Importance of Technology in Business

Technology plays a vital role in business. Over the years businesses have become dependent on technology so much so that if we were to take away that technology virtually all business operations around the globe would come to a grinding halt. Almost all businesses and industries around the world are using computers ranging from the most basic to the most complex of operations.

Technology played a key role in the growth of commerce and trade around the world. It is true that we have been doing business since time immemorial, long before there were computers; starting from the simple concept of barter trade when the concept of a currency was not yet introduced but trade and commerce was still slow up until the point when the computer revolution changed everything. Almost all businesses are dependent on technology on all levels from research and development, production and all the way to delivery. Small to large scale enterprises depend on computers to help them with their business needs ranging from Point of Sales systems, information management systems capable of handling all kinds of information such as employee profile, client profile, accounting and tracking, automation systems for use in large scale production of commodities, package sorting, assembly lines, all the way to marketing and communications. It doesn’t end there, all these commodities also need to be transported by sea, land, and air. Just to transport your commodities by land already requires the use of multiple systems to allow for fast, efficient and safe transportation of commodities.

Without this technology the idea of globalization wouldn’t have become a reality. Now all enterprises have the potential to go international through the use of the internet. If your business has a website, that marketing tool will allow your business to reach clients across thousands of miles with just a click of a button. This would not be possible without the internet. Technology allowed businesses to grow and expand in ways never thought possible.

The role that technology plays for the business sector cannot be taken for granted. If we were to take away that technology trade and commerce around the world will come to a standstill and the global economy would collapse. It is nearly impossible for one to conduct business without the aid of technology in one form or another. Almost every aspect of business is heavily influenced by technology. Technology has become very important that it has become a huge industry itself from computer hardware manufacturing, to software design and development, and robotics. Technology has become a billion dollar industry for a number of individuals.

The next time you browse a website to purchase or swipe a credit card to pay for something you just bought, try to imagine how that particular purchase would have happened if it were to take place without the aid of modern technology. That could prove to be a bit difficult to imagine. Without all the technology that we are enjoying now it would be like living in the 60’s again. No computers, no cellular phones, no internet. That is how important technology is in business.

Role of IT (Information Technology) In Business Growth

World is changing and along with it, flow of information is changing too. Consider as an example – the internet, it provides us with all latest happenings around the globe. Railways and Airways are connected with Information Technology. If we want to travel we can book tickets online, reserve rooms, etc. Sea routes are also connected. IT has become an essential part of our day to day life whether it’s field of education, or entertainment, or business; everything is touched by information technology. Doctors can also help patients online, prescribing medicines or helping other doctor in dealing with emergency cases.

Buying and selling has become quite easy now. Online shopping through credit cards and debit cards has made purchasing effortless. Moreover you can do shopping anytime as there is no time constraint; they are open around the clock. Banking is another area which has been automated. The things that were earlier done manually have been computerized. Managing accounts, transferring of cash, depositing, withdrawing is no more a tedious task. Another field where IT has brought immense growth is Business sector.

In this IT driven corporate world it is essential to determine new ways to grow in business. It is important to understand that top management cannot alone manage the business; there vision and IT together can achieve higher objectives. Information technology and business together refers to management resources and using information by computer tools for gathering, processing information, storage of information and distribution of information. Small scale businesses buy software packages in order to run their business whereas large business firms can appoint engineers to build their own software to support company’s tasks. This has resulted in new job opportunities such as computer programmers, analysts, developers (hardware and software), etc. Implementing IT in an effective manner would decrease the cost; cost which is expected at the time of failure. Also increases the flexibility.

Large sectors, complicated, complex sectors have been transformed into centralized/ decentralized organizations. Opportunities have been increased in business; companies unlike manufacturing or distribution also make use of software either in determining weather conditions, freshness of product, or managing company’s centers. Work can be optimized, costs can be reduced, and risks involved can be minimized and thus adds in growth of business. Determination of better strategies for business and solutions for business problems can be solved by IT. Companies may also exchange technology over the network.

The continuous growth in information technology is affecting all workers in the organization working at different levels, from top level executives to central level managing staff to lower level workers.

How to Write an Information Technology (IT) Business Proposal

Like most businesses these days, your information technology (IT) business is no doubt looking for more clients or is tasked with internal projects. To land a new client or get a project accepted, you will need to write a business proposal.

Never written one? Don’t panic—writing a proposal doesn’t have to be a daunting process, and after you’ve written your first proposal, all others will come much easier.

That’s because the goals and structure for any business proposal are the same: 1) introduce yourself, 2) highlight the services you offer, 3) describe the costs, and 4) persuade your prospective client that you are the perfect choice for the project. You can also speed up the proposal writing process by using pre-designed templates and studying sample proposals.

The basic proposal structure is the same whether your business is network cabling, building and hosting websites, coding software, designing hardware, running a data center, optimizing internal processes, doing IT training, or even asking for funding to create or grow an IT business. Here’s the order your proposal sections should follow: 1) introduce yourself, 2) summarize the prospective client’s needs, 3) describe your products, services and costs, and finally, 4) provide information about your organization, your credentials, and your capabilities.

You will want to include details about your particular products, services and business experience that are relevant to your client’s specific project. For example, website designers might need to include information about templates, widgets, or shopping cart technologies; network specialists may want to include specifications for cables and routers they recommend; IT trainers might include lists of courses and certifications offered; and so forth.

The most important idea to keep in mind is that the goal of any proposal is to convince potential clients to award you their contracts, convince your boss to sign-off on your proposed project, or possibly secure funding for a new venture. To persuade them, you must demonstrate that you can deliver the products and services they want. It’s never a good idea to send your clients only a price list; that will not substitute for a real proposal.

