. In some other areas the flight of birds or the liver of a strangled animals were interpreted as good or bad Omen. People need information to succeed in business.

Azuka (1993) noted that communication is very vital as a function of an office and a process essential for the survival of business.

 

Information Technology which includes all the items of machinery or equipment necessary for the transformation of data into finished product has made tremendous effects in the management of business. The shift from the traditional method, which is the use to use of manual methods of information handling to the now electronic method, which is the use of computer based equipment is a big blessing to the modern business world.

 

The traditional method is time consuming, energy sapping, error prone and very untidy. For instance, the typist produces a document using the typewriter, takes it to the boss who proofreads it makes corrections and gives back to the typist for retyping. Being human, the typist is likely to make mistakes again. And so the cycle is unbroken.

 

However, with the electronic method, after the computer operator had keyed in the data, the machine proof reads or edits it automatically and is instructed to make necessary corrections. The soft copy can also be reformatted before the hard copy is printed out.

Unlike the traditional method which allows for the use of carbons or stencil when a large volume of copies is needed, the electronic methods stores the information in its memory bank and any number of copies needed can be easily printed without going through the tedious process of retyping or reprography.

The effect of information technology on he positive aspect include:

 

2.2.1           IMPROVED EFFICIENCY AND SECRECY

(Hornby (1974) defined efficiency as capable to perform duties well, producing a desired or satisfactory result.Alifo et al (1995) states that the working life of the secretary improved some what with the advent of electric typewriters, but still meant that repetitive work had to be retyped whenever required. The introduction of the word-processing has done much to remove unsatisfactory elements and increased job satisfaction for the modern office worker.

Atueyi (1995) noted that the emergence of information technology has given a new and improved life to communication in the office.

This assertion implies that it is smoother now and less cumbersome to communicate in modern office with modern information or communication equipment than it was the case about a decade ago.

 

Stanley and Show (1978) emphasized that the conventional duties of information personnel are confidential in nature of various levels.

 

Alifo et al (1995) concurring with Stanley and Show optioned that today it is very easy to secure internally and protect our information, using information technology. Several controls such as passwords, keyboard locks, diskette / floppy disks, etc. are made to protect data stored in the computer.

 

Azuka (1995) stressed that much time is wasted in a non-automated office and there may be information leakage because many hands are involved. Little or no efficiency may be achieved.

Information technology has made it possible for the operations of information handling in a business to be very evidently efficient. This is down with respect to document formatting, automatic pagination, right margin justification, and material or item insertion in an already typed document, error correction etc.

 

  • REDUCTION OF TEDIOUS MANUAL WORK

The workload of information service personnel has been greatly reduced consequent upon information technology.

 

Hirsch (1964) pointed out that automation machines the worker from tedious tasks and offers freedom of movement.

 

Sanders (1979) concurring with the above stand point noted that computer usage has often made it possible to eliminate procedures and for the staff use their operative qualities in more challenging and rewarding ways.

 

Gankroger (1990) stressed out that word processing technology has eliminated many of the difficulties associated with the preparation and completion of documents.

In the opinion of Donald leach and Bob Bowler the electronic digital computer gives relief from countless hours of computation. Computer is so fast and powerful that it enables us to tackle jobs which were previously beyond our unaided powers. They inferred that the computer does not get bored and can do tedious repetitive calculations just as well and quickly as simple ones.

 

The introduction of the computer, for instance, in the sixties, obviously revolutionized the business world more than anything else and made it much easier for information generation, receipts processing, storage, retrieval and dissemination to be performed without tears.

 

Today, very little energy input is required in business management. Therefore, the activation of a machine by a manipulation of the keys starts off the whole process and releases the operator from much manual input.

 

Buchannan and Boddy (1983) emphasized that information storage, manipulation and distribution take place with high degree of reliability and predictability inside the equipment, the only human involvement needed being to activate the procedure for the machine.

