ORGANIZATIONAL TECHNOLOGY 7
Technologyand Organization Operations
Technologyhas significantly revolutionized the business landscape. Even thoughcompany strategies and organization cultures influence theapplication of technology in firms, in many cases the influence isstronger the other way round (McAfee, 2006). Technology substantiallyaffects strategic alternatives and generates opportunities andaspects that business leaders need to redress in many facets of theirbusiness. This work shall identify three kinds of technology, howthey create different competencies and its impacts on organizationaleffectiveness.
Technologyis a combination of abilities, Skills, computers, machines and otherdevices to convert inputs into outputs. Technology exists at threelevels: organizational, functional and individual. Technologycreates value and improves effectiveness at all the three stages,input, conversion and output (McAfee, 2006). There are three mainapproaches to technology, external resource approach that employstechnology to help in controlling and managing external stakeholders,internal system approach that employs technology to lower design andmanufacture time and technical approach that employs technology toimprove quality and efficiency while reducing costs (Jones, 2013).
Dependingon the degree to which production process can be controlled, threetypes of technologies are used.The small –batch and continuousprocess technology required organic structures while mass productioncalls for a mechanistic structure. In the organization that where,standardization is not paramount but the goal is to reduce costs,improve quality and efficiency, small-batch and continuous processtechnology are the most suitable (Jones, 2013).
Technologyis used in three stage main stages input, conversion and output. Inthe input phase, skills, expertise, procedures, and technology areessential to managing relationship with external stakeholders andoperating environment (Jones, 2013). The conversion phase combineshuman skills, procedure and techniques with machines to convertinputs into products (output). The output phase employs technologyfor distribution to other entities for quality testing, marketing,and selling (Jones, 2013).
Thetechnical complexity of business processes is what determines thetype of technology applied. Technical complexity denotes the degreeto which operations and processes can be controlled, programmed andpredicted (Jones, 2013). High technical complexity arises whenconversion procedures are programmed in advance and are fullymechanized. It also occurs where work is standardized andpredictable. On the other hand, slow technical complexity arises whenthe conversion procedures and processes are pegged on human skillsand are not fully mechanized (Jones, 2013). In this mode,maintaining consistency and quality is a gargantuan task.
Anexcellent example of an organization that has applied (small -batch )technology to improve quality and efficiency and reduce costs isD.W.Morgan. This firm serves as supply chain consultants andlogistics and transportation services provider (Laudon, K &Laudon, J., 2012). D.W. Morgan has served big companies such asApple, Chevron, AT & T. and Johnson & Johnson. D.W.Morganhas operations in more than 100 counties on four differentcontinents, transporting critical inventory to factories that employjust-in-time approach (Laudon, K & Laudon, J., 2012). In thepast, it used to take too long and immense manual effort to offerclients with up to date information relating to inventory. But withthe new mobile based application referred to as ChainLinq, thecompany has enabled drivers to update shipment information, andprovide GPS tracking for every box that is on transit (Laudon, K &Laudon, J., 2012). As drivers make their shipments to variousdestinations, they use the mobile application to record pickups andupdate status. When they get to their destination, they collectsignatures on the iPhones screen and upload it on the server of thecompany (Laudon, K & Laudon, J., 2012). The company servers makeinformation and data available to clients on the firm’s website.Other competitors in the market take more than 20 minutes to 12 hoursto provide evidence of delivery but through technology D.W. Morgancan it immediately (Laudon, K & Laudon, J., 2012). In thisorganization, automation is pivotal but human skills remain a keyingredient in the business strategy.
Technologycreates new opportunities for innovation of new products andservices. Products and services that used to be delivered in person,through technology delivery is conducted through a network(Gunasegaram, 2008). Some of the main levers include simultaneity,which means that technology makes information easily and instantlyaccessible and available in several systems portability: takingproducts and services closer to the end user resequencing: thatencompasses parallel processing of data-bases reusability: usinginformation gathered for different purposes and time extension: thatmeans providing services for 24 hours every day and 365 days in anannum (Gunasegaram, 2008).
Technologydevices and systems such as groupware, e-mails, and mobile phoneapplications have created substantial changes in the manner and waythat information and process flow within the firm.Technology hasfacilitated easy collaboration and communication betweenorganizations and their suppliers and customers. In this way,technology has created a suitable background for the development ofopen and innovative cultures. Technology dramatically transforms thenature of professional work (Gunasegaram, 2008). With technologyless office space is required because the workforce can share somedevices such as computers. It is not surprising that computers havebecome a part and parcel of 21st-century business operations.Nonetheless, it is important to note that most of this knowledge andinformation based technologies require traditional skills of writing,organizing and thinking.
Technologymakes processes and business operations easier, faster, cheaper, andefficient. Automation reduces costs and improves quality, makingelements such as standardization possible. By saving preciousresources by enabling a company to combine various processes, makingcommunication and collaboration with customer and suppliers moreefficient, firms can venture into global business. Barriers thathinder such endeavors are eliminated and replace by tools thatsupport business operations in any part of the globe.
Gunasegaram,M.R.(2008). BusinessTransactions Solutions.Thomson/West. Available athttp://alangutterman.typepad.com/files/odm_12.05.2011.pdf
Jones,G. R. (2013). Organizationaltheory, design, and change (7thed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall
LaudonK.C and Laudon J.P. (2012).Managing Information Systems: Managing Digital Firm , 12thedition,Prentice Hall imprint of Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River,NewJersey
McAfee,A. (2006). Mastering the Three Worlds of Information Technology.HarvardBusiness Review.Retrieved from:https://hbr.org/2006/11/mastering-the-three-worlds-of-information-technologys