Tecnologías de la información y la comunicación (information and communications technology)
1. Fundamentación del tema
This topic is part of the Business Communication Learning Unit (UDA, for its acronym in Spanish), which belongs to the sixth semester of the Licenciatura en Contador Público (public accountant). The importance of this topic lies in expanding the knowledge about the use of information and communications technologies in the workplace, since they influence the daily life of a company. This way, the student will understand, in English, the role of information and communications technologies in business development.
2. Objetivo didáctico
Identify the importance of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) in the business world, as well as explain the concepts of assertiveness, body language, business communication, and types of communication to promote efficient communication, knowing examples of its application.
3. Contenido didáctico
Hi there! Welcome to this educational resource. This time we will talk about the areas of technology and communication for businesses. We will also learn different concepts such as assertiveness, body language, communication, communication cycle, which are factors that influence the workplace. We hope you can add these concepts to your professional life and you can use these tools as well.
It is important to remind you that good communication is essential for your life, not only in the workplace but also in your day-to-day social experiences. The tools that we will provide you are going to be part of your professional training, since we want you to be a successful accountant.
Now, why is Information and communications technology (ICT) important for business? We live in a globalized world. Today we know that businesses are managed differently than before, digitization is an evidence of this. That is why professionals must keep up-to-date with ICTs. On the other hand, communication is not only a part of our simplest conversations, but also of how we relate to our clients, suppliers, investors, etc. Therefore, there are many tools that will help you acquire the ability to communicate effectively and assertively.
Do you want to know more about this topic? Join us!
Desarrollo del tema
1. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)
ICTs have become an essential element in business management, since the information that emerges from its activities contributes to decision-making and basic business processes, being a key axis for survival in any type of organization.
1.1 Definition and importance
Information Communication Technology (ICT) is defined as “skills around computing and communications devices, software, hardware and technologies that operates them, applications (APPS) that run on them and systems that are built with them” (Mid-Pacific Information and Communication Technologies.
Center, 2014, in Cheong, 2016).
In the business area, for example, we can use these technologies in formal presentations to present a product, brand, service or project, using tools such as diagrams, tables, charts or images. This will make it easier to understand what we want to convey. In addition, that helps us to remember important aspects that we want to emphasize about the topic we are presenting.
The effect of globalization has had an impact on the way of doing business, not only locally but globally. This gives the advantage of reaching suppliers and consumers anywhere in the world, as long as there is access to an electronic device and an internet network. Every day it is easier and more common for trade to take place digitally. Therefore, it is important that you, as a business professional, know the technological tools that will help you to better develop your performance as a leader, entrepreneur, or business partner.
1.2 Communication cycle
Before showing you some ICTs used in businesses, we want to start with an introduction to communication.
As Duncan (2019) mentions, “communication is vital for the success of our relationships. Despite this, few understand what communication is and how it works. Understanding the communication process can provide us with the ability to build and maintain successful relationships with others. Also, learning to manage communication processes can provide us with powerful tools for turning conflict with others into mutual growth opportunities”.
The communication cycle helps us to understand the important elements that we must take into account to send and receive a message correctly.
We have to keep in mind these concepts:
- Sender: The subject who sends the message
- Receiver: The subject who receives the message
- Message: Set of symbols or signs
- Code: Language
- Context: The environment that surrounds the subjects in communication
- Channel: The media, way, or route by which the message is sent
- Feedback: The response will be received once the message is delivered
- Noise: In many cases, noise affects the clarity and effectiveness in which messages are sent.
We invite you to watch the next video that explains the 8 components of the communication cycle:
1.3 Communication in businesses
Let’s discuss some types of communication involved in businesses. But, before that, we are going to give you a definition of business communication:
“Business communication is the set of processes carried out by a company in order to deliver information (departments and positions of the company)”.
There are different types of business communication:
- Internal and external: Between internal or superior departments, and with external departments such as suppliers and clients.
- Bidirectional and unidirectional: The level of interactivity determines the feedback of the sent message.
- Ascending, descending, and horizontal: Communication with superiors, colleagues, and lower positions.
- Formal and informal: Technical, friendly, and using professional language in formal communication. On the other hand, informal language is used between peers, which encourages social relationships.
Assertiveness should be one of the main characteristics of communication. Haykal (2020) defines it as the ability to say things frankly, directly, and clearly.
Assertiveness will help us to create the correct message, the one that will be understood by all types of recipients. In the business environment, it is important to establish assertive communication with clients, suppliers, employees, investors, and all the people who are involved with our activities.
Suppliers need specifications of the material required by the company to make a product, for example, measurements, weight, characteristics, delivery time, payment methods, and price. If the communication between supplier and client is not clear, frank and direct, it could cause delays in product delivery, mistrust in the organization providing the material, and this, in turn, could mean losses for both entities and lack of payment for employees. Poor communication, or the lack of it, can cause all these repercussions in any company, large or small. So, the entire chain of events could be harmed if the information is not received and fed back correctly.
To learn more about assertiveness, you can watch the next video:
1.5 Advantages and disadvantages of ICTs
We can see different advantages and disadvantages in businesses, such as:
- Communication. Speed/time and money can be saved because it is much quicker to send or share information around. Communication is now more efficient for contacting business partners, friends, and family members all over the world. ICTs expand the availability for communications. Social networking sites, social media and software such as Skype allow video conference calls in real-time. Messages can be sent to numerous people and companies over long distances.
