The Impact Of Computer On The Modern Business
1.1 General Introduction
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) involves the use of Computer hardware, software and telecommunication devices to store, manipulate, convert, protect, send and receive data/information (Olifer& Olifer, 2006). ICTis fast developing and is now part of every aspect of ourlivelihood. Businesses cannot survive in this 21st century without Computer since all activities undertaken in the business setup is linked to ICT. Consequently, communication flow is very essential in the growth and development of every business entity. Computer makes it possible to communicate easily with staff and customers of the company. Businesses of this 21st century are advancing at a very fast pace. With the world becoming a global village, business transactions are becoming increasingly dynamic and consequently this has caused an increase in world trade. Thus the increase in the volume of tradein Ghana and other developed countries require fast transfers of monies, payment across continents and many other services that promote growth of business (Al-Mudimigh, 2007).
These transactions cannot be carried out effectively without the use of ICT. With the numerous positive impact of computer in businesses, it is hard to imagine a contemporary business functioning without adoption of ICT. Thus, computer permeates every aspect of twenty first century businesses (Ansah, Blankson, and Kontoh, 2012). According to Crede& Mansell (1998), ICTis crucially important for sustainable development in developing countries. Computer encompasses the use of Computers, Internet, E-mail, Mobile Phones and Fax machine ( Ansah, Blankson, and Kontoh, 2012) . According to Fapohunda (1999), Computers are now commonly used for writing letters, and reports, printing books, newspapers, and magazines, drawing pictures and diagrams, doing statistics, mathematics and handling financial records, controlling traffic lights, flying aeroplanes, making and playing music and video, sending messages anywhere in the world. Also, Eseyin (1997) describes the Internet as a mixture of many services with the two most commonly used being electronic mail (e-mail for short) and the World Wide Web (www). It plays a significant role in education, health, political processes, agriculture, economy, businesses and newsgroups. Woherem (2000) states that with Internet connectivity, one can do business all over the world without physical contact with the buyer or the need for a business intermediary.
Computer enables electronic mail (e-mail) which is the exchange of text messages and Computer files transmitted via communications networks such as the Internet (Nwosu, 2004). Email system is basically the equivalent of post mailing services with the biggest difference however being the time and cost involved (Fapohunda, 1999). Email also involves not only written data, but all sorts of information in the form of video, audio, or photographs, can be sent via e-mail. Oketunji (2000) describes e-mail as an increasing popular method of communication, especially in the workplace.
Computer also enables the use of mobile phones in businesses. Bittner (1989) defines mobile phones as a telephone system that can move or be moved easily and quickly from place to place. Mobile phones are now the computer that is reshaping and revolutionizing the communications globally. Its impact on the economic activities of nations, businesses, and small entrepreneurs is phenomenal. According to Tiemo (2006) the importance of information cannot be overemphasized. Oji-Okoro (2006) supported this view by stating that mobile telephony usage by individuals enables them to communicate with loved ones, clients and business associates. For large businesses, it is a means of providing a service that leads to an increase in profits.
Although computer comes with numerous benefits, there are however some constraints to their implementation. According to Gichoya (2005), researchers assert that infrastructure, finance, poor data system and lack of compatibility skilled personnel, leadership styles, culture, and bureaucracy and attitudes can be considered as barriers to computer investment. Also,Sherwood (1997), states that computer investment may be constrained by a broad range of laws and policies which may influence the overall package of incentives associated with the used ICT. Some of these laws or policies include;
- Policies that are aimed at curtailing peoples’ capacity to utilize ICTs effectively.
- Policies that directly affect negatively computer innovation and investment.
- Policies the affect entrepreneurship, research and development.
- Policies that affect telecommunications infrastructure and access.
- View of the above discussions, this study investigates the impacts of computer on modern world business.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The contribution of computer to the growth and development of every business have been stated by many researchers. According to Crede&Mansell (1998), Computer is crucially important for sustainable development in developing countries. Thus investment in Computer in the long run leads to improvement in the economy. However the investment into Computer has associated factors that militate against it. Notable among these factors are inadequate power supply, breaking down and malfunctioning of Computer, poor awareness of Computer application and fund to invest more on Computer device, cost of training IT personnel and cost of repairs in terms internet service (Adewoye and Akanbi, 2012). However, studies done by various researchers show that computer improves the productive capacity of businesses (Ansah, et. al, 2012; Crede& Mansell, 1998). Investment in computer greatly reduces travel costs for sector workers of various businesses (ITU 1999). There are a lot of studies on the impact of computer on the performance of businesses in other countries but studies on the impact of computer on business in Ghana are scarce. Consequently this study focuses on identifying the impact of computer on the modern business in Ghana to fill the knowledge gap in this field.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The general objective of the study is to contribute to the general body of knowledge and to examine the impacts of computer on modern world business.
To achieve the general objectives, the research will be aimed at addressing the following three (3) specific objectives:
- To identify the various ways in which the computer is used in businesses
- To determine factors that prevents computer usage in businesses
- To determine the effect of the use of the computer on the performance of businesses
1.4 Research questions
To address the objectives of the study, the following research questions will be made use of:
- What are the various ways in which computer is used in the businesses?
- What are the factors that prevent the use of computer usage in businesses?
