THE RELEVANCE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES IN MODERN OFFICE

THE RELEVANCE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES IN MODERN OFFICE

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ABSTRACT

This study was carried out in order to find the relevance of Information and Communication Technologies in modern office. The secretary who is an indispensable member of the office has been affected on one way or the other by the introduction of these Information Technology.

Find-out whether modern equipment has come to displace the role of the secretary or to improve the secretary efficiency.

How will information technology reduce the work-load of a secretary.

The research used the whole population of the staff as sample size. The population comprised of 40 staff of the bank.

Instrument used for data collection were the questionnaire and direct observation. The data was collected presented and analyzed by the use of table and percentage technology cash not replace secretaries rather it improve the secretary efficiency.

The researcher thereby recommend that every secretary should endeavour to upgrade their skills and knowledge on modern technologies so as to equip themselves and face challenges of information technology.


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

 Globally, Information technology has become a key element in economic development of many countries in the world. It is increasingly becoming a valuable and powerful tool driving development, supporting growth, promoting innovation, and enhancing competitiveness. Information technology offers opportunities for organizations to improve earlier stages of development. Organizations today are confronted with rapid changing market condition indicated by high merge rate and strong competitors. Under these condition, traditional management approach that focus on financial figures and on centralized, analytical planning methods are considered to be insufficient for effectively steering the organization in dynamic environment (Ahmed, 2008). 

The application of information and communication technology concepts, techniques, policies and implementation strategies to modern offices has become a subject of fundamental importance and concerns to all modern offices and indeed a prerequisite for local and global competitiveness. ICT directly affects how managers decide, how they plan and what products and services are offered in the banking industry. It has continued to change the way modern offices and their corporate relationships are organized worldwide and the variety of innovative devices available to enhance the speed and quality of service delivery. Harold and Jeff (1995) contend that financial service providers should modify their traditional operating practices to remain viable in the 1990s and the decades that follow. They claim that the most significant short coming in the banking industry today is a wide spread failure on the part of senior management in modern offices to grasp the importance of technology and incorporate it into their strategic plans accordingly.  

Woherem (2000) claimed that only modern offices that overhaul the whole of their payment and delivery systems and apply Information and communication technology to their operations are likely to survive and prosper in the new millennium. He advices modern offices to re-examine their service and delivery systems in order to properly position them within the framework of the dictates of the dynamism of information and communication technology. Agboola (2001) studied the impact of computer automation on the modern offices in Lagos and discovered that Electronic Banking has tremendously improved the services of some modern offices to their customers in Lagos. The study was however restricted to the commercial nerve center of Nigeria and concentrated on only six modern offices. He made a comparative analysis between the old and new generation modern offices and discovered variation in the rate of adoption of the automated devices.

Aragba-Akpore (1998) wrote on the application of information technology in modern offices and pointed out that IT is becoming the backbone of modern offices’ services regeneration in the world. Ovia (2000) discovered that banking in Nigeria has increasingly depended on the deployment of Information Technology and that the IT budget for banking is by far larger than that of any other industry in Nigeria. He contended that On-line system has facilitated Internet banking in Nigeria as evidenced in some of them launching websites. He found also that modern offices now offer customers the flexibility of operating an account in any branch irrespective of which branch the account is opened.

Singh (2002) presented that technology has introduced new ways of delivering modern offices and products to the customers, such as ATMs, and internet banking (IB). Hence modern offices have found themselves at the forefront of technology adoption for the past three decades. These changes and developments in the banking industry have impacts on serves quality, employee’s performance, future of the banking activities, and consequently its continually competitive ability in the world markets since going along with technology is one of the most important factors of organizations success in general and modern offices in particular. This motivates modern offices to spend more on technology and information to achieve maximum returns and attract large number of clients (Nyangosi, 2009).

