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Business technology management is the use of technology to accomplish and support strategic business objectives. The process involves input from a company's top executives, front-line employees, information technology staff, outside vendors, and even customers. Firms develop a business technology management plan that incorporates certain software programs, applications, computer hardware, and system designs that will help them achieve some sort of performance goal.
An industry that relies heavily on business technology management is customer and technical support services. These types of companies may have several contact centers that are located in separate geographical areas. They take inbound calls that are routed through computer-controlled telephone lines. This line of work also requires agents to access customer information through databases and navigate through several software applications that contain information that will help the customer resolve his issue. Heavy reliance on the use of computer networking and server applications is critical in this industry.
In this scenario, the firm doesn't just blindly set up computer networks and choose any server program. Its decision makers look at all of the possible solutions and pick what types of programs and hardware set-ups will best meet the internal needs of the company and the external needs of its customers. Considerations such as functionality, capacity, user-friendliness, vendor support, and costs all factor into the decision.
Many firms rely on business technology management to increase operating efficiency and reduce costs. In fact, entire business models have been built upon the concept of integrating technology into the work environment. A prime example of this is online retailers that do not maintain physical store locations. They market directly to the consumer through Internet platforms and manage the entire fulfillment process through software programs and a computerized infrastructure.
Some companies use business technology management to improve and manage customer relationships. There are several customer relationship management (CRM) software applications that allow firms to collect data about their customers and their purchasing behavior. One example of this is store loyalty cards. Customers fill out an application with their name, address, and basic demographic information.
The names of customers become associated with a card identification number in the company's database. Each time the customer makes a purchase at the store, he receives discounts or perks on certain products. That information is collected by the store's scanners and computer system. It is then transferred to the main database and CRM application that analyzes trends in the consumer's shopping habits.
The firm uses this information to offer the consumer additional discounts on frequently purchased products. It may even mail incentive coupons from time to time that encourage the customer to continue shopping at its store locations. Over time, this activity builds a relationship with the customer and can lead to increased loyalty.
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