 

Forbes (1974) stated, “When the computer first appeared, it was forced as an instrument of the Big Brochet. But thanks to high technology. Today, the computer has the opposite effect. The computer became smaller and much less of mainframe, power grew astronomically, so you are not tide down anymore.

 

  • HIGHER PRODUCTIVITY, SPEED AND ACCURACY

Oliver etal (1990) said that information technology can be seen as a process of producing meaningful information by collecting all items of data together by performing operations on them to extract the required information. This operation is now carried out with astronomical speed. Moreover, the result of such operations is accurate, dependable and reliable.

 

Salk, in Eze (1995) noted, “What you see are the profits of evolution at work, increasing the potential so that more can be done in a shorter period of time. We have got more people communicating at greater distances so that at this point more is possible in a shorter period of time than a hundred years ago”.

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Information technology has made it possible for data communication network, which in turn increases speed of business operations, resulting in higher productivity.

Azuka (1995) noted that network is a system of device that are capable of passing data from one person or equipment to another. Data communication network has been of great importance in an office information system. In the 1970’s the state of the art in data communications were the in-office, on-line systems supported by point to-point, host-to-host terminal telephone based networks. Since then a lot of improvement has been made in field of communications.

 

According to him, there are three major advantages derivable from network communications system. These include:

  1. INCREASED CONNECTIVITY.

Basically, the purpose of network is to get from one place to another. The concept of connectivity refers to the extent to which devices can access each other. In the absence of computer-to-computer data communication, data on one machine have to be delivered (by road, rail, air) and the tape has to be read by a second machine. Networks make it possible for device to communicate directly through telephone line or cumbersome conversion and transfer or transportation.

Network, therefore, can provide dramatic enhancements to communication by tying people, department and equipment together in electronic communication networks.

  1. INCREASED RESOURCE SHARING

The first advantage, increased connectivity that is, the ability to link the devices physically and logically, leads to another advantage. There is cost effectiveness. For example, high speed printers are costly but some real savings can be achieved when a printer in a computer center is shared. Resource sharing also enhances data sharing since there is multiple access to files and data bases. This data sharing helps in letting the people within the firm access a corporate database, thus facilitating decision making.

 

It also increases the functionality of the office and personnel. Without resources sharing made possible by data communication, access to some devices in the office would be limited.

 

  1. IMPROVED COMMUNICATION SPEED

The third advantage of network is speed. Data communication from one computer to another is usually faster than generating a tape and transporting it from one center to another.

 

Alifo et al (1995) emphasized that information is now transferred electronically easily from one point to another.

 

Azuka (1996) optioned that the two primary advantages of computer in handling information are their incredible speed and their degree of accuracy. Information is more complete and more immediately available than when processed mechanically or by hand.

 

Wilson (1927) concluded that the absence of information is misinformation. He was of the view that information seeking was purposive and adaptative and should not fail to be found in satisfactory quantity and qualify when it is sought.

Molokwu (1993) observed that since numerous mails that come into the office daily have to be cleared without undue delay, the need for the mechanization of office work becomes inevitable. There are numerous inventions in recent years in the field of office machines (information technology) in an effort to facilitate work in the office.

 

Information technology has bridged the communication gap in an organization. Speedy and accurate information is essential for internal functioning of an enterprise because it integrates the managerial functions. Communication is the foundation upon which organization and administration must be built. Information technology facilitates work operations. Speed then makes productivity or output higher. This will be impossible if the traditional method of information handling is used.

 

Mbanefo et al (1994) said that information technology impact on business management positively in the following ways:

 

  1. DATA COLLECTION

This is the origination of data which has to be entered into the information system. It includes the design of source documents, preparation of procedures for handling source documents and selecting of appropriate mechanically and other electronic devices to be used in the gathering of original data.

 

  1. CONVERSION OF DATA INTO MACHINE READABLE FORM

This involves a great deal of planning through planning because one of the rules of data processing is that if possible, data should be converted only once. Key punching is typical of this conversion process and it involves a lot of human effort.

