AN INTERDEPENDENCE MODEL FOR BUSINESS AND IT EDUCATION.
By Nadir Ali Kolachi
Dec 06 - 12, 2004
The education is the process of educating, instructing or teaching activities that impart knowledge or skill. Education provides basic concepts of the desired future projects. Education is providing the proper understanding of the methods of adopting particular skills. The education is leading the people towards the main focus of doing things sequentially. Education is equipping the people with the tools they require to do things of their own choice in a much better way.
There are various disciplines in education people choose for their career. The most dominant disciplines are Engineering, Business, IT, Physics, Maths, Chemistry, History, Social Sciences and others. Each discipline comprises approximately more than five specialization categories. As Business and IT are the main focus of my research, that's why the topics related to Business and IT will only be touched upon in this research article.
Nowadays the education related to business discipline is considered as a hot cake in today's age. Business education is the one, which provides uniqueness in developing any human being to be a perfect in the required areas like Management, Communication, Psychology and Strategic marketing and finance domains. Business education is the method of understanding many complex techniques required for any successful business activity. Following are the features, which have been considered as the most favorable in addressing business needs of today's era through business education.
FLAVOR OF UNDERSTANDING BUSINESS
The business education apprises us with the proper understanding of business, it shows some ways to face the jargon of businesses, it intimidates the ways to face most of the obstacles, which usually turn upon while getting across with the business processes.
Business education provides people enough knowledge, which makes them comfortable in making some effective organizational decisions. The effectiveness of decisions comes out when one has total knowledge about some of the complications of business activities. Business education deals with the techniques of understanding ups and downs of the already taken initiatives and hone up the required skills to make forthcoming crucial decisions. Such business knowledge will help managers to take their companies to the climax of the success. Because of the aforesaid fact, the well-defined popular term that right decision at the right time is required for the success of any business.
Risk is an action of any business activity for which no body is sure about the success or failure of that activity. But it is also sometime advisable to take risk to test their luck for some particular business trades but risk can also be decreased provided if you possess some managerial skills. Such managerial skills are answered in the business education. Business education facilitates managers with some managerial techniques to analyze risk and develop some methods to cope up with them in a very proper manner. You should take risk but earn some techniques which shorten some big dangerous of failure and increase some chances towards success.
MINIMIZE THE WASTAGE OF THE COMPANY'S RESOURCES
This is one of the very motivating techniques which is lying with enough experienced personnel in the organization. This technique leads the managers to move their organization in a way where all check and balance of the company's records and assets are monitored in much smarter way. This technique gives companies an edge of full utilization of the resources, for-example — if any manager mistakenly invested in any less profitable project, it is of-course, wastage of that whole money which was suppose to get satisfactory return if invested in any better profitable project. This cognizance can be learnt in business education, which will make you to save company's resources from any wastage and open new avenues to utilize resources efficiently.
Generating funds is not bed of roses; it is not possible to generate funds unless you have main focus on any waving situation time to time. Business education teaches us to comprehend an exact situation of situational changes and identifying good time to investment, time value of money and return. Business education is the virtual answer to make one rupee into rupees two or more with in no time. This all required from today's managers, such guts could only be learnt from business education only.
MANAGING THE WORKFORCE EFFECTIVELY
As we know that whenever we talk about company we basically talk about three main resources of any organization — the physical resources, financial resources and human resources. The last one is most important and considered main hand behind the success of any company. People are main hubs for furnishing organizations. The workforce is handled by having their recognition and giving them opportunities followed by competitive remuneration. If such policy is adopted, then no doubt that all the employees will put efforts in achieving organizational goals. There are many subjects throughout business education where HR chapters are frequently discussed to hone up the graduate's skills in getting work done through effectively managed workforce.
ORGANIZATIONAL FUTURE PLANS
The other factor which business education provides to the managers are the futuristic predictions and plan about the development of an organization. The business leaders are responsible to move the organizations to the desired direction otherwise some hidden complication will put organizations at stake. To evade from such dangers, business education comes up with solutions of good future plans of organizations development.
DEVELOPING STRATEGIES TO COPE UP WITH THE FORTHCOMING CHALLENGES
The forthcoming challenges like all online banking; information overload, knowledge management and mobile business in particular are to be dealt with very effectively to make the organizational roots stalwart. It is bit difficult to come up with quick solution of huge complicated problems. Business education in some E-Commerce and MIS courses got the answers to deal with.
