There are numerous examples: travel and holiday agents are all linked by networks directly to the databases maintained by airlines, railways and holiday companies making possible virtually instantaneous booking, computing cash tills and bar-code readers in supermarkets are linked to computers and form part of an integrated stock control, ordering and sales analysis system without which modern supermarkets could not function.
New technology is having effects on organization structures. Because of the easier and speedier communications and the increasing sophistication of automatic decision making by computers, middle management is tending to disappear in many organizations including service centers and manufacturing, hospitals and trade organizations, etc. (Frame, D.J., (2002). Organizations are becoming flatter and leaner because top management are able to monitor operations more directly and computers are now taking many decisions previously taken by middle management. Examples include: computerized stock and production control in manufacturing, automatic credit scoring and loan authorizations in banks. IT is also changing the nature of the debate about centralization versus decentralization. Properly planned technology systems with distributed data processing enable both more centralization of standards, performance targets and policies and more decentralization of operations through more immediate and speedier service to customers (Bretschneider, Heintze, 2000). Also, restructuring involves changes in routine processes towards goals-oriented performance. Following Bohmer et al (2001) "The design of a technology often reinforces a habitual routine; for example, the design of a commercial aircraft's cockpit is conducive to certain standard operating procedures for takeoff and landing" (685).
In this case, transaction processing systems are pre-specified and changes require the intervention of system specialists; transaction processing comprises: activity processing, report processing and enquiry processing. Businesses are increasingly being reorganized into processes rather than functions (Knop et al, 1998). This is known as process re-engineering and means that firms must identify their core processes and design them so that delays, confusion and demarcations are reduced or eliminated. For instance, the case of The Bell Group vividly portrays implementation of CRM (Customer Relationship management) system and its success for the company. The project includes such areas as accounting, manufacturing, warehousing, field service, and shipping systems. All technological systems were launched separately in order to avoid mistakes and errors (The Bell Group, 2005). It is now possible for managers to obtain information on organizational performance down to the level of specific transactions from just about anywhere in the organization at any time. This new intensity of information makes possible far more precise planning, forecasting, and monitoring (Schwalbe, 2005).
A New Employee
Managers must deal with new people issues because the changes brought about by technology definitely require a new kind of employee. The use of technology requires more problem solving skills and the ability to interpret data and is thus likely to lead to a widening gulf between skilled and unskilled workers. Routine tasks requiring a low level of skill are