Discuss about the E-Technology in Business Operations for Implementation.
Electronic technology has changed the business operations of the modern business organizations in several ways. Today electronic technology has touched and transformed all spheres of business organizations like their production, sourcing of raw materials, selling of their finished products and even capital generation. Technology has enabled business organizations not only conduct operations and profit in the future but also acquire and maintain data which they can use for future business generation. However, this electronic technology comes at huge prices both for the suppliers of e-technology and the companies using the technology. The paper would divided into two broad divisions, first the changes which e-technology has ushered into business organizations and second, the steps which supplying companies and using companies take to tackle e-technological threats.
Electronic technology refers to the technology which is driven by use of electronic instruments to conduct various operations. The modern business organizations use electronic technology in several forms to operate in the market. Companies use e-technology in devices as small as a smart phone to hold conferences as well as in sophisticated manufacturing plants weighing several tons. This use has changed the business operations in several ways (Vahlne and Johanson 2017).
The first change which business organizations experienced due to use of technology is streamlining of their manufacturing activities which enable them to mass produce goods at affordable prices. The multinational today stream information regarding customer expectations from their products using online survey and social networking sites. This information is then passed on to the apex management and all the departments. The apex management then use this information in the new product development procedure of the company. The production department can use this information to place orders for raw materials to ensure smooth and timely production of finished goods (Bocken et al. 2014). Companies today install plants which can be receive and process instructions given through computers. This shows that e-technology has made the manufacturing has made the manufacturing process more dynamic and simultaneously control them more accurately. Multinational companies can align their manufacturing process with related activities like inventory control and sourcing of raw materials, thus reducing wastage, which would not have been possible without e-technology (Hair et al. 2015).
The next change which use of e-technology has brought about in the organizations is the ways they maintain their suppliers and source raw materials from them. Today, companies, especially the multinational companies need to acquire diverse raw materials for their finished products to cater to their immense customer bases. For example, the companies producing consumer goods like skin care products have to source diverse raw materials like coconut from Asia, cocoa from Africa and olive from Europe. This means that the companies today require to communicate with suppliers based in different to source the diverse categories of raw materials. Electronic technology driven inventory control systems have allowed the companies to maintain their stocks of raw materials and also place orders accurately (Yan et al. 2016). The production managers using e-procurement technology can communicate with suppliers spread in different countries and view their raw materials, their rates and quality against their own parameters. They can then forward the information to the other related departments and then place orders after getting approval. One can point out that the power of multinational companies to hold a formidable product line containing diverse products is empirical to their brand value and revenue generation. It is this need to hold high market position that drives them to hold a long product line and consequently acquire raw materials from the world to meet their production needs. Electronic technology has made it possible for companies to communicate with suppliers from different parts of the world and view their products. It has enabled them to gain participation and support of the related departments and then place the orders. Thus e-technology has helped companies to ensure that they order appropriate raw materials of high quality at economic rates. Thus, e-technology has changed the ways companies source their raw materials and align it with their quality parameters (Picin and Carbonell 2016).
The third area which e-technology has changed is the ways companies, especially the multinational companies source their capital. Multinational companies in order to carry on their global business operations require immense capital base. The capital base is also required to support the e-technology based manufacturing and sourcing of raw materials. Electronic have changed the ways multinational companies source their capital. It must be note that the largest companies in the world are public limited companies which have to get listed on stock exchanges to source capital. For example, Unilever is primarily listed on London Stock Exchange and also on New York Stock Exchange (Appendix 1). This means that the company can generate capital from both markets. Electronic technology has revolutionized the capital sourcing of multinational companies, thus allowing them to generate immense capital from the market (Salem, et al., 2017). Advancement of informational technology has made it possible for both individual investors and institutional investors view the details about the companies like share prices and their dividend paying capacity on variety of platforms like computers, tablets and smart phones irrespective of locations. This availability of share trading portals across diverse devices allow the investors to invest at their convenience. They are not dependent on the physical opening of stock exchange offices unlike before the advent of electronic share trading platforms. This allows the companies to generate immense capital from all over the world which they can allocate towards installation of advanced technology to manage crucial business areas like manufacturing (Kwan, Masulis and McInish 2015).