- Cost-effectiveness. The wide offer of telecommunication companies and smartphones results in more affordable services than in the past. For companies, ICT saves an incredible amount of money on business flights and accommodations. Just a few years ago there was no way to send a free phone message, but now, people use social networks for free communication, e.g. Viber, Skype, Facebook. This also means saving time and money on gasoline, as people can go shopping from home through online shopping.
- Greater availability. Websites are open for communication at any time. This implies that a business can be open anytime and anywhere, giving a customer the capability to purchase from different locations and different countries in the world.
- Bridging the cultural gap. Greater access to ICT has helped to build bridges between different cultures, giving them the opportunity to exchange views and ideas. Also, education is needed on both sides of the communication bridge to increase awareness and reduce prejudice.
- Creation of jobs. The best advantage of ICT has been the creation of new and interesting jobs in the computing sector. Computer programmers, web designers, and so on, have great employment opportunities created by the advancement of technology.
Chen, Dominguez and Ligon (2015)
- Lack of security or privacy. Although ICT has changed and became more convenient, it has also brought along privacy and security issues. People are worried that their personal information may go public through email hacking, phone signal interception, etc. ICT keeps changing almost every day, which means that people must be up to date with it to ensure their jobs. There are also risk factors with the proliferation of computer viruses, malware, spam, Trojans, etc.
- Unemployment. While ICT has streamlined the business process, it has also created job redundancies and outsourcing. By using computers instead of humans,employers save huge amounts of money, however employees lose their jobs as they are no longer needed.
- Reliance on technology. People don’t bother to read, calculate or write without the aid of computers anymore. At the same time they are losing the abilities of handwriting (why write if you can use the spell-checker), calculating without a machine even for minor additions, reading books (why read if there is so much information on the internet).
Chen, Dominguez and Ligon (2015)
Here is a short video about ICT, feel free to watch it:
1.6 Examples of applied ICT.
There are thousands of applications, tools, and networks that can help you obtain your business information instantly. That «instant information» is one of the main functions that should be in the tools you choose. Many of the tools that have been designed to control and manage business contain a wide range of diagrams, formats, options, document sharing, videos, or even the feature of calling in real-time and sharing updated information on the spot.
Of course, many digital business tools have their general, premium, and elite versions. Therefore, the cost of these applications should be considered in the company’s operating expenses. Each version of these tools that can be used for the business must be evaluated according to its functions and their usefulness for the company. Everything will depend on the management and control of the required information for each type of business.
Which are the most used?
To find out, you can read the next presentation prepared specially for you about some of the most used ICTs:
Tema 8. Tecnologías de la Información y la comunicación (Information Communication Technology)
We hope this text has helped you to open your perspective, as well as sowing the seed of curiosity to continue searching to develop yourself in a prosperous way. We invite you to continue searching, developing and implementing the best tools to make your work as professional and innovative as possible.
See you soon!
Resumen e ideas relevantes
It is important that you keep in mind:
- Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is defined as “skills around computing and communications devices, software that operates them, applications that run on them, and systems that are built with them”.
- Globalization has had an impact on the way of doing business, not only locally but worldwide. This gives the advantage of reaching suppliers and consumers anywhere in the world, as long as there is access to an electronic device and an internet network.
- Business communication is the set of processes carried out by a company in order to deliver information.
- There are different types of business communication like internal-external, bidirectional-unidirectional, ascending-descending-horizontal, and formal-informal.
- Assertiveness must be used to say things frankly, directly, and clearly.
- ICTs offer companies both advantages (like greater communication, cost-effectiveness, greater availability, bridging the cultural gap) and disadvantages (lack of security, reliance on technology).
- Examples of common ICTs are Google, Dropbox, Evernote, Zoom, and WhatsApp.
Fuentes de consulta
- Castillero Mimenza, O. (2020). Comunicación empresarial: tipos, características y errores comunes. Psicología y Mente. Recuperado de: https://psicologiaymente.com/organizaciones/comunicacion-empresarial
- Chen, A.N., Dominguez, J.G. y Ligon, K. (2015). Information and Communication Technologies (ICT): Components, Dimensions, and its Correlates. Journal of International Technology and Information Management, 24(4), Article 2. Recuperado de: http://scholarworks.lib.csusb.edu/jitim/vol24/iss4/2
- Cheong, J. (12 de abril de 2016). Why We should learn ICT? ictmalaysiablog. Recuperado de: https://ictmalaysiablog.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/why-we-should-learn-ict/
- Duncan, B.. (2019). Managing the communication cycle to build successful relationships and grow through conflict. Donnach.com. Recuperado de: https://donnach.com/index.php/en/explorations/learning/255-managing-the-communication-cycle-to-build-successful-relationships-and-grow-through-conflict
- Haykal, I. (2018). Comunicación asertiva: cómo expresarse de manera clara. Psicología y Mente. Recuperado de: https://psicologiaymente.com/social/comunicacion-asertiva
- Keep ¨Productive [Keep Productive]. (3 de mayo de 2021). Ultimate Guide to 2021 Productivity Apps . YouTube. Recuperado de: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwBy3zlMKoc&ab_channel=KeepProductive