Hardly any business today is independent from using information technology. The technological innovations in computer hardware, software applications, internet and wireless connectivity led to business efficiency. Various types of business entities became largely dependent on these technological operations for their day-to-day operations.
From simple word processing software to sophisticated encrypted database system, various types of businesses are relying on information technology to transact with clients and business partners. Significant portion of the transactions and wealth of many businesses are now in electronic or digital format. Hence, it is not surprising why big corporations invest significant amount of money on information technology.
Business infrastructure does not only refer to buildings and other concrete structures. It also refers to the main support systems of a business such as technological infrastructure. Unlike concrete and metal infrastructures, technological infrastructures need to change more frequently. This is in order to adapt to the rapidly changing economic environment. Business entities that are capable of fast technological adaptations are more capable of competing on the global scale.
Information technology is crucial to business infrastructure. It can be considered as the nervous system of business. This is particularly true for large corporate businesses that have many branches and varied operations. A fast food business, for instance, rely on the supply logistics of mass-produced ingredients such as burger patties. The efficiency of fast food logistics is dependent on how the individual restaurant branches communicate with the inventory chain. All of these are possible because of computer the networks and databases that are updated in real time.
Information is both a commodity when it comes to business operations. It is a commodity because business entities purchase it in the form of software applications. Information also corresponds to the inventory or stocks of products. For some businesses such as online businesses, information is a commodity that they buy in the form of high traffic keywords. From smart phone software applications to database of prospective clients, information is a commodity that has a wide range of value depending on the practical use.
On the other hand, information is also a currency in literal and indirect sense. Bank accounts, transaction revenues, balance sheets, and other information mostly have electronic counterparts. Majority of these actually exist as purely encrypted information in some computer networks. The simple payment of fares in commuter trains, for example, can now be conveniently done using a smart phone. Utility bill payments can also now be done online through secured servers of banks. Of course, shopping can also be done through the internet. All of these involve the transfer and recording of information in the form of electronic money.
Businesses that have advanced IT systems are likely to be more competitive globally. Paper-less and cash-less transactions are now becoming a norm of global trade.