Discuss the impact of information technology upon modern management practice

The impact of Information Technology (IT) on modern management practice Information Technology is manifest in the use of computers as well as a radical reform in the way processes are carried out in organizations. These have numerous effects on the practice of management:

i. IT has improved a great deal the level of efficiency and accuracy of information
ii. IT has increased the volume of information that can be processed.
iii. The speed at which information becomes available to more people.
iv. The use of computers has eliminated cumbersome manual operations e.g. in accounting department where clerks have to deal with so many records.
v. IT has reduced the cost of operations to the management in terms of space and the number of record clerks to be employed.
vi. Complete computerization of organizational activities have made operations more efficient by making for it easier not only for users but also for managers to access virtually all information pertaining to activities of other departments and other sections of the organization. Hence there is improved communication between the various functional units.
vii. IT has resulted in better customer service especially since staff can handle customer queries by accessing the organization data files.
viii. The planning and control of the production department has been enhanced with systems such as ‘Just-in-Time’ (JIT), ‘Materials Requirements Planning’ (MRP), ‘Computer Aided Design’ (CAD) and ‘Flexible Manufacturing System’ (FMS). Stock control is likely to be easier as well.

However the benefits of IT have not been without certain adversities;
i. High displacement rates of employees at clerical and worker level.

ii. Loss of data due to e.g. black outs delay operations and affect decision making.
iii. Rapid changes in the use of technology make the cost of training and acquiring new packages expensive.
iv. Security problems with data e.g. viruses or intruders. These may cause huge losses to the organization.
v. Computer virus and computer bugs may affect the use of computers resulting to distortion and disappearance of data.
vi. Resistance to change by organizational staff as a result of the introduction of new approaches.
vii. IT leads to changes in organizational structure as it encourages a tendency towards decentralization of authority with its associated problem.
viii. Health problems may result from over use or poor use of IT facilities resulting in employee/manager absenteeism and lost productive time to the organization
ix. Easy access of information by lower level workers may lead to potential loss of status and power by managers. IT, though useful may then be a source of emotional problems and stress to both managers and their subordinates.

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