  1. CLASSIFYING

Classification of data entails arranging items or data with the same characteristics into groups or classes. It is usually done by a shortered predetermined method of abbreviation known as data coding. Numbers are used to designate persons, places and things. Alphabetic codes are used to classify such diverse things as financial conditions or health conditions (eg. Blood groups) etc.

 

  1. VERIFICATION OF DATA

This can be done either at the time of conversion or as a separate function. Here we are concerned with making sure that the data are correct prior to its entry into the main stream of the system. There is no point processing incorrect data.

  1. TRANSMISSION OF DATA

Data transmission can be done at a location that is remote from the place of processing so some sort of transmission of data from one location to another takes place over communication channels or links.

 

  1. MANIPULATION OF DATA

This is data processing. It is the act of working on data to put into a form that has greatest meaning to the user. It is after this processing or manipulation that data become information. Information is the blood of management because business decisions are based on it.

 

  1. STORAGE

This involves the recording of data into files for future reference or use. Storage media often used include:

  • Paper documents
  • Punched cards
  • Magnetic and paper tapes

 

  1. SORTING

This is the arrangement of data into some kind of order, that is to arrange items of data in some arbitrary order either alphabetically or numerically in ascending or descending order. Sales invoice may be sorted by invoice numbers or by customer name in alphabetical sequence.

 

No single machine can perform all these activities. Each machine performs only what is necessary to satisfy its particular needs.

 

  • NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AT NITEL
    • UNEMPLOYMENT AND DESKILLING

Information technology has both positive and negative effects. This is evidenced by the fact that many authorities have submitted that information technology is a tool used b management to keep labour under the jackboots.

 

Braverman (1974) remarked that automated technology was introduced by management with the intention of deskilling the content of jobs in order to increase management control over labour process.

 

The essence of the above submission is that the proliferation in information equipment is aimed at keeping workers on their focus and makes them pliable to the whims and caprices of the management.

 

Aniemeka (1999) noted, ‘recently information technology has brought unemployment to many people who initially thought their job secure’.

 

Leach and Bowler (1986) stated that if a computer was installed, it was expected to save a great deal of money by economizing on staff because of the many extra facilities that the computer can provide.

 

There is no doubt that the computer can perform, in just one minute, what a hundred men may not achieve in one hour. This is as a result of the many facilities combedeled in it for faster operations that are far beyond human capability.

Gill (1985) stressed information technology is basically a technology of coordination and control of labour forces.

 

Zimbalist (1979) saw technological change as being determined by the logic of historical development of capitalist economics which require employers and their management agents to secure profits by centralizing control and deskilling work. It follows that technology is rather a political or class weapon in the conflict between capital and labour.

 

Buchannan (1982) noted that while automating activities previously performed manually, the system character of these technologies meant that requirements for skilled human intervention in problem solving increased.

 

As new technologies are introduced into the business world, to execute tasks concerned with the transformation and transfer of information more and more. People are displaced from their jobs. These displaced people go to increase the already flooded labour market.

Automation has substituted human labour for machines many jobs formerly performed through the traditional method are now carried out with a high degree of speed and accuracy through the electronic method.

 

  • HIGHER POWER CONSUMPTION

Information technology has resulted in high power or energy consumption in business offices. Equipment like the computer photocopying machine, duplicating machine, teleprinter, etc. consumes electrical power. The totality of this is higher demand on available power supply from the public power supply. As an alternative, business out fits have to provide private power supply i.e. through generating sets, for use during power outages from the public power supply.

The generator is the only source of energy for information technology equipment that are procured for use in local areas that are not connected to the national grid. The use of alternative power supply in order to energize these machines poses a serious health hazard and risk of fire outbreak as the generating sets emit thick black smoke which is inhaled by people.

 

Moreover, there have been cases of fire outbreak resulting from generator problems. A plug may spark and the fuel tank of the generating set catches fire, which sets whole machine ablaze and in some instances have spread through the means of the mainslead of the generator to the entire building.

 

  • INCREASE IN BUSINESS FRAUD

There has been a great deal of fraud discovered in the course of business dealings of transactions as a result of information technology. The computer, especially, appears to be the commonest or chief tool in the hands of fraudsters to perpetuate their evil acts.