CREATING A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
The term competitive advantage means that anything uniqueness in your product, which is not available in competitor's product. To develop a competitive edge, the responsible managers look for strategies and develop plans to bring any differentiation in the product to entice the customers. The business education trains us in such beneficial issues.
ETHICS OF DOING BUSINESS
The ethics are the codes of conduct. These are positive principles, which have lots of impact on the society, any domain of business or social activity. Companies must follow proper business ethics. Business education teaches us to maintain the integrity of the customers and provide ways to eliminate the non-repudiation ways if any.
All the above factors are considered as crucial business issues to address and crux of business opportunities to improve.
Information Technology education is an other hot cake in today's age. IT education provides the means of transferring information from one node towards an other node, catering the needs of dealing huge data records. It gets us with the development of networked information systems throughout the whole organization and connectivity with the rest of the world. Following are the paramount factors by which IT education maintains the requirement of an organization.
The most difficult hindrance companies are facing is the information overload. This information overload is managed due to the advancement in databases. IT education has provided solution to data-mine the required data from data warehouses in seconds. Any huge information is stored very easily and we have technology to help us in getting backups of all those data.
PROPER RETRIEVAL OF THE DATA
Retrieval of data is to get data from data warehouse or other advanced database technologies from anywhere. This has become possible because of the miraculous advancement in communication technologies. The manual data is not easy to retrieve in the required time but technology brings much easiness to retrieve it with in seconds. The access can be easy for authorized people in any place where you are networked.
ADVANCE COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS
The miraculous development in communication system has brought every nations very closer to share one and other's information and utilize that information according to their needs. IT education lets us know about electronic and world mobile telecommunication systems. We come to know about the benefits and complex transaction processes because of such systems. These help us in doing business with various nations.
WORLD CONNECTIVITY METHODS
After the advent of advanced communication systems, the world's connectivity methods have become more demanding and some time complex as well. An IT education is the guiding way to adopt some affordable connectivity methods. These methods vary from company to company and depends on the need of an organization.
EFFICIENT TRANSMISSION OF INFORMATION
The advancement in networking applications and mobile technologies are the main source of effective transmission of information. This has been a main focus of IT education since 1990s. IT managers and Network specialists are efficient enough to accept the challenges and find methods to address them.
An IT education had brought various beneficial ways of doing easy and efficient transactions. The person sitting faraway from US country but can do transaction with in seconds to any other part of the world. Such things are possible because of an IT education.
WELL-MANAGED DATA FOR CRM
Customer Relationship Management method is the possibility of managing huge customer data, their demographics, psychographics and changing behavior through the advanced ERP connected set up. Identifying customers, maintaining the whereabouts and their changing preferences towards product. An IT education is the main hub to keep huge records of customer.
NEW METHODS OF SCM
I think, gone of the days when IT managers were focusing on the Information Systems only but new trend is not only identifying customers from every part of the world but properly formulate strategies to get the product into the customer's hands by locating appropriate geographic wheel which will create supply chain management activity. This is one of the modern discussion topics in an IT education
EFFECTIVE INTER-INFORMATION SYSTEMS
IT education creates many directions to internal information systems set up which provides very efficient communication, sharing of information, hardware/software and much more. The IT managers in such cases encourage the people to come forward with some new innovative ways.
This is a planned approach, which gives evolution to intranet set up of any organization and then connected to the rest of the world.
All the above factors are constellation of IT systems which can take the responsibility of maintaining proper flow of information, transaction and other important activities of the organizations.
In 1992, the advent of an Internet technology mesmerized all executive level managers to bring their companies on the web arena. People had supported the opinion that if you have an online presence, you have got everything, so in such manner, every manager started to make heavy investment in developing good and attractive company's web pages to let the world know about their presence. Unfortunately, they did not get the expected results as they thought of online presence. The reason of negative results was not other than missing business and marketing philosophy, which IT people, had less focus on. The marketing philosophy shows the way to attract and make positive and valuable perception about the company and its products.
IT education provides companies the way to be linked with rest of the world while business education caters the needs to understand other company's strategies and develop ways to bring any distinction towards their product or services.
IT education provides the way to deal with today's huge information overload while Business education's knowledge management moves companies to identify which information is for which decision and which resources are for what categories.
IT education is the platform where all top actors of the companies are closer to one an other while business education is like any conference room where all management gurus are suggesting the points of organization's success.
