Categorized | Information Technology

Information Technology 6

The success of your business can hinge as much on your information technology infrastructure as it does on your product, your marketing, or anything else. Large corporations realize this fact and make significant investments in technology to give themselves a competitive edge. Technology allows companies to be more responsive, to understand their customers better, to be more efficient, and to make sure that all the information generated around the business gets mined for its greatest value. For instance, you may think that Wal*Mart’s competitive advantage is low prices, but in reality it’s Wal*Mart’s IT system which enables it to manage logistics and inventory far better than any of its competitors, a major reason why their prices are so low. Unlike Wal*Mart or their ilk, you don’t have sacks of money to throw around, but even as a shoestring venture, you’re competing against folks who know how to use technology to their advantage.

This chapter explores the IT options open to you on even the most limited budget. In fact, this chapter in large part is about saving your money by exploiting technological solutions you may not have known about.

This chapter may be relatively advanced for your current needs. If you’re mainly concerned with the functional aspects of technology, that is, technology that gets the work done, you’re better off using Chapter 3, Hardware and Software, and Chapter 7, Web and Ecommerce, for how to make sure you have the technology to get work done. This chapter is concerned with strategic issues with technology, i.e., how you can use technology to get an advantage or an edge in your market.

On the other hand, you may be ready to start using the information that your business can generate; this chapter is intended as an introduction to that wealth-making topic. The chapter introduces you to the principles of using information technology with rich resources introducing you to the business and technological issues. We then follow with outsource providers that can help you manage your business’s information: software developers, database developers, database administrators, CRM specialists, and data mining specialists. Our next chapter deals specifically with developing and maintaining your Web site to maximize its effectiveness.

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