Information and Communications Technology
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Customers buying from home are now able to buy even their shopping online. One of the main advantages of online buying is that it is available 24 hours and seven days a week, so the user can buy from anywhere and whenever they want. It saves time so the customer will not need to travel to the supermarket or the bank, they could just switch on their computer and start buying, and customers can also check stock before they buy the product.
The company is taking advantage is well, because they have less overheads; also they have a wider audience globally because everyone can visit the company’s website from where ever they want. Another advantage is that they will have increased revenue from those unable to shop on the high street these are people who are disable or pregnant.
Some of the disadvantages of using the online shopping is that they sometimes the payment is upfront without viewing the product or its reviews. There are also issues with security where hackers can steal credit card number and commit fraud.
Lastly the loss of human interaction where the customer won’t get to speak to an adviser but instead the customer just reads about the product. The company has disadvantages is well where the company may need to employ new staff with ICT skills or pay to re-train existing staff. The initial start up cost can be high and the company will always need to be updating the website. Also not everyone has internet access to so high
Street services still need to be maintained.
Call centres and customer enquiry
Call centres and customer enquiry have change and made a big effect on our lives. First of all ICT made a big change on the customer help lines where once the customer calls in to ask or discuss something they will not be able to talk to a real human immediately but instead the customer will need to select a option then wait in the queue to be answered, this has been a great disadvantage for both customer and the company because the next time the customer will not call in which will result in them to go to the store and this is where it affects the company because they will need to give the service in the store. Another disadvantage is that when the system is down in the call centre then the customer cannot get any help.
Although the ICT has affected people’s lives in a negative way it also has some advantages to people’s lives customers can now get support via the phone to deal with the problems with there computers which is much more flexible. It is also cheaper to get help on the phone rather than getting one-two-one advice. The last advantage is that the customer can get instant answers to their questions which will speed everything.
Technology enables flexible working that suits the needs of individuals and businesses, giving people the freedom to work while away from the office with all the resources they need to do their jobs effectively, workers are now able to work in there homes. Another advantage that ICT has made is that there is less use of papers where everything can be stored on databases. In the work environment the employees don’t have to get up and talk to other people because they could just send a e-mail to ask questions to other people, this also saves time in the work environment.
Some of the disadvantages ICT made on the work style is that some employees needs extra training also has the systems become more modernised the staff will need training again which this costs huge amounts of money. If the systems are down then the staff will not be able to work.
There are different types of communication the two most important ones are the internet and the mobile phones. Internet is the one of the most used communication because the user can use instant messaging, e-mailing and online video conferencing, the most important advantage is that these can be done anywhere and anytime. Also on the internet the user has access to everything that is available on the high street and on some products they have the access to “internet only” offers. Users don’t have to go out to visit someone, talk to someone or go shopping, because this can all be done on the internet.
The disadvantage of the internet is that not everyone has got internet access and the initial start cost is too high. There are also issues with security with hackers stealing credit card numbers and commit fraud. The main disadvantage is that there is loss of human interaction.
Communication-(ii) mobile phones
The other communication device is the mobile phones, there are so many advantages to the mobile phone some of these are, the user can use it one the move this means it can be used anywhere and anytime, by using WAP the user can access the internet on their phone. It is helpful in conditions where the user needs help it easy to alert the emergency services. The last advantage is that on most phones there is a camera where the user can take a photo or a video.
Disadvantage of using the mobile phone is that they cost too much if the use overuses it. Also if it is used for long period then the hydro-activity can result in a disease. The new colour screen phones use a lot of power so the user will need charge the battery all the time.
ICT has made a big influence on education it now allows students to start developing there ICT skills from an early age which allows them to use these skills when they become older, they could produce coursework once they have developed there skills. There have been support towards teachers and student’s one example includes cut price computers and laptops for those with learning difficulties such as dyslexia. E-learning has also been developed for those who do not have the time to study full time and prefer to enhance their qualifications from home. The online courses exist such as those for ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) this is provided by learn direct and Webwise.