Why Managers Need to Know about Data Communication
Data communication is the electronic transfer of data from one location to another. A good data communication system will enable the information system to deliver information effectively. That is why data communication is crucial in the business world, especially for managers. In addition, because most organisations collect and transfer data across large geographic distances, an efficient data communication system is critical. A data communication system can also improve the flexibility of data collection and transmission.
Data Communication Enables Virtual Organisations
Data communication systems make virtual organisations possible. By using the capabilities of a data communication system, organisations are not limited by physical boundaries. Communication between parties can cross geographic boundaries to deliver messages, ideas, feedback, etc. more quickly and effectively. As a manager, you will need to collaborate with other organisations, outsource certain functions to reduce costs, etc. These tasks will be much easier with a reliable system to send and receive the right information to the right people.
Data communication is also the basis of virtual organisation as it enables e-collaboration. Staff can be located throughout the world but can still collaborate with their colleagues no matter where they are. As long as there is an effective data communication system, employees can essentially work from anywhere. This also applies to executives who are key decision makers. When launching a new product, for example, the executives will decide on the date and time, which can be confusing if they’re not in the same time zone. Having a data communication system will ensure the precise timing across different time zones.
The Importance of Data Communication in Workplace
Data communication applications can enhance decision makers’ efficiency and effectiveness in many ways. For example, data communication applications support just-in-time delivery of goods, which reduces inventory costs and improves the competitive edge. Many large corporations, such as Walmart, The Home Depot, and United Parcel Service (UPS), use data communication technologies to stay ahead of their competitors.
Data communication systems also enable organisations to use e-mail and electronic file transfer to improve efficiency and productivity. An effective communication network can shorten product and service development life cycles by delivering information to those who need it faster and more efficiently.
Here are some of the ways data communication technologies affect the workplace:
- Online training for employees via virtual classrooms. In addition, employees get the latest technology and product information immediately.
- Internet searches for information on products, services, and innovations keep employees up to date.
- The Internet and data communication systems facilitate lifelong learning, which will be an asset for knowledge workers of the future.
- Boundaries between work and personal life are less clear-cut as data communication is more available in both homes and businesses. The increase in telecommuters is an example of this trend.
- Web and video conferencing are easier, which can reduce the costs of business travel.
Managers need a clear understanding of the following areas of data communication:
- The basics of data communication and networking
- The Internet, intranets, and extranets
- Wired and wireless networks
- Network security issues and measures
- Organisational and social effects of data communication
- Globalisation issues
- Applications of data communication systems
E-collaboration Tool: An Application of Data Communication
E-collaborations and virtual meetings are other important applications of data communication systems for managers. These applications are cost effective and improve customer service. One example of an e-collaboration tool is GoToMeeting.
GoToMeeting is a Web-conferencing service hosted by Citrix Online, a division of Citrix Systems. Capable of running on both PCs and Macs, it offers high-definition video conferencing that enables you to see your fellow meeting attendees. It also allows you to show them the applications and files that are currently running on your desktop. The other attendees can share their desktops as well. Users can either chat with all the attendees or speak privately with an individual participant. They also have the option of choosing free VoIP, phone conferencing, or both.
GoToMeeting allows users to save, replay, post, or e-mail important interactions and presentations, with audio. And it offers comprehensive security and privacy features. Meetings cannot be viewed by anyone except meeting attendees.
Some alternatives to GoToMeeting includeZoom Video Communication, Inc., WebEx (Cisco), My Web Conferences (MyTrueCloud), Chime (Amazon), and Skype (Microsoft).