How is Information Technology Used in Different Industries?
Many industries are realizing that information technology has the potential to give them a competitive edge to increase profit margins and consumer satisfaction. Once only used internally to control costs and increase operations efficiency, information technology is now a major part of industries seeking a competitive edge in providing new channels of service and meeting the growing demands from consumers for information and value. From the simple application of e-mail communications to online teleconferences connecting organizations worldwide, information technology is having a direct impact on how industries conduct business. Using information technology, automatized systems can track all steps of the manufacturing process, predict purchasing habits and patterns, exchange contact information between vendors and customers, and analyze massive amounts of data. As more industries realize the multiple ways the new technology can assist them in providing their products or services efficiently, new information technology jobs will be available. The increase in information technology jobs across every sector of industry is also calling for professionals with specialized knowledge of key industries. More than ninety percent of all information technology personnel are working in business sectors outside of the IT industry. This requires those interested in advancing their information technology careers to pursue technical or professional certification relevant to specific industries or field of interest.
Information Technology in Retail
The internet has been a huge factor in changing the way many retailers do business. Perhaps the greatest impact is the direct line of communication that the internet provides between retailers and consumers. The future of retail business requires retailers to embrace the latest changes in informational technology that enhance how they engage with customers. Informational technology allows retailers to be available day or night interacting with customers how, when, and where they are ready to shop. Within the retail industry, there are information technology careers in data management, software management, business architect, social media specialist, and more. Retailers depend on information technology to manage inventory, track customer-purchasing habits, predict trends, and deliver goods and services. Many retailers understand the potential that mobile communications offer to engage their customers outside the physical retail location by offering real-time discounts, promotional updates, and enhancing options to purchase online or in store. Wireless communication, QR codes, and augmented reality are only a few examples of the changes information technology is bringing to the retail industry.
Information Technology in Academics
Information technology in academics makes it possible for individuals to link faculty with students around the globe. There is and perhaps will, always be debate as to merits of online education over traditional classroom settings. Information technology supports interaction, feedback and experience, with teleconferences, online chats, and other applications such as Skype continue to enhance one-on-one interaction among professors and fellow classmates on or off campus. Traditional education institutions will not prevent the use of information technology from offering educational opportunities. Those institutions that adapt to the changes technology brings and use informational technology to enhance the student experience will be those that continue to thrive. For consumers, the cost of an online education is usually much lower than a traditional campus based program. Online education offers the convenience and adaptability to customize the education process to individual student goals, learning, and schedules. Some experts have referred to the advances that information technology is bringing to academics as a “modern industrial revolution.” Information technology careers in the field of academics will continue to expand as educational programs across the country adapt to these rapid changes.
Information Technology in Health Care
In the past, the health care system has made less use of informational technology than other industries. Possible organizational challenges to the adaptation of health information technology within the health care system include the fragmentation of services, redundant services by multiple providers, and payment system barriers. These are a few obstacles to implementing beneficial changes that health information technology has to offer a system on the verge of unprecedented change. Some health care systems that coordinate care between services and team members are using new health information technology to deliver quality care by integrating health history, screening results, treatment plans, and other complex information from multiple providers. The new health care reform currently under debate will bring the need for widespread adaptation of information technology.
Health information technology can streamline the collection, storage, and retrieval of patient information. Computerized orders from physicians reduce prescription errors, miscommunication, and the time it takes to carry out changes in medications or other orders. Electronic health records now used in house may soon be available to multiple health care providers at the click of a mouse. This opens up concerns for security, privacy rights, and access options. As insurance options enter into the health care databases and imposed parameters brought about by the emerging health care reform bring even more change to the health care system, information technology in health care will continue to evolve to meet new demands. This will create new information technology jobs at multiple levels. Those pursing information technology careers in the health care field will need to purse professional certification and specialization. Combining degrees in health-related fields with those in information technology can provide a distinct advantage over others with only an IT background.