Importance of ICT in business

ICTs are present in a large part of human activities: in leisure, education, communication, in the way we relate to others and in the business world.

According to the report “Talent Mobility 2020, The next generation of international assignments” by the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), such is the importance that ICTs have today in society and in the market that anyone who does not know how to ride the “technological wave” will not be able to survive in the future international environment.

The fact is that ICTs are revolutionizing, in particular, the way of doing business. For this reason, experts agree that if small, medium and large companies do not adopt this type of initiative, they will not be able to survive in time.

The PwC study indicates that Information and Communication Technologies are essential for improving the productivity, quality and competitiveness of companies. Therefore, the president of the Chilean Association of Information Technology Companies (ACTI), Jaime Soto, said that it is a fact that the contribution of ICTs is, at this point, invaluable.

“ICTs contribute strongly to reducing companies’ costs, saving not only money but also man-hours and energy resources. Thus, information technologies have become a transcendental element in our way of working, and it is impossible to think about the work of a professional or the performance of a company without them”, emphasized Soto.

Currently, both small companies and large corporations are benefiting from ICTs. Given this scenario, the ACTI president pointed out that it does not matter which economic sector the company belongs to, because they all benefit deeply from them.

“The contribution of these companies is transversal to everything. Can anyone imagine starting a working day without logging on to Google? Or receiving something other than an email? It’s almost impossible to work without access to them,” added Soto.

Among the many advantages that ICTs provide to firms are replacing manual processes that consume time and energy, allowing additional income through the web to market the products and / or services of the organization and, thus, reach new markets and customers.

However, Javier Zúñiga, director of the Computer Engineering course at the Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (UADE), said that, in order to achieve the benefits that ICTs offer, it is necessary to make an adequate analysis of the organization in which they will be implemented and determine the objectives.

“It is important to emphasize that ICTs alone do not provide any benefits. In order to achieve what is sought through their application, the following steps, among others, must be taken to achieve successful implementation. First, clearly communicate the objective that the organization is pursuing with the implementation of technology to be carried out and, second, provide adequate training to staff who will use the selected tools,” said Zuñiga.

The UADE professor added that, although the size of the company is not a restriction for the application of ICT, since the benefit is focused on improving productivity levels and this parameter reaches all organizations, it is the SMEs that must continue working to obtain improvements through the implementation of the tools that are available today.

“In SMEs, resources are generally much more limited and through the implementation of ICTs they can achieve sustained growth in the medium and long term by increasing their productivity and, therefore, their results,” said Zúñiga.

To innovate and undertake

Wanting to succeed in the market without using ICT to undertake and innovate in a business today is unthinkable, since these tools are key when it comes to producing and competing in the best way in the “big leagues”.

“Innovation is closely related to this world, not only because a large part of the innovations occur here, but also because ICTs are vital for innovation,” said Jaime Soto, president of ACTI, who added that, in terms of entrepreneurship, an important part of those generated in Chile are directly related to them, “which is why entrepreneurs have discovered an important niche for entrepreneurship in the world of technology.

But before diving into this type of initiative, the UADE academic determined that the key at this point is to be able to identify which of the options offered by ICTs are appropriate for the implementation being considered.

“For example, if the person is looking to take out insurance, he or she will probably feel more comfortable if an advisor attends to him or her personally rather than requesting it through a web application. Therefore, the history of these advances shows us that, surely, with the Information and Communication Technologies we will have ample challenges and a long way to go, which will probably allow us to develop and do things that today are unimaginable”, remarked Zúñiga.

It seems that ICTs are here to stay and no one is unaware of the changes they bring, especially in the business world, since specialists have indicated, on more than one occasion, that whoever ignores the potential of ICTs will be far from successful in business.