 

Basically, the computer performs the four mathematical / arithmetical operations of addition subtraction, multiplication and division. Although the computer can do these very efficiently, the operator can deliberately key in wrong data which the computer has to process and supply the result. The slogan in computer knowledge is GABBAGE IN; GABBAGE OUT (GIGO).

 

The computer operation may intentionally decide to garbage in order to garbage out. This is done by feeding wrong figures into the computer and performing wrong operations by instructing the computer to do that wrong thing. The computer is not an intelligent machine to question the decisions or instructions of the hands of the porter (operator). The operator can decide to do anything with the clay (computer), which is at his disposal.

 

Alifo et al (1994) stated that the great strides in computer development are prone to opening not only organization’s corporate information strums to its own authorized users, but also by the term ‘HACKER’ used in describing an authorized person who integrates someone who uses the computer or database to steal, wrest, corrupt or destroy the data used has come in everyday speech. A new crime nowadays in hacker blackmail whereby data is corrupted and money has to change hands before the hacker will fix it.

 

Information flow between managers and professionals between headquarters and decentralized operations; between services provided and customer can be the life blood of the business. It is particularly worrying, therefore to hear of break down in security surrounding computers and databases. This is because modern developments like local area network (LAN) and wide area network (WAN) can open up corporate information systems to unauthorized users.

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This type of crime appears to be particularly common in Italy where it has become known as data kidnapping. Thus, it seems that with ever-growing opportunities to input or to output from computers come the growing opportunities for improper use by unauthorized users using such vital information to defraud individuals and corporate bodies of huge sums of money.

Another very dangerous aspect of computer fraud is what is popularly called COMPUTER VIRUSES. Computer viruses are programs designed to replicate and spread, sometimes without indicating that they exist. Viruses are inventions of clever programmers which have been designed to invade the computer systems.

Viruses have the ability to hide in our own programs and / or database (for example Friday 13th and 1st April are two of the datas sometimes chosen) when they are activated, they can corrupt the data and or the programs and display some unusual bouncing ball and tumbling characters are popular displays.

 

Computer viruses can produce a variety of symptoms on the computer. And sometimes, the viruses can multiply without causing obvious changes.

 

One of the most dangerous of computer viruses is the TROJAN HORSE which when run may damage the computer system. The Trojan Horse is more likely to destroy files or damage disks. The files or disks infected with a Trojan Horse virus may be recoverable.

 

HIGH COST OF SERVICES/PRODUCTION AS A RESULT OF HBIGH COST OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY EQUIPMENT

Alifo et al (1994) observed that although we talk of computer falling, in absolute terms, it is still a very expensive item of equipment. Moreover, many of them, especially the larger ones require a special computer room having a controlled air conditioned environment and raised floors so that the connecting cables can be kept out of the way. Specialist staff is also necessary and their costs must be added to the total cost of introduction and running of a computer.

 

The computer is a human wonder, which performs numerous operations that are impossible to man if unaided. The computer can do text insertion; delete any portion of document, automatic pagination, wraparound, automatic margin justification mail merge, global search and replace, formatting and glossary. To install all these facilities costs hundreds of thousands of naira. The computer hardware is not as expensive as to purchase the software applications needed to operate the machines.

 

Azuka (1995) advised information technology users or operators to ask themselves the following and important questions:

  1. What is the purchase cost of the machine?
  2. What are the maintenance and service plans or policies of the organization?
  3. What cost is involved with a service contract?
  4. Are parts which may need replacement very expensive or affordable?
  5. As additional programs are developed, do users automatically receive them or do they have to buy them?

 

The above necessary questions go to show the cost involvement of information technology. The implication of information business has to do i.e. add all these costs to the prices of their products or services. It is the problem created for the consumers who have to bear the brunt of the high sales price or service charges.

