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Technology – Influencing Lifestyles

When you are busy with the different functions and processes of your life, one common thread continually appears in the scene. The thread of technology is the single most common factor that influences the working of many things in life. Education, business ventures, social lives, entertainment and personal lives, all run with the help of technology at some point in time. Here are some gadgets and applications that have affected the modern lifestyle very closely. Computers: A computer that is generally found in almost all households is the source of help in varied areas of life. Right from making an office presentation to completing an important college assignment, everything is done on the computer. Internet: the internet, with the host of different websites that it offers, has become an ocean of information, enlightenment and opportunities. People turn to the internet for almost all their needs right from gaining knowledge to entertainment to carrying out shopping activities. Social Media: The advent of social media and the kind of outlet that it provides for the users ideas and experiences, has made it an integral part of life. People, who indulge in social media, make a strong base for their personal as well as professional relationships on the social media portals. Mobile phones and tablets: The mobile phones that have been around for more than two decades are running strong and hold the promise of an excellent future. Users of phones and tablets find the devices inseparable from themselves and they provide for the most convenient companions in any situation. Web and mobile applications: While mobiles and computers are tools or instruments, the real players are the applications that help people in achieving their means. Applications are developed each day in vast numbers and a whole lot of them become an essential part of the survival of relationship and business functions. The popularity of technology has proven that when people are provided with an innovative medium of expression, they can never be held... read more

Designing Apt Information Systems

Organizations need to plan, organize, make decisions, control, coordinate and analyze. It becomes imperative to put in place Information Systems (IS) which are appropriate .The design of information systems or the information architecture is not same in all organizations. Organizations have similarities but they also differ in several aspects. Information Systems are designed keeping in mind the specific needs of an organization. In essence Information Systems are socio-technical systems, and they are designed keeping in mind the various information needs of different groups in an organization. The organization environment, culture, structure, policies and change; affect the design of Information Systems. At the same time organization must keep itself updated of the technologies available. Information Technology sector is characterized by innovations and obsolescence, it is dynamic and in a state of continuous flux. Information Systems have existed before the advent of computers. Information Systems utilizing computer hardware and software are known as Computer Based Information Systems (CBIS); however nowadays CBIS has become synonymous with IS.A system is a set of interrelated parts that work together. An IS comprises of components that work together to collect, process, store and distribute information. With the advent of computers, Information Systems have improved their efficiency and effectiveness, and as technology progresses so does the performance of IS. The performance of any system is assessed by two parameters, effectiveness and efficiency. This is also true for IS. Effectiveness is being able to get the desired outcome and efficiency is the cost of attaining that outcome. The lower the cost the greater is the efficiency. Organizations need to keep themselves informed regarding the technology options available in the market as well as the prices of these options. The supply chain of IT products typically comprise of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Wholesales, Resellers, Retailers Users. The wholesalers buy from the OEMs and sell to Resellers. Retailers (small shops) and Organizations (User) purchase from the Resellers, small users like homes and small offices purchase from retailers. The procurement can be more direct depending upon the complexity and magnitude of the requirement. The OEMs are generally foreign based or Multinational organizations and their logistics are spread across the globe. Organizations can get information regarding IT from well known IT magazines, such as Data Quest, which are available in print as well as on the web. Vendors of IT products and services can provide the latest information. While selecting its vendors, organizations should consider their technical knowhow, real time know... read more

Outsourcing a Boon

Firms especially small firms and startups and even mid-caps, are increasingly finding it difficult to build and operate their own operating systems. Information Systems has a very important role to play in organizations in today’s scenario.IT expenditure can amount to more than half of a firm’s capital expenditure. Hence firms are increasingly finding outsourcing a more appropriate option, and are contracting their computer center operations, telecommunications networks or applications development to external vendors. The advantages are obvious. The firms by outsourcing are able to get quality technical expertise. External vendors are exposed to varied computing problems every day as they have to work with many different organizations; this enables them to gather varied as well as in-depth knowledge. Whenever any problem comes up with any particular firm, they are able to put forward the best fit solution. They specialize in IT solutions and are always updating their product knowledge. External vendors also pool in a host of IT resources and offer computing services on a shared basis.Firms which build their own Information Systems often are not able to put to use the entire IT infrastructure, hence the capacity of their IT facilities is not utilized to the maximum. Also once an IT infrastructure has been built, a lot of capital outlay has been incurred. Firms have to compete in a competitive environment and have to often deal with changes. In built IT systems are not flexible and hence are not able to respond swiftly to the changing IT requirements. Firms which build their own IT set ups may end up adding more and more IT resources for which they may find no continuous use; this leads to increasing the bulk as well as the cost. In contrast to this external vendors are able to mix and match their resources to offer appropriate solutions to the changing needs of their clients; hence outsourcing offers more flexibility to firms. The cost of outsourcing is also low as compared to developing in-house IT systems, as firms pay for only what they use, also since a contract is entered into by both parties at a fixed price for a definite time period, which is usually a year, firms do not have to face any jolts due to uncertainty of costs; hence outsourcing is comparatively more cost effective. Overall outsourcing provides firms economy, flexibility and service quality. Firms can convert their fixed costs into variable costs, and put their resources, human and capital, into... read more

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