IMPACT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ON ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE IN PUBLIC SERVICE SECTOR IN NIGERIA
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
Since the early years of the 20th century, the world has been experiencing a revolution known as information technology. Some consider it to be the most fascinating development since the industrial revolution around the mid-18th Century (Tom, 1991). This revolution is changing our daily lives at home and at work, in shops and banks, in schools, colleges and universities. It is changing the way people think, communicate and behave. Today, the world has become a global village with the internet, mobile phones and satellite networks shrinking time and space, bringing together computers and communications; resulting in new ways of communication, processing, storing and distributing enormous amounts of information (UNDP, 2001). Advancement in chip, satellite, radio, and optical fiber technology have enabled millions of people around the world to connect electronically regardless of national or international boundaries. This explosion in connectivity is the latest and the most important wave in the information revolution (Evans & Wurster, 1997).
Information Technology (IT) is clearly considered as a key growth area in this century, specifically, in a dynamic and highly competitive business environment which requires utilizing advanced IT tools to improve efficiency, cost effectiveness, and deliver high quality products and services to customers (Allen & Morton, 2004). IT is also considered as a tool of marketing, contacting customers and looking for possible customers, as well as presenting IT services as distinguished potential services for customers (UNDP, 2001; Werthner & Klein, 2005).
Organisations are increasingly using information technology to develop solutions to business problems, to improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of the decision-making process, to enhance productivity and service quality, to achieve dynamic stability, and compete for new markets (Attewell & Rule, 1984; Molloy & Schwenk, 1995; Boynton, 1993). According to Cerere (1993) organizations have always sought and adopted technologies that enhance efforts of their manpower in production and management. Indeed he noted that although it has evolved over a considerable period of time, information technology has emerged as an important tool in management of organizational operations.
- Information Technology
Information technology refers to anything related to computing technology, such as networking, hardware, software, the Internet, or the people that work with these technologies. According to Daft (1997) IT can be defined as the hardware, software, telecommunications, database management, and other information-processing technologies used to store, process, and deliver information. Information technology is commonly used to assist managers with direct control over business functions, personnel and other resources. As managers oversee resource coordination and allocation, it can be difficult to coordinate business functions across various projects. Information technology is one of the key innovations that is frequently implemented to assist in this process (Hobday, 2000). Peansupap and Walker (2005) maintain that IT is often implemented as it is believed to facilitate communication, improve integration, enhance productivity and service delivery (Bjork, 1999).
As organisations grow and change, they depend more and more on information technology for their survival (Feeny & Willcocks, 1998). Companies today implement and use information technology to find solutions to business problems, to improve management decision-making, enhance productivity and quality, and compete for new markets in our global and aggressive business environment (Porter & Millar, 1985). Moreover, IT can be seen as a powerful force that opens exciting opportunities for organisations to achieve their missions and goals in an effective way. Therefore, leaders in organisations must obtain an overall appreciation of the potential of IT and link the acquisition and utilization of IT to the organizational mission (Hacker & Saxton, 2007).