Information Technology

In order to be competitive, companies have to adopt current technologies. One of the most effective ways to tackle arising business problems is by use of available information technologies in carrying out daily business operations. Use of technology has been associated with a competitive advantage which creates a difference between firms. One of the areas where technology is most required is in the data processing and handling. Computing becomes an important issue in both data processing and handling. Use of technology helps to bridge the gap between company`s stakeholders and managers. This can be achieved through the use of mobile phones and other communication devices. Customers can be informed about the products being produced in a certain firm because the firm’s information can be found on the firm’s website.

Technology chosen should suit the business requirements in order to solve different problems. In order to solve a business problem using modern technologies, the problem must be identified and carefully studied in order to determine the best method to solve it. The first step involves deep understanding of the business problem to be solved. This helps in determining the best approach and the right tools to use when solving the problem. The second and most vital step requires understanding of the available technologies. This helps in determining the best approach to be used when solving the identified problem.

Abstract

Technology is playing a key role in the development of firm`s amid stiff competition. Strong connections are being made between modern IT investments and enhanced business output. In order to remain competitive, companies are adopting modern technologies in data handling and other operations being carried out. High revenue earnings by large companies have been due to the incorporation of technology in their daily operations. It is very important for any company to ensure that there is effective communication between different departments. Communication is vital in passing of orders from the top managers to other workers in a firm. Mobile application has been one of the simplest technological applications in many firms. It enhances communication among the workers and their managers to ensure smooth flow of operations. Technology can be applied in solving arising business problems for improved performance. An example of the mobile application is the use of smartphones and tablets. Cloud storage has been in use by most big firms to help in managing and storage of large data involving daily operations. Data storage problems can be solved by the use of cloud storage because the application does not only help in data storage but also in sharing of the processed data. Managers can, therefore, track the performance of their employees because of the easy access to their employees` data.

Liberty Mutual Insurance Company

Company background

Liberty Mutual insurance company is found in the United States but it has many branches in other countries. The company is based in Boston. The company has been a global property insurer for many years. Liberty Mutual was founded in 1912 and it has been offering a number of services and insurance products to its customers. The long life of Liberty Mutual has enabled it make extremely huge profits from its daily operations. Some of the insurance products and services Liberty Mutual offers to its customers are: personal automobile, compensation to workers, general liability, fire and surety and group disability among others. The company has been able to make huge revenues from its operations enabling it to expand widely by establishing external operational sites outside the United States (Kangas, 2003).

This American-based insurance company operates under a very stiff competition provided by rival competitors in the same field. The company is composed of a varied cluster of insurance companies that operate internationally. On its formation, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company operated as an Employee Insurance company. In 2002, the shareholders approved the conversion of Liberty Mutual Insurance Company plan giving rise to the formation of Liberty Mutual holding company.

With its large scale operation mode, Liberty Mutual insurance company is faced with challenges of handling a lot of data concerning its operations. The company has been able to establish external operational bases in other countries. A large number of automobile owners and companies have insured their assets with Mutual Liberty Insurance Company. This has enabled the company to excel in the insurance industry competition.

Business problem

Data management has been a challenge to many large companies because they are involved in handling huge amounts of data in their daily operations. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company has expanded its operations by launching new operational branches outside the United States. The expansion has been facilitated by huge revenues made by the company that has been providing insurance service to its customers for many years. The company insures several millions of people not only in the United States but also in European countries. The large number of customers served by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company poses an internal challenge to the firm. The major problem facing the company in the resent years has been the problem related to data processing and handling (McDonald, 2010).

The huge amount of data in Liberty Mutual Insurance Company has been due to the growing number of customers. There has been a lot of documentation when new customers are applying for an insurance cover in the company. Several millions of customers served by Liberty Mutual translate to a large amount of data to be processed and finally stored for future reference. Huge data management is a big problem to Liberty Mutual Insurance Company which translates to some errors in financial calculations (Soares, 2012). To reduce this effect, technology has to be applied in daily operations of the company. Use of technology will increase efficiency of the firm at the time improving customer relations.

Benefits to the company

Cost Effective and Marketing

In order to expand the market, companies have to adopt modern technologies when advertising their products and services. Customers can access information regarding different products and services via a company`s website. By adopting such modern technology as cloud computing, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company will be able to market its products and services to its customers. The customers will not have to go directly to the company’s office to get information. Growing market will play a big role in improving the public image of the company hence more customers will be attracted (Brien, 2009). The approach mostly assists the financial institutions like Liberty Mutual Insurance Company.

Secure data storage

Being a commercial company dealing with property insurance and handling of financial matters, good data security is vital for the running of Liberty Mutual insurance company. Use of advanced data storage methods in Liberty Mutual Insurance Company guarantees secure data storage . Most insurance companies have issues in maintaining safe custody of sensitive documents and data related to their customers’ financial assets (Guttman, 2007). Secure data storage will increase the customers’ confidence and trust in the company. This will be an indirect way of attracting more new customers to the insurance company leading to the company`s expansion.