Your proposal should be tailored to a specific client and that client’s needs. This means you need to gather information about that client so that you can create a customized proposal to meet that specific client’s requirements. Don’t make the mistake of sending all your prospective clients an identical sales proposal. A proposal targeted to a specific organization or person is much more likely to succeed.

Now, getting back to the basic order described above, begin your proposal with a Cover Letter and a Title Page. In the Cover Letter, write a brief personal introduction and provide all your relevant contact information so the client can easily contact you for more information. The Title Page is exactly what its name indicates: a page with the title of your specific proposal (for example, “Proposal for Website Services for the Birchwood Company”, “Building a Records Management System” or “Plan for Updating MWP Corporation’s Computer Network”).

Next, after this introduction, write the section that describes the needs of the prospective client. In a lengthy proposal for a complex project, you should provide a summary preceding the detailed pages. In proposals to corporations, this summary is usually called an Executive Summary. In complex but less corporate proposals, the summary is usually called a Client Summary. On this summary page and in the detailed pages of this section, describe your client’s needs and goals and discuss the limitations or restrictions that may be associated with the project. Don’t insert your own ideas yet; this section is where you demonstrate that you understand the client’s needs.

In the last section of the proposal, you get the chance to promote your project, products and services. In this section you will include pages that describe precisely what you have to offer and what it will cost. This section should contain some pages with general headings like Services Provided, Benefits, Features, and Cost Summary, but should also incorporate more detailed pages that fully describe your products and services, explain how you can fulfill the client’s needs, and list the associated costs. You might use topics such as Hardware and Software, Equipment, Options, Scalability and so on.

Your specific business will determine the specialized topics and pages you need to include in your proposal. The size and scope of the project will determine how many topics and how much detail will be required.

A website design and hosting company might need to include topics like Project Deliverables, Storyboard, Features, Technical Approach, Production Schedule, Hardware and Software as well as a development and hosting contract.

An IT training company might want pages such as Services Provided, Training Plan, Exercises, Curriculum, Prerequisites, Retraining, Materials and an Outline.

An IT consultant may use the Services Provided, Cost Summary, Project Summary, References, Certifications and Our Clients to start with.

IT sales proposals will use topics such as Products, Services Provided, Customer Service, Benefits, Features, Case Studies, Guarantee, Price List, Requirements and so on.

If you are proposing an internal company project, not only do you need to look good, you need to make sure your boss looks good too. You need them to trust that you will deliver in order to gain their support. Include topics that show you understand every aspect of the project. Make sure you have considered Assumptions, Risk Analysis, Contingency Planning, Accountability, SWOT Analysis and the Expected Results.

A networking cabling, infrastructure or data center project may require topics regarding the Facilities, Site Planning, Infrastructure, Security Plan, Expansion Plan, Storage, Location Analysis, Diagrams, Blueprints, Equipment, and so on.

Hardware and software designers might include Documentation Requirements, Specifications, Technical Approach, Project Management, Standards Compliance, System Requirements, Interface Requirements and Certifications. Hardware designers in particular may also need topics such as Manufacturing, Engineering, Production Plan, Capacity, Resources and Resource Allocation.

An IT project for the government can be even more complex as you will have an RFP with rules that must be adhered to. In this situation make sure to use the Compliance Matrix, RFP Cross Reference, government grant/contract Cover Sheet and any other topics that are specifically required by the RFP.

A business seeking funding will want to include pages such as a Competitive Analysis, Industry Trends, Market and Audience, Marketing Plan, Insurance, Liability, Disaster Recovery Plan, Time Line, Funding Request, Services Provided, Products, Company Operations, Income Projection, Sources of Funds, Uses of Funds, Personnel, Legal Structure and any other topics required by the lender. Funding or investment proposals also require a number of financials such as your Cash Flow Analysis, Balance Sheet, Revenue, Profit Margin, Profit and Loss Statement, Operating Costs, and so on.

In this final proposal section, be sure to provide pages describing your organization (About Us or Company History), as well as pages that explain your skills and experience or provide information from other clients. These pages are the Our Clients, Personnel, References, Testimonials, Qualifications and Capabilities – whatever you need to instill trust in the prospective client that you can deliver the goods and services they’re looking for.

So there you have it: all the basic steps for creating your proposal. Now for the finishing touches. After you have inserted all the words and data in your proposal, spend a bit of time making it visually appealing. Add your company logo, choose different fonts or use custom bullets, or consider using colored page borders. Don’t go overboard, though; you want to match the style of your proposal to the style of your business.

Don’t send your proposal out before you spell-check and proof every page. If possible, have someone outside of the project or organization do the final proofreading pass. It’s too easy to miss mistakes in familiar information.

Finally, print the proposal or save it as a PDF file and deliver it to your client. In the modern business world, it’s common to email PDF files, but keep in mind that a printed, personally signed, and (where possible) hand-delivered proposal could make a bigger impression because it shows you’re willing to make an extra effort to get the job.

You can see now how IT business proposals can vary widely in content because of the variety of IT businesses and the variety of projects for which the proposals are tailored. Your company’s proposal content will be different from anyone else’s. But you can also see that all IT proposals will have similar formats and follow the same basic structure.

To speed up the proposal writing process, you can use the pre-designed templates in Proposal Kit. They contain easy-to-understand instructions and suggestions and examples that will guide you to provide appropriate content. It includes many sample business proposals for all sorts of IT businesses, too; these can give you a head start on creating your own winning proposals.