Apart from the above, other negative input of information technology includes:

  • Programming (that is giving precise detailed instruction in the language the computer can understand) takes a lot of time usually has to be performed by specialist personnel for example, if a system heeds to be modified. It will be easier in a manual data processing system, but in a computer system a new has to be compiled and tested. This takes a lot of time.
  • Because the computer needs extra detailed instructions, there is a tendency for it to become inflexible in its use. It cannot make exceptions like human beings.

Information technology equipment cannot think.

 

  • VARIOUS PRODUCTS OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY USED IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT BY NITEL
    • THE TYPEWRITER

Okeke and Atueyi (1992) defined a typewriter as a writing machine which performs the work of writing a speed far greater than is possible with a pen. The machine is operated by means of a keyboard and produces characters similar to chose used in printing.

 

Harrison et al (1960) observed that the typewriter is an indispensable item of equipment in the office, and there are many styles and models manufactured.

 

A typewriter is a machine with keys for producing print-like characters one at a time on paper inserted round a roller.

According to Okeke and Atueyi, it is the commonest office equipment used in the information processing.

 

Typewriters come in two main sizes

  • Standard size
  • Portable size

It has two modes of operation:

  • Electrical
  • Manual

 

However, whatever size or operational mode typewriters are designed to type. Electric typewriters have features normally operated by key depression for carriage return, line spacing and tabulator which are all electrically controlled. In other words, these functions are power actuated and only slight depression or touch of these keys is necessary.

 

With the electric typewriter, there is less physical effort on the part of the typist and as a result, the typist can type faster and for much longer periods than he would have done on a manual machine. Also many carbon copies can be taken at a time. The impressions on paper are perfectly even and if the typist mistakenly strikes two keys simultaneously, the typewriter stores the second key until the fires key has printed.

 

The typewriter is useful for a variety of tasks such as invoicing, preparation of balance sheets, departmental memoranda, etc. it is also the reproduction processes.

  • THE DUPLICATOR

The duplicating machine is used to produce documents that are voluminous and of repetitive nature, eg. Handouts, bulletins, tracts newspaper, textbooks, magazines, journals, etc. This can be done through;

  • Stencil process
  • Spirit process
  • Offset litho process

The information services personnel will do well to become conversant with the three methods.

The stencil process separates by having the matter to be reproduced cut into stencil which is made of special wax tissue. The stencil may be cut on a typewriting machine, or cut by hand, using a stylus pan, photographs, drawings, forms etc. can be reproduced using the photogenic or the electronic process. Ink is used.

In the spirit process, as the name implies spirit is used as the duplicating medium. But with the offset litho process, the master may be either a metal or paper plate, which can be prepared in one of the following ways: typing with a typewriter filled with a litho ribbon, writing or drawing with special inks or carbon paper, using photographic or electrostatic copying process and by using electronic scanners.

 

  • THE PHOTOCOPIES

Duplication and printing processes produce copies of documents, where as copying process produce replica of an original. With a copy process, the photocopying machine is used in obtaining of a copy very quickly and without the possibility of any copying errors which may occur no matter how good the copy typist may be.

 

Molokwu (1993) stated that hand copying, typing and making carbon copies are methods used long ago to produce a few duplicates whenever needed. The volume of written communication in modern business demands, that faster methods be used and as a result, many machines and techniques are adopted to produce duplicates and copies of letters, drafts, reports, etc. Documents are photocopies when one or a few copies are taken direct from the master or an original, while duplicating is used when substantial numbers of copies are taken from a prepared master copy.

The photocopying machine may be used:

  1. For copying of incoming letters for the attention of different officers or departments.
  2. Copying of contract and insurance policies while the originals are kept in a safe custody.
  3. Copying of purchases orders and sales invoice.
  4. Ledger accounts are photocopied in order to obtain the monthly statements of customers
  5. Copying of certificates and other legal documents.
  6. Copying of complicated statistical work in order to ensure efficiency.
  • COMPUTER

According to the British standard, (1962) a computer is any device capable of automatically accepting data, applying a sequence of processes to the data and supplying the results of these processes.

