Information – Communication Technology (ICT) is a general expression for a variety of different computer, information and communication devices, applications, network and services. Communication Technology has become important in our daily lives. Both individuals and business use communication technology to get what they need. However, it also has its downsides. Communication technology in an organization involves things like Voice mail, Email, Teleconferences and Compressed video, GDSS (computer assisted decision making and Virtual reality.
All these forms of communication will assist in the growth of an organization, but they also have their down sides. Below i have listed both the advantages and disadvantages of communication technology.
ADVANTAGES OF COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN AN ORGANIZATION
- Speeds the sending of information: Communication technology tools like electronic mail and text messaging systems, speed up the sending of information with in and out side of the organization. Also with the use of decentralized computing systems, sharing of information with in an organization is very first because all data is accessed from one central unit ‘’Database’’ and it is shared across different departments with in the organization.
- Improves organizational communication: Communication technology helps in the creation of a shared information environment in an organization. Organization information is organized in one central location, allowing any one access that information as they need. Also technologies like electronic mail, will enable low level employees communicate with the manager without any need of having a dedicated time for meeting. This allows information to flow easily from the bottom to the top without any barriers.
- Speeds decision making in an organization: Since communication technology speeds the transfer of information, employees in an organization can easily consult each other and analyze information in a shortest period and make a decision. Also with the use of (OLAP) Online analytical processing, employees can perform queries on a database to get data about a specific client or matter and make a quick decision basing on the data retrieved from the database about that specific client or matter.
- Increases participation in organizational processes: Every employee will have a specific task to complete and all this can be monitored remotely by the manager. So all parties will be active since their work is being made simple by easy communication. Employees who are shy to ask for advice and help, will use tools like electronic mail or instant text messaging services to ask for help from their workmates with in the organization, they can also use the same medias to participate in decision making and creative design challenges.
- Influences the way people interact in organizations: Lets look at an organization were you only see the operations manager twice a week, by the time he comes, every one will need to speak to them and they will have less time for each of you. But with electronic mail, you can simply draft an email and send it to your superior or workmate. In this case, they don’t have to stop what they’re doing to attend to your matter, but you will get an instant reply and continue with your work.
- Structures organizational life: Communication technology puts every thing were it is supposed to be. No need to see papers and files every where in the office. All data is stored on the database, and you will have less paper work in the organization which makes life easier at work. Also the organization will spend more time on other productive section since the time to organize their data is saved by technology.
- Supports open discussions: Most organization have used the internet to create organizational forums where members of the organization can discuss about various issues and get a solution. In this case members can suggest on areas of improvement within the organization.
- Eliminates stereotypical classifications: According to Urban Dictionary, Stereotypical is a term used to define all people of a certain belief into a mostly negative category that may only reflect a selected few of the racial demographics. With communication technology, all this will be eliminated because there is no face-to-face communication. Stereotyping of employees can result into poor performance and lack of self esteem amongst employees, so it is a wrong character.
- Provides a voice to those who normally would not speak up in groups: Face-to-face communications tends to be difficult to some people, so the use of communication technology will help them communicate effectively at work. Some employees might have a fear of face-to-face expression, but these employees might have relevant suggestions or contributions which can help the organization grow, so they can easily use technological tools like electronic mail to voice out their concerns.
DISADVANTAGES OF COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN AN ORGANIZATION:
- Poor substitute for face-to-face (ftf) communication: Since employees are using machines to communicate, they get less time to talk to each other and know each other better. This has resulted into increased bad relationships at work. Even though the shy ones will benefit from this technology , but they will also be denied the chance to learn how to interact with others.
- Difficulty Training Employees: If an organization deploys a new communication technology system, they will have to pay an extra fee to train employees in the organization to use that technology effectively. Some times some employees will not learn as first as others which might led to job losses.
- Expensive: It can be very expensive to install a new communication technology system in a very big organization. Let’s say that an organization has over 50 employees and they want them to access information from a centralized location. They will have to create a strong data base which will handle all the queries made by these employees in a minute as well they have to buy a computer for each of these employees.
- Not Safe: Since information has been centralized under one database, it is exposed to people with wrong intention with in the organization. Also information can be attacked by a hacker or a virus and all data will be lost in a minute. So the organization must pay an extra cost to keep this information safe.