More revenues will be obtained from the large number of customers willing to insure their property with Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. Secure data storage will also protect the company from huge losses incurred by insurance companies when financial data gets into the wrong hands leading to loss of money. Such organizations dealing with a huge amount of capital require safety of both the data stored and tangible assets. In order to ensure safety of information in an organization, there is a need for regular evaluation storage facilities available in the firm. The systems should be also regularly updated to ensure they remain secure and free from unauthorized users (Slabeva, 2010).

Increased profitability

From the improved customer services and data handling, Mutual Liberty Insurance Company will enjoy an increased flow of new customers. The customers will be attracted by good service delivery and the attention they get from the company. Being a financial firm, customers will mainly focus on the security of their property and the security given to the insured properties. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company will be able to meet all these customers’ needs by making use of the safe data storage technological means. This will create a good image of the company and it will attract more people willing to transact with the company in large amounts. This will increase the profitability of the company due to a large number of customers willing to transact commercial deals with the company (Hogos, 2011).

Quality service delivery

Technology will play an important role in improving the quality of services offered to customers by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. Customers will be able to access their financial reports without having to make their way to the company’s headquarters. In time of application for an insurance cover, the process will be simplified due to the use of the cloud computing method. This is due to the ability of customers to access the company’s website. The company will be also able to market its varied products online by making its website available to all its customers (Flanagan, 2007). This will improve the company`s service delivery leading to more customers flowing to the company. Accuracy plays a key role in delivery of quality services to customers. This can be achieved through a regular update of the technology being used in an organization. Quality services attract more customers leading to increased sales hence huge revenues.

Accurate and fast data processing

Use of machines, like computers, leads to a possibility to obtain accurate results. Large firms have to make use of technology for accurate data processing to avoid mistakes in data management. Computers are more efficient and accurate compared to human beings in the data processing tasks. Since property insurance deals with a huge amount of money transactions, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company has to adopt modern technologies in data handling. The large number of customers will also require the company to use technological means in data processing. This will ensure that accurate data is processed and stored for future reference. Use of Cloud computing in Liberty Mutual Company will result to quality data processing in the daily financial transactions being carried out in Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. Accuracy of the data being produced will ensure that errors related to miscalculations are avoided together with maintaining good data storage for easy access when needed (Hugos, 2011).

Intensified competition against rival companies

Liberty Mutual Insurance Company operates in a very competitive market facing the challenge of losing some of its customers. The insurance industry in the United States is a very competitive area in business and this affects Liberty Mutual Company in several ways. The company faces stiff competition from Western United Insurance Company which offers similar products and services. This competition issue faced by Liberty Mutual Company can be eliminated by the incorporation of modern technology in its operations (Brien, 2009). Use of cloud computing will ensure that the company improves its service delivery to its customers. The number of customers will increase because they will be attracted by the quality services being offered by the insurance company. This will pose a threat to the rival companies who will be kicked out of the competition by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company (McDonald, 2010).

Expand Services

Due to the use of modern technology, better services can be made available to customers. This will increase customer loyalty. More sales will be made and this will lead to huge revenues being earned by the company. This mostly applies in insurance companies because they deal with huge amounts of money which requires trust from their customers. As trust between the company management and customers increase, the competitive advantage of the company also increases leading to better customer relations. Operations will therefore be expanded to accommodate the increasing number of customers.

Use of technology will help the company reach a large number of customers who will play an important role in expanding business operations. This has been observed in Liberty Mutual Insurance Company since it has expanded over the years. The company has been able to establish external operational branches outside the United States (Kangas, 2003). The public image of the company will be also improved resulting from good services offered by the company. This will also lead to an increased number of customers willing to have financial transactions with the company.

Improved Service Quality

Use of technology ensures that services are delivered to customers in time. The use of cloud computing will act as a good venue to communicate the company’s intentions and changes to their potential customers. Customers can also access their financial reports and other information using the company’s website. These services are aimed at satisfying customer needs and can be accomplished by use of technology. Accuracy is vital in both data processing and management. Use of technology guarantees a secure data storage. Improved service quality will attract more customers leading to expansion of the business. Huge revenues will therefore be obtained due to the large number of customers looking for the quality services and products. Good services will attract more customer and this will lead to an increased number of customers (Guttman, 2007).

Advantages associated with cloud computing

Agility

The computer application helps enhance the tracking of data resources together with the infrastructure resources. The system used in cloud computing has the ability to control data from external sources to prevent entry of unwanted information into stored data. This use is most vital to large companies dealing with huge financial data resulting from the large number of customers they serve.

Allow application programming interface

The system allows efficient interaction between different software installed for data processing. The information can therefore be shared by different people using the system. In the same way, managers are able to track the progress of their employees in different working places. This therefore becomes a vital tool in data management and sharing. Representation State Transfer is one of the most commonly used interfaces in cloud computing which makes it possible for data to be sent to other computers in the system (Schultz, 2006).

Cost effective

Due to the use of cloud computing, cost is reduced because one source of data can be shared by different users in the system. The sharing of data helps in reducing the cost incurred when data has to be replicated for every employee to access it. This reduces cost incurred by large companies when transferring data from one source to another. Applications are, therefore, easily moved from one user to another. This is one of the most essential ways through which cloud computing increases the efficiency of a firm`s operations (Kangas, 2003).