The fourth area of business which electronic technology has changed or rather revolutionized is sell of finished products. Advanced electronic technology has enabled multinational companies to promote their products more aggressively which has enabled them to generate huge revenue and also have deeper long term business implications. The multinational companies, before the development of advanced electronic technology were mostly dependent on advertisement of their products on the conventional media like newspaper, television and radio. There was no scope of gaining customer feedback. Today the multinational companies can advertise their products on the television, newspapers and magazines. The advancement of digital media like internet has provided the multinational companies global platforms to advertise their products before a global base of customers. Electronic technology has allowed companies to communicate with their customers on social networking websites like Facebook and gain their feedback and suggestions (O’Hara 2015). These feedbacks can be used while bringing about future innovation in the product and while developing new products. The companies can even gauge the demand for different products and forecast future demand based on the number of customers following their products (forbes.com 2018). This shows that electronic technology has revolutionized selling process of the companies and has enabled them to sell their products all over the world, thus generating immense revenue. This analysis also shows that modern technology has enabled to gain feedback which they can use in future product development. Electronic technology has helped the companies breakaway from their brock-and-mortar stores to sell their products. Companies can sell their products on the ecommerce portals using services of information technology companies like Amazon. The multinational corporations are also able to showcase their products on their official websites along with details like features and usage which would not have been possible without IT support. Thus, they are able to receive orders round the clock which paves way for immense generation of profits. The customers while placing orders on the ecommerce portals put in details like name, income and age. Thus electronic technology does not only pave way for selling of products but also allows companies to create customer database, thus paving ways for future business generation (Coronel and Morris 2016).
This revolution in overall business operations which electronic technology also poses threats and risks which has necessitated the technology supplier companies like Google to take steps to deal with them. The biggest risk which the companies and their suppliers of technology face is the risk of data thefts. Modern digital platforms like Facebook have enable companies to share information about their products with their customers and gain their feedback. The data often contain sensitive information like income of the customers and their bank details which is captured while they make online payments. The companies acquire, store, manage and use this information while conducting business. Illegal groups have started targeting data bases of companies to gain access to the sensitive information about their customers. Companies like Apple and their customers are under continuous threat of losing their data due to hacking (dailymail.co.uk 2018). The information technology companies have taken several steps to prevent or at least minimize data theft. The first step which these companies have taken is mandate their user companies to use login and password while entering their portals for actions like purchasing of products. For example, in order to place or view, Amazon mandates users to put in valid email ids and passwords. The ecommerce websites which enable selling of products keep branded products so that illicit producers engaged in black marketing cannot use their platforms to earn money (O’Hara 2015).
The second step which information technology companies take to curb data hacking is to strengthen the security of their portals from their end. They tighten parameters like directing users to set a certain type of passwords to sign up with their portals. They encourage users to add their original photograph and mobile numbers for verification and future investigation purpose, if required (Raghavan, Desai and Rajkumar 2017).
The next step which IT companies take to prevent hacking is to warn the users of any attempt to intrude into their mail. The IT companies like Google have started giving information to their users if they detect any sort of intrusion or attempt to do so. They even track the location and time of the data theft attempt so that holder of the account, both individual and company can take appropriate steps in the direction, like approaching the police and lodging. These actions have to a certain extent enabled companies to minimize hacking (Peters et al. 2017).
The fourth step which the IT companies have taken to minimize the threat of hacking is by creating user awareness. They advise users to use passwords which are difficult to crack to protect their accounts. They educate their users not to share their passwords with anyone or write them down anywhere. These initiatives to a certain extent have helped in creating customer awareness and minimize hacking (dailymail.co.uk 2018).
The fifth step is the most drastic of all the steps which IT companies use to track data thefts and hacking activities-collaborating with the intelligence departments. One would notice that this step is actually based on the previous steps. The IT companies like Google mandate their users to put in their user ids and passwords. The email id of the user is connected to the verification mobile number. Whenever hacking is detected and reported, the IT companies collaborate with the police forces to tack the hacking groups. The IT companies like Google use the email of the hackers to gain access to their mobile numbers. The police can then approach the mobile service for providing the details of the users like their address, citizenships and other family members’ names which help the police to track the hackers (bbc.com 2018).
One can conclude that electronic technology has revolutionized business operations, especially for the multinational companies. IT developments have made strategic planning of important operations like production and inventory management more accurate. Today IT has enabled multinational companies to control colossal manufacturing processes accurately using software. The companies can get view, acquire and manage global supply using ecommerce supply portals. One can also point out that these two activities would require immense investment which point that the capital generation process of these companies have to be expanded to meet their growing needs. IT development enables investors to invest in the shares online which enable these companies to generate huge capital to support their operations. These companies today enlist themselves on several stock exchanges in several countries which enable them to multiply their capital generation. However, these advantages of IT has exposed user companies before data theft risks. The IT companies have taken strict steps to curb this data theft and enable their client companies benefit by IT advancements in the long run.
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