Understanding use of ICT in Organizations
Tourism is a process of visiting places by an individual; places which are different from his/her home town. The person performing the act of visiting places is called tourist. The purpose of visit can be for pleasure, business trip; during the visit tourist will consume products and services of the place visited. Tourist will be facilitated or provided services and products by the business organizations of those places.
In case of tourism, role of several industries become prominent in serving and facilitating the tourists; industries like hotel, travel and tour, transportation, entertainment, small and medium enterprises producing local products provide integrated services to the tourist. The tourism business helps to develop the economic condition of the places; tourists will purchase local products, services. Tourism encourages several organizations to perform well and do better business;
Utilizing information and communication technologies (ICT) by the components or organizations involved in the tourism sector for the execution of their business processes is E-tourism. Digitization of services, use of Internet for communication, advertisement, promotion; data processing etc. are the tasks that are performed using ICT. The use of ICT by hotels, travel agencies not only help to improve performances of those organizations but also help tourists get information about travel destinations easily; communicate with locals easily; know the rule and regulations, local products and services easily.
The understanding about the organizations, its structure, functional units, business processes, goal and objectives will help how the organization can use Information Technology and internet technology to improve their effectiveness and efficiency and create value for customers. There are lots of similarities between the tourism organizations and organization of other industries; all have some kind of management hierarchy; all have one or more functional units or departments. In general the organizations have four functional units or departments:
Sales and Marketing functional unit of organization is concerned with the promotion of products and services of the organization. Some of the major functions of this functional unit are: making advertising and marketing campaigns, analyzing sales performance, studying and accessing impact of advertisement and marketing campaigns, performing market research, understanding customers and their demands, sale forecasting etc.
Transactional data are very important for the sales and marketing department as it provides insights and understanding about the consumer behavior, the most important aspect for any business organization. In case of the Hotels, data about the room bookings, guest’s orders help to know the preferences of the guests; also enables to know what kind of services, foods, rooms are liked by what kind of guests. The information systems will help hotels and other organizations to collect data and produce information by processing those collected data which will be of value for the organization is decision making processes.
Human resource (HR) department does tasks related with the employees of the organizations; tasks like recruiting employees, planning trainings, performance evaluation, workplace safety, managing employee relationships. Information technology helps in all the tasks of the of HR department; with the help of IT recruiting process can be eased: online application forms and data processing modules will save time of HR employees by sorting the applications and producing name of applicants for the interview based on the merit. Performance evaluation process can be eased by maintaining proper database about the employees and their tasks. ICT can help HR department of hospitality industry organizations similar to other organizations.
The production and manufacturing (P&M) department is concerned with the production and manufacturing of products and services. The P&M department uses data about the customer demand, market status, raw materials, human resources, machine and machine time, supplier data etc. Information technology will help to collect data about the suppliers, their supplies, production time and process those data to produce information relevant to improve the performance of the department.
In hotels several kinds of foods are made in daily basis, several guest will order food of their like. Information system in the hotels will ease to collect the orders. Those order data can be analyzed to known the most preferred foods by most of the guests; how much raw materials are required to prepare food for certain number of guests; in average, how much time is required to prepared food for certain number of guests etc. This information will help hotel management to decide when to order which raw material in what amount, how many chefs will be needed for specific time period etc.
Account and Finance (A&F) department of the organization is concerned with the management of funds of the organizations. The order payments, keeping track of expenses, profits, preparing budgets, keeping track of source of income are major tasks of the A&F department. Data about the funds, like how much money organization has to pay, how much it has to take; how much money is spent on which subject are recorded by the A&F department. Information system like accounting software will help to do all the tasks related to the account department and will also help to prepare budgets. Information system can analyze past budget data and help to make new budgets; it will keep track of all the expenses done is previous years and let know was the budget made in past time was sufficient or not (correct or not).