Harrison et al (1960) noted that the computer wee originally designed to solve the complex calculations of scientists and mathematicians, but their used in present day business situations is more concerned with handling vast quantities of business data, hence the term ‘data processing’ which is often used to describe such applications.

 

The computer has five basic units:

  1. INPUT UNIT

This component accepts data, normally in the form of punched cards, punched or magnetic tapes.

  1. MEMORY / STORAGE UNIT

This unit stores basic information. The storage component of a computer houses the document when it has been completely key-board. This is done to facilitate document retrieval. Magnetic cards, cassettes and floppy diskettes are used as the storage devices.

  1. THE CONTROL UNIT

This unit serves as the co-ordinator for the sequence of operations which have been programmed, i.e. the written instructions that have been translated into computer readable language and fed into the computer machine.

  1. THE ARITHMETIC OR LOGIC UNIT

This component performs the four basic mathematical operations, which include:

  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division

This is done electronically. It also carries out logical operations.

 

  1. THE OUTPUT UNIT

Here the final results of the computer’s analysis are fed our in the form required on the hard copy. This could be:

  • Production of pay and cash analysis.
  • Analysis of labour and material cost
  • Stock control and re-ordering levels
  • Sales invoicing.

 

Molokwu (1993) stressed that fundamentally the computer is a tool like any other machine used in business. Its use is economically justified because it helps man to become more productive.

According to him, the computer helps man in the following ways:

 

  1. SPEED OF OPERATION

The computer is able to process mass of data and produce information at speed which cannot be matched by any other method.

  1. REDUCTION OF HUMAN EFFORT

Because of its capacity and capability in carrying out the basic clerical functions at high speed. The computer is able to relieve humans of much labour and un interesting repetitive routine.

 

  1. ACCURACY

The human liability to error far and greatly exceeds that of the computer. The so-called computer errors are human errors in the systems analysis or programming.

 

  1. PRODUCTION OF MORE INFORMATION

Computers have the capacity to make available for management a wealth of information which could not otherwise be produced at reasonable cost.

  1. ECONOMY

Computers provide the most economical method of working where the volume of data to be tested in each case by comparative costing technique.

  1. SOLUTIONS TO BUSINESS PROBLEMS

Computers officially offer solutions to tasks such as building mathematical models to aid decision-making or applying mathematical techniques which could not be performed economically other than by a computer because of the speed at which it operates.

 

  • THE TELEPHONE

A telephone is an apparatus for quick transmitting of sound, especially speed to a distance, usually by optical or electrical signs.

 

Okafor (1987) stated that a telephone is an electrical device for transmitting speech and sound to a distant person. It consists of a microphone and receiver mounted on a handset. The telephone converts sound waves into electrical energy and this is transmitted long a telephone wire or by radio to one or more distant sets.

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Telephone comes under the telecommunication industry in Nigeria. It is under the services or jurisdiction of the Nigeria Telecommunications Limited (NITEL PLC) which was incorporated as a public limited liability company under the degree of 1960 on December, 1984. But it commenced business officially on January, 1 1985.

 

Telecommunication is aptly defined as the transmission of information either through wireless telegraphy, microwave, radio links or other electronic methods from one source to a particular intended end. The telephone is about the most popular medium of communication in the world. The satellite has greatly enhanced the preference of telephone services to other media of communication because the quality is as perfect as talking with somebody next door irrespective of distances over continents and seas. The service is the fastest means of communication in the modern business world.

The telephone has made enormous impact on business in that:

  1. It has helped in saving people the previous time that was previously cost in having to travel long distances in order to deliver messages, business decisions, inquiries etc.
  2. People are now saved the pains, inconvenience and expenses of having to embark on long distance travel in order to communicate with others. One does not now have to travel or spend huge sums of money in order to be able to deliver a message. Thus, the money that could have been wasted could now be put to another profitable use.
  3. Business appointments, discussions, etc. are now facilitated by the use of the telephone. One does not need to expose himself to the risks of attacks by highway robbers, pirates or their like in an attempt to get in touch, chat with or deliver messages to clients or suppliers.

