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7. Information technology
Questions for Discussion
Exercise 1. Use your target vocabulary to replace these explanations.
Exercise 2. Complete these sentences using your target vocabulary in the appropriate form.
Tips for Topic Development
As computers grow more pervasive, information technology is beginning to have a considerable impact on many aspects of organizations. Major areas of influence include organization structure, individual jobs, and organizational risk.
An information system which is a set of procedures designed to collect (or retrieve), process, store, and disseminate information, is a useful tool to support planning, decision making, coordination, and control. Information systems that make use of computers and often referred to as computer-based information systems produce information that is relevant, accurate, timely, complete, and concise, given the particular managerial need.
To serve the needs of different organizational levels, there are five major types of information systems: transaction processing, office automation, management information, decision support, and executive support. Decision support systems and related expert systems represent outgrowths of a specialized information technology field called artificial intelligence.
Agree or disagree with these statements.
We all understand that computers are indispensable for modern companies. At the professional level, computers reduce the number of routine tasks while increasing the ability of professionals to communicate with others both inside and outside the company. At the managerial level, computers offer managers new aid to help with decision-making and control.
Advances in information technology are increasing the options related to the location of work. One outgrowth is telecommuting, a form of working at home that is made possible by using computer technology to remain in touch with the office.
Another possibility that derives from advanced technology is the logical office, the concept that portable microcomputers (called lap-top computers) allow an individual’s office to be anywhere the individual is, rather than being restricted to one specific location.
But the relatively recent invasion of personal computers in the workplace has raised a number of problems. Despite all the potential benefits, information technology does pose some considerable risks to organizations.
Among the most significant are problems concerning the kind of jobs they can perform. Companies must decide whether they will use computers for clerical jobs that are extremely simple and require little skill or for jobs that involve considerable creativity and skill. On the other hand there are risks of possible errors, physical calamities, theft, sabotage and security breaches.
Managers who use laptops as they travel often have to cope with such inconveniences as extra scrutiny by airport security, batteries that lose power, and inadequate phone-jack facilities in hotel rooms.
Say which of the statements below are true and which are false.