- What is the effect of the use of the computer on the performance of businesses?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The findings of the study will enumerate the enormous benefits that computer adds to the modern world business so as to encourage massive investment in ICT. The findings of the study will also help the management of the various businesses to know the effect computer on the growth and development of businesses and also help them to know the factors that inhibit the implementation of computer so as to provide remedies to those hindrances. The study will also add up to the stock of knowledge in the field of computer in the modern world business for researchers and student who will like to embark on further studies in this field.
1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The study confines itself to businesses in the Kano. Also out of all the numerous business in greater Kano metropolis, the study confines itself to only Gwale local government area, Kano state.
The study makes use of descriptive survey design which just like other research designs have inherent limitations. Some of the limitations of the research design include,
- Difficulty in developing accurate survey instruments.
- Lack of control over timeliness and, potentially, low response rates.
- Difficulties in determining whether respondents are responding truthfully.
- Misinterpretations of data results and inappropriate use of data analysis procedures.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
Information communication Technology
Is an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, Computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various services and applications associated with them, such as videoconferencing.(Margaret Rouse, 2005)
Modern world business: A business entity operating in the 21st century
1.10 Research Method
The study adopted a descriptive survey approach to answer the research questions. According to Zikmund (2006) surveys require asking people who are called respondents, for information, using either verbal or written questions. This encompasses the use of questionnaire as an instrument to help achieve the objectives of the study. A self-administered structured questionnaire with a combination of open and close-ended questions will be used to obtain the data. Consequently, the study used a quantitative approach in addressing the objective of this research.
1.11 Population, Sample and Sampling Procedure
Neuman (2000) defines a research population as the specific pool of cases, individuals or groups of the individuals which the researcher wishes to investigate. The target population for this study comprised of the business in Gwale local government area of Kano state.
The sample size for a given study is derived by considering the population size of that study. A simple random sampling method was used to select 50 respondents from the company. According to Monga (2009), simple random sampling method affords each member of the population to have an equal chance of being selected.
1.12 Design of Research Instruments
The main instrument that was used in the data collected was a questionnaire. The questionnaire comprised of both open and closed ended questions. This was to ensure that the respondents were not only presented with questions that do not allow them to express their opinions. The questionnaire was divided into sections. Section A comprised of the demography of the respondents whiles the subsequent sections comprised of questions aimed at answering the research questions.
1.13 Administration of Research Instrument
Pre-testing is done to better refine the questions in the questionnaires to eliminate ambiguity in the questions and make the question easy and comfortable to answer. The researcher visited the study area to interact with the staff to familiarize themselves with the respondents and also to build a relationship with them.
A draft version of the questionnaire was pre-tested during this period to check for possible problems statement clarity and respondents understanding of the questions. Some of the respondents answered the questionnaire and indicated any ambiguous and difficult to understand question. Consequently, some minor changes were made to the questions as a result.
The questionnaires were self-administered by the researcher. The purpose for the study was described to the respondents before the questionnaires were administered to them. The respondents were also assured of anonymity and confidentiality.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
- Chapter one consists of the background of study, clear objectives of the study it also contains the research questions on the subject matter, significance of the study, the scope and limitation of the study, operational definition of terms, methodology, as well as sample and sampling technique.
- Chapter two examined related literature, past works done by various authors, researchers and writers were reviewed, this include discussion about the concept of the computer and computer in modern world.
- Chapter three is data analysis and presentation while
- Chapter four consist of summary, conclusion and recommendations.
There’s no doubt that computers and computer networks have had a significant effect on the world of business. It’s difficult to imagine a time when file folders, phone calls and face-to-face meetings were the only ways to conduct business. The truth is, an entire generation of employees doesn’t remember days without the benefits of computers, cell phones and the internet as part of their business experience. There will always be those who feel the world has become a bit less personal and a tad more distracting due to the introduction of computers to the workplace. Then again, the reality is that business people enjoy the advantages of computer application technology to make work easier and more efficient than ever. Anything and everything accomplished in the hustle and bustle of today’s business world owes its speed to the computer. Whether it’s accounting for or transferring large sums of money, conducting transactions and accepting payments for online goods and services, mammoth calculations, research or communications, one of the biggest benefits of computers is that everything takes less time than ever before. What once had to be done in person now can be done via text message, email or social media.
Finally, this study shows that today’s businesses cannot survive without the aid of computers. Computers guide every aspect of modern business from product design, communications, purchasing, sales, advertising, and the personnel needed to operate the computers. However, as important as these features are, they make up only a minute part of the computer’s leading influence on businesses.
- Business owners should automate business processes and give employees ICT tools, so business can improve its individual and overall productivity.
- Quality of customer service is an important differentiator for businesses. Companies can use ICT solutions to offer faster response to and higher standards of service to its customers by running a call center, company agents can access databases that provide comprehensive customer information, including purchase history and product preferences.
- Communication networks enable company’s project teams to collaborate effectively. By using videoconferencing or web conferencing over the Internet, teams can hold virtual meetings that bring together members from different locations, or different organizations, such as suppliers or business partners. This helps to create stronger project teams and enables the teams to maintain progress on important projects, rather than waiting for members to meet in a single location
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