 

  • CONSIDERATIONS MADE BY NITEL IN CHOOSING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY EQUIPMENT

Molokwu (1993) optioned that choosing information technology equipment or machine to buy is not as easy task as one would think. There are different kinds of a particular office machines and care should be taken to determine the one actually required in the office. The most important consideration is that based on the kind of work the equipment will perform.

 

In considering guiding principles for choice of information equipment, it may be appropriate to illustrate with a typical office duplicator:

  1. What length of run is most commonly required?
  2. How frequently will the machine be used?
  3. What quality of work is often required in the office?
  4. What is the speed of reproduction?
  5. Can it enlarge or reduce size of the original document?
  6. Durability of image and master.
  7. How much does the machine or equipment cost?

 

Azuka (1995) observed that equipment selection for a word processing installation is a difficult task. Technical information about a hardware and software is readily available through sources such as vendors, trade journals, consulting firms, equipment shows and word processing associations. The problem arises when the user tries to apply that information to the needs of his organization. Every organization’s needs are unique and the foundation of a given system determines the type of equipment or machines it will purchase to a large extent.

According to him, in evaluating the type of equipment needed, it is necessary to evaluate the work performed in an organization. The equipment chosen should certainly do all of the jobs you need done.

 

Consider future needs as well as current needs. Having identified the need for the equipment, which is through feasibility study, the next crucial question is what kind of equipment? To arrive at a wise and acceptable decision, answers should be sought to the following question:

  1. Will the equipment meet future as well as current needs?
  2. Is the equipment made by a reputable company whose products are reliable?
  3. Will the equipment or machine become obsolete very quickly?
  4. What are the maintenance and service policy of the organization concerning the servicing of machines?
  5. What cost is involved with the service contract?
  6. Are parts which need replacement expensive and readily available or do the organization have to import them?
  7. Can machine operators receive comprehensive training?
  8. Is the company physically capable of accommodating the equipment or does it have to enlarge its premises if available spaces cannot conveniently house it?
  9. Is equipment compatible with existing equipment in use by the company?

 

  • PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS OR BUSINESS ATTRIBUTES OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PERSONNEL AT NITEL

Atueyi (1995) stressed that a word processing or information technology personnel is expected to exhibit certain qualities in order to cope with the demands of the job. These qualities, characteristics or skills are dependent on the other and enhance inter-personal relationship in work environment.

  1. Be fast and accurate in typing.
  2. Have interest in machinery.
  3. Have logical mind in order to solve problems.
  4. Have high degree of concentration despite surrounding noise.
  5. Be able to remain seated at the machine for long periods.
  6. Be able to deal with quotes and to have work neasured by a supervisor.
  7. Have understanding of team work and the need to coordinate work.
  8. Be able to transcribe from shorthand, longhand or audio with efficiency.
  9. Be able to proof-read and spot errors.
  10. Have good vocabulary, spelling, grammar and punctuation abilities.
  11. Be creative in formatting new documents.
  12. Have a sense of challenge to use the capabilities of the machine to the best possible advantage.
  13. Be well organized.

 

Azuka (1993) summarized the business attributes of information technology personnel thus:

  1. They should be punctual to work and always available when needed by the boss.
  2. Should be tactful in dealing with people. Tact discretion and diplomacy are essential in dealing with enquirers, callers and visitors.
  3. Must have the ability to keep secrets. Important secrets of the organization are entrusted in the hands of the information personnel. He must not betray the confidence reposed in them by the company.
  4. Should be very cost-conscious. Any form of waste will tell badly on the production cost or service charge of the organization.
  5. Must have the ability to communicate efficiently in the official language, which is the English language in the case of the federal republic of Nigeria. In some other countries, the official language i.e. the Linga-Franca may be French.
  6. Ability to work under pressure. Information technology personnel are always needed to do one or two things even at odd hours. There must be readiness to share additional duties.

