Information technology (IT) is a way for big business to reduce costs and improve their goods and services. There are a number of ways in which this might be done. Electronic Communications Tesco have to use E-mail instead of first-class stamp because E-mail costs less than a first-class stamp and is able to reach computers around the world in hours or even minutes, rather than days or weeks which an ordinary postal service can take. Some firms such as Tesco have an intranet facility. An intranet operates on the same source as the internet but is constrained to employees in a particular firm or department. The intranet allows information and messages to be posted and accessed by staff in a far smaller amount of time than traditional notice boards or internal memos.
Sharing of common data At Tesco they can share common data by using Microsoft excel on the computers and making this information available to people with a certain level of authority. This will allow problem with staff to be dealt efficiently and easily. Tesco have Computer-based systems for the reason that they are very fast when it comes to finding information and take up less space than paper-based systems.
Certain types of computer-based systems let quite a few people have access to the same record at once and allow records to be kept up to date very speedily. Details of sales, outgoings and employees, for example, can be shared centrally and kept up to date. Linking computers together in a network is a very efficient way of organising them, although it can be expensive to set up. With a well-run computer -based system linked records can be found very easily. Once the computer has been correctly installed it will operate as required and is very consistent.
Security systems Tesco are recommended that as well as keeping records on the computer hard disk duplicate or back-up copies should be made on floppy disks each day and kept in a different area (or office block) from the computer. This means that the firm will still have its records obtainable even if there is a major emergency such as a conflagration, inundation or theft. Staff access to computers and computer networks should be by passwords that include numbers and letters, which should be changed on a regular basis, not left near the computer and not easily guessed by anyone else. Data can be protected against computer bugs that can disrupt data using commercial programs such as McFee or Norton Antivirus. Pirated software should not be used as this is also a cause of viruses.
External communication Tesco know that E-mail is a swift and cheap way of contacting colleagues and customers, and can be used to conduct market research. Other ways include questions on company websites that encourage visitors to the site to respond. Counting the figure of ‘hits’ on a site is a way of measuring the effectiveness of how the site and the business are being advertised. Some firms conduct all their business on the internet.
Online support for customers Tesco are a massive company worldwide, they have their own website to help their customers online. Groceries companies, such as Tesco, will help customers by putting information on their website about the prices of certain food etc for instance. A number of companies correct errors in their programs by sending amendments, or patches, to customers via their website. Tesco also help out their customers by having an online website in which their customers can go on it and order food for example and get in delivered to their front door very quickly and they are very reliable. Furthermore Tesco like to respond to queries given to them by their own website, Tesco will therefore gain reputation, because their customers will think that Tesco are loyal and do care about their customers.
Electronic transactions Since the 21st century, technology has grown massively, Tesco have used this to their benefit, computers can help sales by processing payments. The barcode system allows computers to ‘read’ the information about products and register this with the till in all the Tesco stores. Previously these tasks were done on paper by clerical staff. Other uses of this are orders, invoices and electrical funds transfer. The start of electrical transactions has helped Tesco as a company extraordinarily.