Enhanced flow of information

Communication is vital in an organization as the top officials would like to pass a message to their employees. Application of information technology is vital in ensuring proper flow of information within the organization and to the potential customers. In order to achieve this, there is a need to adopt information technology which can be achieved through web-based teleconferencing devices. The use of this modern technology will facilitate communication with a large group of people. This becomes most useful when managers are communicating with their employees over long distances. Videoconferencing is also enhanced by the application of information technology which is very useful to firms (Soares, 2012).

Location independence

Users of the system can access information using the company`s website from different places and even different countries. This reduces the cost of travelling or making calls to the company in order to obtain information. Use of web information also helps managers in large companies to interact with their employees who work in different working areas. The system also allows sharing of information stored in the web and this becomes of vital use to customers in getting information about a company’s products. Through networking, data can be shared and accessed by many people at the same time. This helps to market a company in different regions and at the same time it used as a venue to advertise products and services being produced.

Security

Data security is vital to prevent unauthorized persons from accessing the information stored. The system improves security of stored data through data centralization. Financial institutions are major victims of technological robbery when sensitive data is accessed by unauthorized persons. Such institutions together with insurance companies should make use of this system to ensure security of the data stored (Hugos, 2011).

Cheap maintenance

It is cheap to install cloud computing systems. This is because all users can access the service from one source or distributed from one main computer in a working place. This reduces the installation costs that are associated with installing the system in every computer. Besides reducing the installation cost, the system will ensure easy access of information for employees in a firm.

Broad network service

The system allows sharing of information over a wide area which makes it possible for interested parties to get information regarding a certain product. Through internet connections, customers can access crucial information of a certain product and this will lead to the free flow of information from a company’s website (Guttman, 2007). Together with this, there is effective communication between the management and employees in a firm. This is achieved by having all the computers in an organization connected to facilitate sharing of information. The system can also facilitate communication and data sharing.

Rapid elasticity

Services given to customers can be easily modified to satisfy customers` needs. This is achieved by having flexible operating system in a firm. The flexibility of technological systems in an organization is very vital so as to allow change when needed. This mostly applies to large financial institutions that serve a large number of customers (Brien, 2009). The systems used in such institutions should be able to change when they need to accommodate a changing number of employees. This will also ensure that customers’ needs are met and quick response to changing customer needs is achieved.

Reduced operational cost

Use of technology will play an important role in minimizing expenses in the production process. There are different costs that companies incur when operating. Hiring of employees is a very costly task and costs organizations a huge amount of money. To reduce this effect technology can be applied which will see the reduction in a number of employees in a firm. This will offset the organization the costs of employing large number of workers. Technology is also effective and accurate which will ensure that errors made by employees are avoided. Some of these errors lead to huge losses of money to organizations (Flanagan, 2007).

Conclusion

Technology plays a vital role in production of accurate results in business operations. Both small and large firms should make use of the available technology in order to have good results in their activities. Use of modern technology in a firm ensures proper and secure data management. Use of technology in production of both goods and services helps a company increase output together with obtaining accuracy in data management. Large companies involved with large data processing should adopt technology and this will ensure that data is correctly processed and stored securely for future reference. Large financial companies like insurance companies are involved in handling and processing of huge information and data. Technology plays an important role in processing of accurate data together with storage of accurately processed data for future reference.

Despite the vital role technology plays in expansion and when solving rising business problems, budget constraints and program installation can be problematic to the managers. The process requires a lot of time and money to be fully implemented, which may be hard for some businesses to meet. Businesses which have already adopted technology should venture in updating their systems with any new set of technological advancements. This will ensure that the businesses remain competitive.

Recommendations

Technology keeps on growing with new inventions being made. Businesses that have already adopted the new technology should focus more on improving their level of technology by regular evaluation of their systems. This will ensure that companies get updated on any new technological idea in the market. It is also the obligation of the management team in an organization to ensure that the available technology is appropriate for the company. An example is the communication that connects potential customers and the company. Technology should be up to standards to ensure that there is smooth flow of operations that will bring satisfaction to customers.

Workers should be also trained on the usage of the adopted technology in an organization. This will ensure that the employees can comfortably work with machines and software installed. This will lead to quality output and quality services provided to customers of the organization. The technology chosen should be efficient enough not to cause delays in operations and when serving the customers. The smooth flow of activities will lead to increased revenues. The kind of technology chosen should be also flexible enough to accommodate any change in an organization. This is most common in large financial institutions like Liberty Mutual Insurance Company because such institutions handle huge data involving huge amount of money transactions.

Modern technologies like cloud computing used in large financial institutions play a vital role in development of good interaction between managers and their employees. The technology chosen for a company should therefore be able to meet the business requirements. In solving business problems, the technology adopted should be able to eliminate the obstacles hindering the working progress of the organization. In large companies that deal with a lot of information, the systems should be regularly updated to ensure efficiency in data processing.

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