 

The above personnel and business characteristics and attributes are very necessary for the information technology personnel, especially in view of the fact that the modern world has been turned into a global economic village, courtesy of information technology.

 

  • REFERENCE MATERIALS AND CORRECTION SYMBOLS USED IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PERSONNEL AT NITEL

Okafor (1987) grouped information sources available to information technology personnel as:

  1. THE NATIONAL TELEPHONE DIRECTORY OF NIGERIA

This gives information about:

  • The name of the person or business;
  • The telephone number;
  • The address of such a person or business.

 

The classified portion contains the names and reputations of reputable hotels and business in the country, while the yellow pages contains the names and addresses of members of reputable professional bodies.

 

  1. THE POST OFFICE GUIDE

This contains information about postal telephone and telegraphic facilities, internal and overseas postal rates, methods of posting different types of letters, particularly of foreign mails with rates and dates of posting to places abroad, saving remittances and other services.

 

  1. THE NIGERIAN HANDBOOK

This is a reference book that presents precise and accurate basic information about the life and development in Nigeria, for people (eg. Tourists) who may wish to have such information. It also contains information on hotels, rest houses in all states of the federation and Nigerian missions abroad.

 

  1. THE NIGERIAN YEAR BOOK

This was established by the daily times of Nigeria (DTN). It gives a concise account of administration and nature of the economy of the country. Information on important personalities in Nigeria is contained in the who-is-who section. It also contains the names and direct addressed of hotels, rest houses etc. and their charges.

 

  1. ENGLISH REFERENCE BOOK
  • The dictionary

This contains the spelling, pronunciation meaning, usage and the form of words.

  • Roget’s Thesaurus

In the Thesaurus, words are neatly arranged according to their meaning. At the back pages, words are arranged in an alphabetical order with their synonyms included.

  • Encyclopedia

This contains detailed information on virtually every branch of trade, profession, learning etc.

  • Special dictionaries for technical terms

This gives meaning of certain technical terms or jargons used in particular fields of discipline e.g;

  • Dictionary of legal terms
  • Bible dictionary.
  • INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CORRECTION SYMBOLS AT NITEL

SIGNS                  MEANINGS

(a)     =                           Type letter, word(s) underlined in closed capitals.

(b)     º                           Type letter, word(s) underlined in spaced capitals.

(c)      //                           Start a new paragraph

(d)                                  Same as above

(e)      ………                 Retain or insert word(s) cancelled.

(f)                                   No new paragraph continue in the same paragraph.

(g)                                  There should be no space in-between close up

(h)                                  Move to the left.

(i)                                   Move to the right.

(j)                                   Change position as indicated transpose.

(k)                                  As above

(L)                                  As above

(m)                                 Delete word(s) crossed

(n)     #                           Give space

(o)     h                           Insert

(p)     1-1                        Hyphen

(q)     1 – 1                     Dash

(r)                                   Ballon i.e. carry all the words circled to the point indicated insertion is required.

  • COMMON ABBREVIATIONS USED IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AT NITEL

There are certain standard abbreviations used in information technology which the information personnel must master and be able to expand. The purpose of such abbreviations used in manuscripts is to save time and space, but in the typescript all these abbreviations must be expanded.

Abbreviations               Full meanings

  1. a) s. a. p. As soon as possible
  2. b) Would
  3. c)                              Will
  4. d) Your
  5. e) You
  6. f) About
  7. g) Have
  8. h) From
  9. i) Yours
  10. j) Faithfully
  11. k) Should
  12. l) Could
  13. m) With
  14. n) Letters
  15. o) Ffly. Yours faithfully
  16. p) r.t. With reference to
  17. q) p.m. Words per minute
  18. r) @ At
  19. s) Week
  20. t) Street
  21. u) Dear
  22. v) Paragraph

 

SUMMARY OF REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

In this chapter, a thorough review of various literature materials related to the topic and purpose of this study was presented. Authoritative citations were made from books, handouts, journals etc.

 

Under the concept of information technology and business management, the researcher gave various definitions of information technology and business management.

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