 The role of information in decision-making cannot be overemphasized; and effective decision-making demands accurate, timely and relevant information. As the numbers of employees, customers and transaction increases in an organization the more it become multifaceted, and the information needed for effective management, planning, decision-making and control invariably becomes more complex. Decision-making is the task of every top management in an organization and they need relevant and timely information to assist in taking decisions. According to Lucey (2005), relevant information increases knowledge, reduces uncertainty and is usable for the intended purpose. However, there are difficulties in producing relevant and timely information, but with the advent of information systems most organizations in Nigeria especially the insurance corporations collect data which are raw facts to produce useful and meaningful information which can be used for decision-making which affects the current and future operations of the organization. Although, information does not serve as an alternative for good management but conversely management cannot be good without adequate information.

The role ICT in the banking sector became of interest to this study due to the significant role it plays in the economy by stimulating economic growth through the intermediation of funds to economic agents that need them for productive activities. This function is very vital for any economy that intends to experience meaningful growth because it makes arrangements that bring borrowers and lenders of financial resource together and more efficiently too than if they had to relate directly with one another (Adam, 1998; Ojo, 2007).

Hence, Information technology has been acknowledged as the life wire of modern offices in the financial sector as it promotes and facilitates not just the organizational performance but also staff performance of modern offices in the country. These therefore call for a pre-requisite need to embrace information technology. It is in view of this that this research work attempts to assess relevance of information and communication  technology on the performance of Staff in Nigerian banking sector today with reference to the case of Zenith Bank.

1.2 Statement of the problem

One of the main sectors that can affect a countries economic development is the operation undertaken by the banking industry. Most developed nations are operating their economy based on financial institutions like the banking sectors. As modern offices came through this many years, they have worked to take a competitive advantage by innovating different technologies to gain better staff performance and service excellence for customer satisfaction. As a result to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness in the banking sector, the information and communication technology is introduced.

The use of Information and communication technology in the banking sector in general is for a reason to create easy communication transaction, increase customer satisfaction and to facilitate workflow for secretaries in an organization. It is also important to note that with an increasingly global environment less limited by time or distance, nations around the world need to get connected and join the global networked community. Otherwise, they may fall further behind and the gap they have with the developed world could get wider.

As compared to the practice of different nations the Nigerian electronic banking system is lagging far behind than the rest of the world (Ganesh and Venkateshwar, 2014). Nowadays, the existing and new modern offices of the country are implementing the information and communication technology on a limited basis to maximize their performance. But, relevance on different stakeholders is not assessed to measure the importance of this huge investment.

Currently, Zenith Bank is undertaking E-Commercial banking service such as ATM Service, Internet banking, Mobile banking and other services throughout different branches in the country. This technology is delivered with huge investment under different difficulties. Developing (or Adopting) and implementation of an ICT is a very difficult task to undertake. In general it has an advantage of improving data storage, file and financial history management. It is also a key to improve customer service, facilitate the work flow and decision making. But, this technology has a high development and implementation cost. It also could minimize the number of employees working in an organization by placing different tasks on one person that could have different effects. Security issues and money laundering are the treats involved with this technology. One of the major challenges related to Information and communication Technology in Nigeria is Infrastructure. It is known that week telecom service of the country is affecting the operation of the modern offices causing customer dissatisfaction. 

Despite the different aspects of ICT and the researcher’s knowhow, there were different studies conducted in relation to the topic (Ahmed, 2008 and Adeoti, 2005). But there is no such study that tries to assess the general relevance of Information and communication technology on the overall staff performance by concentrating at Zenith bank. The problem associated with the study is to determine the true position of the banking system and what it should achieve if it will align with the global Information and Communication Technology. It is also the main concern of this study to assess the positive or negative relevance that ICT has created in relation to adoption and implementation on the secretaries at different levels.

1.3 Research Questions

1.      How is Information and Communication Technology relevant tosecretaries in Zenith Bank?

2.      What are the Contributions of using Information and Communication Technology in the Bank?

3.      What are the major problems recognized in using ICT?

4.      What is the practical Challenges Observed in using ICT?

1.4 Objectives of the Study

1.4.1 General Objective:

In general the objective of the research is assessing the relevance of Information and communication technology on secretaries in Zenith bank. 

