The key to any successful business or organization is good management. Many organizations and businesses use technology to manage specific tasks on a daily basis. I can define Management as an act of planning, directing, and evaluating any activity. Management involves authority (the right to direct actions) and responsibility (accountability for actions).
So we have to look at how technology can be used in the planning process of any organization, in directing and evaluating. In brief, technology can be used in research and development, it can be used in production, it can also be used in marketing, it can also be used in monitoring performance of employees. All these processes are essential in management and they can not be achieved with out the help of technology.
What are the functions of management? Company managers have to carry out the following functions plan, organize, actuate and control company or organizational activities:
(1) Planning: This includes setting short-term and long term goals for the company or parts of it. Planning also involves setting a course of action to meet these goals. Planning activities can result into an action plan or plan of work. An action plan is a list of what needs to be done, who will do it, and when it is to be done.
(2) Organizing: This involves structuring of an organization or work force to address company goals. Organizing makes sure that people, materials and equipments are secure and scheduled to meet the action plan.
(3) Actuating: This involves initiating the work related to the action plan. Actuating causes plans to take form. With this function, products and services are built, or services are provided.
(4) Controlling: This involves comparing results against the plan. Controlling could include evaluating purchasing activities, product quality, work performance, inventory levels and much more.
Considering the above four functions of a manager, let’s learn how to use of technology in management considering the responsibilities of the manager:
- Use technology to manage information: Since managers have to use information during the process of planning and organizing organizational activities, they have to use technology to manage this information and access it at any time. Using technological systems like (MIS) management information systems, managers will be in position to execute important decisions and actions required in business growth and development. By definition, a management information system (MIS) is a system that provides periodic, predetermined, and ad-hoc reporting capabilities. Reports generated by MIS systems summarize information to support decision making tasks. MIS’s can provide reports to a manager in various ways. These reports can be periodic, summarized, exceptions, comparative and ad-hoc. MIS, generate these reports from a database of transaction processing systems (TPS) and customer integration system (CIS) , the information delivered is always summarized for easy interpretation and this helps managers in creating business plans basing on verified data.
- Use technology to manage business contacts: Managers or business owners can use contact management systems to organize and manage business contacts. These contacts can be for customers, suppliers, or business partners. As a business grows and expands, also the number of contacts for customers and suppliers will increase, this will demand for a technological system, to help you keep these contacts and retrieve them at any time. You can start by organizing your contacts; separate your customers from your suppliers or partners. You should always update the contact list of your customers, because some stay, while others go. With an organized customer database, business owners can contact their customers at once and suggest deals or discounts which in return improve customer service yet it also saves the business owner or manager time. Bulk email senders can import contacts from your database, and they also have email templates which you can edit and contact all your customers in just one minute.
- Use technology for human resource management: After the planning process, the business owner will have to execute their goals. During this process, they will need human resource which will help in accomplishing specific tasks. Some of this labor can be skilled labor or semi-skilled labor. The manager or business owner can use technological tools like the internet to post jobs on online job portals. After this process, they can use technological tools to illustrate tasks for each employee and also use technology to monitor the performance of each employee.