The Challenges Of Information And Communication Technology (ICT) To Modern Secretaries In Office Technology And Management Department
It can be extremely dangerous when classified information gets into the wrong hands during office operations but evidence has shown that the emergence of information and Communication Technology (ICT) has given a new improved life to communication. The payoffs in adopting information technology obviously surpass the shortcomings. Employing the quantitative method of research, this study has shown that information technology is extremely important now and holds credible prospects for future Office operations. The study thereby recommends that the Government should lower the tariff on information technology-aided tools and types of equipment so imported should be subsidized by the government. The government can as well partner with multinational companies abroad to supply equipment to Nigerian Offices directly at a discounted rate. This study agrees that this will facilitate office operations for an effective service.
The world of business is changing rapidly growing as a result of technological development. This is very wide departure from the traditional business enterprises to the evolution of international and multinational organizations in Nigerian economy. Some of these establishments have acquired and installed modern communication equipments.
Thus, information technology and an ultimate fully electronic office is fast becoming a reality. In effect, information and communication technology pose a lot of challenges to modern secretaries. The impact of technological improvement in the office demands that the development of a successful secretarial career today depends of upon the secretary to acquire information and communication technology (ICT) based skills and expertise as well skills required for each category of staff.
Technology changes in our environment coupled with competition within a particular industry or in the society account for the reason why secretaries should engage in training and development to meet up with the challenges. This is as a result of the need to match changes in structure, policies, technology, processes and producers with the needed performance, attitude and behaviors. This study will provide a sight into the present day technological realities in and office and how a secretary could fit into it.
1.1 Background Information
The emergence of information and Communication Technology (ICT) has given a new improved life to communication in the office, factory, banks, hospital, hotel, supermarket, and garage or at home. As information and communication technology (ICT) continues to expand in office across the nations, the role of the secretaries has greatly evolved. Office Automation and organizational restructuring have led secretaries to assume a wide range of new responsibilities once and reserved for managerial and professional staff. Secretaries now need to be provided with training and orientation, conduct research on the internet and learn to operate new office technologies. This will enable the secretary to work along with other staff and meet the challenges of modern office.
There is no doubt that the secretary remains the life-wire of any organization. Contributions and effectiveness of a secretary depends on how he/she can cope with the modern technologies. However, with the development of new technology, secretarial profession is becoming increasingly challenging and more sophisticated that the common traditional roles of a secretary are gradually being faced out.
Secretaries are responsible for a variety of administration and clerical duties necessary to run an organization effectively. They serve as information charring house for an office, schedules an appointment, provide information to caller, organize and maintain paper and electronic file, manage project, and provide correspondent. Secretaries are aided in these tasks by a variety of office equipment such as computer, photocopier, and telephone systems. In addition, secretaries increasingly use personal computer to run spreadsheet, word processing, database management, desktop publisher, and graphic programs. Tasks previously handled by managers. Hence, this study has been designed to bring to light the veracity of ICT and the challenges and how a secretary could meet up with these challenges.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In today’s office, traditional job like filing, keyboarding reprography, treatment of incoming and outgoing mail and other clerical activities have now learnt themselves to Automation. Attention is now shifting from the usual traditional secretarial skill to a more modernized practice. The central focus of this study is to address the challenges of information and communication Technology that modern secretaries face.
1.3 Purpose of Study
The main objective of this study is to analyze the various forms of information and communication technology (ICT) and how they pose as challenges to modern secretaries.
It will be of great importance to practicing secretaries, employers of labor, managers Researchers, Governments and trainers of Secretaries to know the various challenges faced by secretaries on information and communication technology.
The study will analyze its differences and major challenges pose by each of them. It will also provide strategies for the employers and organizations on how they can develop secretaries and what they can embark upon for updating secretaries’ skills to meet the challenges of modern information systems and equipment’s.
1.4 Research Questions
- Will information and communication technology enhance the secretarial skill and practice?
- Can a secretary remain relevant without modern information and technology?
- Would the career structure of a secretary remain unchanged?
- Can secretaries find use of modern information and communication technology equipment’s relevant in handling the human aspect of their job?
1.5 Significance of the Study
It is hope that by the end of this research work, the researcher would identify the major challenges of information and communication technology to modern secretaries and thus: identify strategies for modern secretaries to meet these challenges. Increase public awareness in information and communication technology as it concerns secretarial staff. Encourage organizations on the training of their secretarial staff in the area of information and communication technology to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in their duties.
1.6 Scope / Delimitation of the Study
This research topic the challenges of information and communication technology (ICT) tend to focus only on secretaries in Office Technology and Management Department, Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra State.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The study has shown that information technology is extremely important in the present and in the future Office operations. Though, it can be extremely dangerous when confidential data creeps in to the wrong hands, but the fact still remains that the pay offs in adopting information technology obviously surpass the shortcomings. We have accepted the unpleasant truth that Nigerians are still far behind the advanced countries of the world in the employment of computer technology to solve management and operational problems in the Office system, but given the attitude of the Nigerian Office management to computerization it may not be too long before we narrow the gap. However, we should attempt to move faster than the present pace and make full use of available technology to solve our numerous operational problems in the Offices so that in the end, the management of the Office and the customers will be pleased with the premium received in the form of customer satisfaction and on the other prospective contributions to the profitability of Information Communication and technology.
It therefore becomes important that technology changes such as the introduction of computer in organization should carefully be evaluated so that the gains in technical efficiency are not made at the expense of the well being integration of the employees. Tremendous opportunities exist for Nigerian financial market to embrace the current digital revolution in order to create and grow new products and services through business solutions. The development of information and communication technology has altered the landscape of Nigerian financial market and has become the strategic resource for achieving competitive advantage in 21st century digital economy.
Information technology is designed for the orderly and systematic procurement, transfer, storage and conversions of data which will reduce time, effort, cost and increase the utility of information for decision makers. This information reduces the cost of decision making because relevant information is not lacking. Information technology has increased ability to make sound decisions involving complex combinations of factors and doing so rapidly. It makes available reliable, concise and routine information in an organization which in turn leads to such benefits as good decision and confidence of the decision maker. It also assures good judgment since the judgments are based on hard facts and figures.
It is pertinent that information technology has affected and will continue to have impact on decision making in every field of human endeavour most especially with the increase in use and development of various information technology architectural components.
In view of the findings from the research, the following recommendations were made:
- The government should accelerate actions that will create an enabling environment in order to stimulate growth in the Office Technology and Management Department, Federal Polytechnic Oko.
- Government should lower the tariff on information technology aided tools and equipments imported should be subsidized by government. Even better, government should partner with multinational companies abroad to supply equipments to Nigerian Office directly at discounted rate.
- All Offices should utilize information technologies to render services that meet the genuine needs of the customers and if there’s change in the customer lifestyle, the Offices should change along rapidly.
- Given that information technology facilities depend largely on electric power supply, without a good power source, it becomes very difficult to maintain computer and other information technology equipments used by the Offices. Hence the government and other private sector investors should focus on improve and provide different sources of energy that would complement the current power supply.
- The regulatory agencies should upgrade their information technologies constantly so as to align with the rapidly developing private sector Officeing innovation pace.
- The Nigerian government should strive harder by encouraging local Information technology firms and companies towards meeting up the need of the 21st century state of the earth information technology requirement of the country.
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