1.4.2 Specific Objectives:       

The following are the specific objectives of the study: 

§  To determine the relevance of Information and communication technology on

secretaries in the bank.

§  To explore the contribution using Information and communication Technology in the Bank.

§  Identifying major problems in using ICT.

§  To identify challenges observed in using ICT.

1.5 Operational Definition of Key Terms

§  Information: Information is a data that has been processed. It is also referred to data that have a particular meaning within a specific context, or data that have been processed in such a way to be useful to the recipients (Ayatse, 2005).

§  Technology: According to the oxford advanced learners dictionary (7th edition) “technology is a specific knowledge used in practical ways in industry”. For example, designing new machines which are made to meet up the demand of current and future situation/trend.

§  Data: Data are facts, events and transactions, observations that describe a particular phenomenon. (Ayatse, 2005).

§  Computer: Computer is an electronic machine that can store, organize, and find information, do calculations and control other machines. It is also said to be an electronic data that accepts, process, stores and output data at high speed according to programmed instructions (Micro soft Encarta 2009).

§  Performance: Performance in this context entails how well or badly an individual/organization does something or how well or badly something works.

§  Bank: A bank is said to be an organization that provides various financial services to individuals like lending or keeping money for people. These modern offices provide security and comfort to customers.

§  Internet: This is an international computer network connecting other networks and computer from companies, universities etc. It is termed as a massive connector of network linking millions of computers.

§  Communication: This is the transfer of information from one point to another either electronically or non-electronically, with the information being understood by the receiver.

1.6 Significance of the Study 

The significance of this research work is that it would explore the relevance of information technology on the performance of secretaries in Zenith Bank. It is intended to investigate whether employees’ performance is relevanced by the technological innovation (ICT) adopted by the organization. It is hoped that this study would contribute to the promotion of the existing frontier or boundary between ICT and staff performance in the banking sector.

The knowledge that would be gained from this research work will assist management of modern offices to appreciate the importance and use of information technology to achieve the overall efficiency and effectiveness in operation. It would as well contribute to existing literature by identifying the major barriers to the adoption of this innovation on banking operation in Nigeria and suggest how to address them. It also is a valuation tool for students, academic institutions, and individuals that want to know more about the information technology relevance on staff performance in Nigerian banking sector.

1.7 Scope of the Study 

This study is limited to the relevance of Information and communication technology on the operations of banking sector and how it affects the performance of Secretaries Specifically, the information in this research work is limited to the activities of Zenith Bank. Mainly the researcher tried to asses and identifies in general the relationship between the employees of the organization and the relevance caused by the implemented system. 

1.8 Limitation of the Study

The study is conducted in Lagos because it is the commercial nerve center of the country. Since this study involves itself with one private bank in Nigeria, the findings doesn’t represent the whole Banking industry. Some respondents especially employees might feel uneasy to express their opinions genuinely on the subject matter in order to avoid any conflict with the management.

Some of the perceived limitations for this research are level of awareness, willingness, engagement, cooperation and dedication from the different respondents. Moreover, not giving the required full information as well as being unable to respond on time are also the inevitable limitations. The research study is restricted to 290 respondents working at different branches. Therefore, a detailed research would be needed to explore the relevance of information system at different modern offices which are found in the country.  Especially; with much, bigger sample size and a higher response rate so that a deeper analysis can be done for generalization. 

1.9 Organization of the Research Report

The report is organized in to five chapters. The first chapter deals with the introductory part of the paper in which background, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and concepts and organization of the paper are incorporated. The second chapter deals with the literature review. Third chapter incorporates type and design of research, participant of the study, the sources of data, the data collection tools or instruments, the procedures of data collection and the methods of data analysis. Findings of the study along with their interpretation and discussion are presented in chapter four. And finally conclusion and recommendation forwarded in the last (fifth) chapter.


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