Many of the experts believe that as labor was the key resource in the agricultural age, the capital was in the industrial age. similarly, the information will be a resource of paramount importance in the post-industrial age (Sheth, 1994).
The significance of information in the contemporary era has increased a thousand folds and organizations are increasingly realizing that quality information has become an invaluable source to organizational success. Information technology has shaped the way that information is collected, presented and analyzed for the managers. For this purpose, top management has recognized the role of information technology and they are investing billions of dollars to arm themselves with strategic weapons against the competitors. They know that in this period of cut-throat competition information technology is the only available tool that can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization.
Information technology can increase organizational efficiency and effectiveness in many ways. Firstly, it can reduce the operating costs by automation of various processes. The trend of computerized billing and account management testifies of the above value provided by information technology. Secondly, it enhances the quality of product or service by providing quality assurance which can be also described as reducing the number of errors per unit of activity. Thirdly, they provide value-added services which can be a source of competitive advantage either through differentiation or low-cost. Federal Express utilizes information technology to inform its customers about the status of packages in the transit which differentiates it from its competitors. Finally, its most important mileage comes from business intelligence which improves the quality of strategic decisions. Many of the supermarket stores have shifted to adopt information technology to analyze the trends of their customers and target customized products to them. .