IT education facilitates managers to develop efficiency of doing exact things like connectivity, storage of records and communication while business education gets us the effectiveness of doing the right things like effective and timely decision making, managing workforce and dealing with required situational strategies.
IT education provides the managers the right things of technical aspect while business education gives us efficiency of business aspect. But in today's age these both disciplines can never be separated because all the business systems are the combination of IT and Business marketing. There is a great need of developing the curriculum, which supports both of them and might be merged in one to an other discipline. Following are some of the mixed categories model, which I have named as an Interdependence model for Business and IT education.
BUSINESS INFORMATION SYSTEMS
These systems are increasing the efficiency of business activities through computer usage. The objective of BIS is to maintain satisfactory transactions about the business. BIS includes purchasing, electronic funds transfer, electronic data interchange and transfer of business dealings through computers. This type of information system seems to cover both business and IT education categories. If some one wants to get complete understanding of such information systems, he must be educated in business and IT concepts first, and then must be told about the working of both in one category as how they are mixed, how business can be pierced into computer based business systems.
MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS
The main theme of this system is to identify the nodes of responsibility and connect them with each other. The transactions of information level from first line managers towards middle managers and then top-level managers is possible because of such systems. These information systems maintain disciplines of certain responsibilities from transaction processing systems to decision support systems and then top-level expert support system managers. For equipping with such system one has to be very potential in acquainting with the complete concept of management and then information systems. The inputs like entry of data and payroll towards the output like reports and final decisions about certain problems are demanding concepts for such systems
ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING
This is the planned software set up which connects various organizational departments; this system approach is to maintain more coordination among the departments. Here the coordination factor is for business education but this coordination is possible because of an IT education. Therefore, this concept again supports the mixed approach of Business and IT education.
ELECTRONIC BUSINESS MODELS
Business model is an approach towards finding any unique idea, which makes difference in the companyís product, or any such activity leading towards the profitability. The traditional business models like intermediaries role model, marketing approach model and advertising model are now converted into IT-based environment which has been known like electronic broker model, Internet marketing model and internet commerce or online advertising model. This is again mustering the concept of mixed curriculum of Business and IT education.
MOBILE COMMERCE METHODS
The advancement in mobile technology has flourished many business activities into a very satisfactory position. Today's manager and any personnel or any other common person who is very busy can check his or her bank account while he is on the way, he can order any merchant and can get anything before he reaches at home or office. This method has accelerated some other business activities also where customers and sellers can deal just in seconds. This is once again supportive for business education where all business activities can come. On the other hand, IT education makes such activities possible through mobile technologies.
After this interdependence model for both IT and Business disciplines, the following framework has been developed to create and focus mixed curriculum for both of the disciplines.
A FRAMEWORK OF BUSINESS & IT EDUCATION
Finance & Economics
System Analysis and Maintenance
The framework comprises on four main pillars where each pillar has further four more important categories. Each category represents complete gist of its pertinent category to cater the need of today's fast paced changing technological age and knowing the fast changing customer preferences through faster development in Business and IT models.
The first two pillars indicate the separate entity factors where as the last two pillars are the mixture of Business and IT education disciplines
The first pillar covers the pure aspects of business, the subjects that deal with the complications of business and provide methods to make the businesses effective.
The second pillar has the pure IT systems, which help us in the proper transaction, communication and networked setup of the today's required organizational activities.
The third pillar is the blend of IT and Business categories. Communication helps us to know the modern need of electronic communication, which helps us in perceiving communication with other person, communication with other organizational branches, transferring data and information with in seconds. On the other hand, business communication covers the aspect of exact and ethical communication activity, the proper regards, the proper follow up and excellent presentation skills. Moreover, Organizational and International communication are the basic nodes of linking one company to an other company at the globe.
The fourth pillar is about the research, which is opening ways for managers to know and develop business plans, projects and makes them global and easy through technological models.
Since IT and Business education have almost taken up the charge of modern business activities, we are in great need of developing one mixed curriculum for IT and Business education to avoid the mishaps which IT people get across alone and also evade from the blunders which business people can come up when they just follow only brick and mortar scenarios. Its time to facilitate, train & equip our Senior and Young guns with the blend of IT and Business education as they could abate the forthcoming complex business storms and open the opportunistic windows of Organizational successes in this fast paced business and technological era.
The writer is the Faculty member of Bahria University, Karachi