The Role Of Information Communication Technology In Business Stability And Growth
1.1 Background Of The Study
In any capitalist economy, many kinds of business enterprises exist. Some may be as small as the one man intra-city taxi service, the Small Scale retail outlets, road side mechanics or trader who retails his wares from house to house. Others may be relatively large, such as Leventis Stores with branches in most major cities in Nigeria, Nigerian Bottling Company which markets its soft drinks nationally, or UAC with many subsidiaries and considerable International connections.
In all capitalist economies, business plays a crucial role in the creation and determination of the standard of living. The dynamic operating environment of business (micro and macro environment) has so much effect on the growth, stability and uncertainty in the operating environment. This has led to the closure and weakening of businesses. However many business forms are now exploring the advantage of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to combat the menace of environment uncertainties and risk and thus guarantee growth and stability. This research work attempts to show that though the environment is uncertain, business can thrive if ICT is used as a tool in running the business. In other words the research advocates that business must be ICT compliant to survive in the competitive and dynamic business environment of today.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) could be referred to as electronic gadgets and other sophisticated technologies which facilitate easy and meaningful communication in a modern age. They are technologies which dualize communication in the information super highway. They are variously referred to as New Communication Technologies (NCTs), New Information and Communication Technological (NICTs) simply grouped as ICTs.
Emerging Technological development in the communication world has led to the division partitioning of these communication Technologies into two groups – the old and new Communication Technologies. The new communication Technologies are modified versions of the old technologies or all forms of modem technology which facilitate the gathering, processing, storage and retrieval of communication content or message in new ways. They include the computers, Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS), digital radio and television system, Internet, Compact Disc etc.
The focus of this work is generally on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) which has network. The Internet has particularly computerized human activities as brought about by computer assisted Communication (CAC) leading to such transactions as e-commerce, e-business trading, e-banking, e-mail, e-fund transfer among others. The application of these facilities can enhance the operational stability and growth of business irrespective of the environmental constraints. This is the focus of this study.
1.2 History And Business Of Zenith Bank
Zenith bank was incorporated as a Private Limited Liability Company by a group of Nigerians including the Managing Director/Chief Executive on 30th May 1990. The bank received it’s commercial banking licence on 29th June 1990 and commenced business operation on 16th July 1990.
On 21st April 2003 the shareholders of the bank approved the sub division of its shares from N1 to 50 kobo. This marked the conversion of the bank to a Public Limited Liability Company (Plc) and a listing on the stock exchange via an Initial Public Offer (IPO). Consequently, the Bank became a public limited liability company (Plc) on 20th May 2009 and under took an IPO which was 554% subscribed. The entire share of the bank was subsequently listed on the floor of the Nigeria Stock exchange. On 21st October 2007 the bank engaged in the provision of universal banking services to corporate commercial and individual customers, the bank provides such banking services as savings and current account, treasury and financial services, investment banking, equipment leasing, trade financing, fund management, import and export finance, amongst others to the wholesale and retail market with a special focus on top tier customers. Product such as smart cards (electronic purse) Telelink, (telephone banking) Zenith view facilities, (Internet banking) Western union money transfer, are also offered to customers. Some notable strengths of the bank include:
- Strong asset quality and low level credit losses
- Continuously improving profitability and strong revenue generation
- Strategic repositioning and diversified funding mix
- Well capitalized, strong liquidity position and refinancing ability.
- Strong market share
- Competent management team
- Excellent customer base
- Strong brand
With the help of ICT facilities despite operating in an industry where most product are fairly homogenous, the bank has continued to surpass performance projection, despite heightened competition in the post consolidation banking industry.
1.3 Statement Of The Problem
The level of competition amongs businesses, coupled with the challenges of globalization and uncertainty of the operating environment has pushed out many people from business. Business that were regarded as market leaders a decade ago are either out of business or struggling to survive. Business operation is no longer as usual as ICT has transformed the world into what is now referred to as an information society with high technology communication permeating almost every aspect of human life. This therefore possesses serious challenges to business operation and survival. It has become imperative for businesses to understand the technological paradigm shift and get connected or risk the fate of many dwindling business of today.
1.4 Objective Of The Study
The researcher undertakes this study with the following objectives.
- To find out whether there exist a relationship between ICT and the growth and stability of Nigeria
- To examine the extent to which corporate Nigerians have embrace ICT
- To find out the major contemporary challenges facing Nigeria business operations as far as ICT is concern.
1.5 Research Hypothesis
In other to achieve the objective of this study some hypothesis were formed. They are presented in the Null State.
HO1: There is no significance relationship between ICT and business growth and stability.
HO2: There is no appreciable increase in the usage of ICT among Nigerian corporate bodies
HO3: Finance is not the major contemporary challenges facing Nigerian business corporation as far as ICT is concerned.
1.6 Significance Of The Study
This study is significant for a number of reason:
- It will enlighten business operation on the need to apply ICT in business
- It will serve as an eye opener to operators of business that there is a paradigm shift in the way business is conducted today worldwide
- It will expose dangers that awaits business that are not ICT compliant
- It will reveal the gains of global business in using ICT
- It will serve as a reference for business men and researchers in the field of ICT and business
1.7 Scope And Limitation Of The Study
The study covers a survey of ICT application to business in general in Nigeria. The research focused basically on Zenith Bank Plc as a case study. And also relied primarily on a study of the Uyo branch of the Bank.
The only limitation for the study is finance and time with which to go round the country in order to make some interviews and observation on the application of ICT to business growth and stability. These constraints informed the scope of the study.
1.8 Assumptions Of The Study
The researcher made the following assumptions
That those that will be interview and given questionnaire to fill shall supply the needed information to justify the study.
That the information received from a study of Zenith Bank Plc Uyo branch will give a fair view of what is the state of ICT application to business in corporate Nigeria.
1.9 Organization Of Study
This research work will be organized into five chapters with sub headings.
Chapter one will deal with the introduction, statement of the problem, objective of the study, hypothesis, significance of study etc.
Chapter two will deal with the review of related literature considered relevant to the study.
Chapter three will deal with the research methodology while four and five will deal with analysis of data from survey and recommendation and conclusion respectively.
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