Technology is increasingly becoming an integral part of organizations. Advancements made in the field of information technology enable organizations to measure, pay for, customize, and monitor the use of their products as well as improve organizational strategy and gain competitive advantage. New technological innovations like electronic mail and groupware are transforming the flow of information within the organization, and between companies and their customers. Strategic management of an organization requires the incorporation of technological innovations in strategic planning to maintain competitive advantage.
Information technology is quickly entering a period where it is used to reinforce unstructured management practices and vastly routinized business practices (Eason, 2005). New trends in IT offer efficient ways of retrieving information various sources including the internet. With the help of a skilled facilitator, group decision support systems can help the group to grasp the method of structured discussion.
An example of a technological trend that is rapidly transforming organizations is the concept of cloud computing. Cloud computing enables organizations to store and access information from computer services provided by networks. Consumers are increasingly adopting the concept of the internet-based cloud services that include a wide range of services such as email, data storage and video among other services. Organizations that want to maintain a competitive advantage are also adopting the services.
The concept of Software as a service (SaaS) enables companies to improve services like customer relationship management (Haag & Cummings, 2008). SaaS is rapidly growing due to its ability to offer flexible and smooth structures in a setting similar to a virtual corporation. Software as a Service, which is provided by Application-Service-Providers (ASPs), is a software distribution pattern in the cloud computing system in which software and related data are stored in the cloud. The software can be accessed by users through a browser. The technological trend of SaaS is increasingly becoming an important platform for organizations to obtain business applications such as DBMS, accounting, customer relationship management, content management, and management software among other organizational software (Haag & Cummings, 2008). Software as a Service offers organizations a chance to cut costs of information technology by subcontracting software applications and hardware repairs. There is a new trend of advancement of SaaS Integration platforms (SIP), caused by the prevailing disintegration in the SaaS provider universe. SIPs are created to offer clients a common platform on which to access several SaaS applications. Moreover, SIPs give software developers a chance to create and employ new applications efficiently.
The cloud computing system like many technological innovations is expected to transform the way companies operate, and the way they interact with clients. Business strategies of organizations are not only aligned towards technological innovations, but are also expected to be flexible enough to accommodate the new changes in information technology. IT reduces the distance of doing business and allows companies to conduct meetings from different parts of the world through video conferencing. The cloud system is also expected to influence the structure and culture of organizations. MIS managers are compelled to stay up-to-date with changes in the IT sector and to help other managers in integrating information technology and strategic business planning.
Cloud computing is likely to impact a wide variety of businesses ranging from e-commerce, to business-to-business and business-to-customer companies (Shirky, 2009). Small scale or large scale enterprises can use the cloud system as long as they need to access cheap and safe storage and retrieval of data and software. Technology changes fast and continuously. Therefore, companies must keep up if they are to enjoy the full benefits of IT.
Eason, K. (2005). Information technology and organisational change. London: CRC Press.
Haag, S., & Cummings, M. (2008). Management information systems for the information age (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Shirky, C. (2009). Here comes everybody: The power of organizing without organizations. New York, NY: Penguin.