THE ROLE OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY ON SERVICE DELIVERY
1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
One of the key drivers of recent developments and has pervaded every business segment and also every home is Information and Communication Technology (ICT) (Kuppusamy and Santhapparaj, 2012). It is often claimed that ICT has become to the economy what steam and machine power were to the industrial revolution (Hoek, 2001).
In the meantime, expectations about the impact of ICT on business are positive and high. According to Pokharel (2012) use of ICT is positively correlated with improved overall organizational performance.
ICT consists of whole range technologies designed to access, process and transmit information: hardware, software and media for collection, storage, processing, transmission and presentation of information in the form of voice sound, data, text and images.
They range from telephones, mobile phones, hardware, and software to the Internet. In regard to service delivery in business organizations, Information Communication Technology (ICT) has been employed to facilitate the service provision, even though it involves substantial portion of investment.
The objective of such investments is to create business value by offering timely and reliable goods and services and for any investment to have a positive impact on business value and additional revenues need to be created or overall costs reduced. Investment in information technology can have dramatic impact on both the internal and external operations of a business organization.
Improved ICT systems in an organization can enhance and strengthen organizational infrastructure and capacity by increasing service coordination, employees’ efficiency, sharing of information between departments, financial record keeping and tracking of an organization’s production. Information technology solutions can fundamentally transform business organization service delivery externally (Allison, 2010).
Organizations around the world are expanding their investment in Information Communication Technology (ICT). The development of e-business practices has made it easier for organizations to share information and to encourage co-operation among stakeholders.
The information revolution is the phenomenon of our times, affecting work, life and society as profoundly as the industrial revolution did in the 1800s that’s why business experts view effective exploitation of digital technology as vital to the success of the Nigerian economy.
Ainabor, (2011) opined that in adopting information and communication technologies, the efficiency can take different forms. For instance, one form is to limit errors and enhance consistency of outcomes of governmental projects via automating standard tasks.
Technology is enabling organizations to take advantage of new opportunities and to build new capabilities. It is highly believed that no marketing philosophy can be materialized unless it is supported by ICT to improve effectiveness and efficiency of sales force management. The emergence of ICT for service delivery according to Nwabueze and Osioko  indicates that there is a strong link between information Technologies and the length of socio-economic development in a country.
Therefore, ICTs are regarded as an aid to socio-economic developments. Ballard and Ramgolam,  suggested that employee management of ICT-mediated information exchanges will depend on what type of availability an employee chose to offer to their colleagues. Consequently, these strategies will either allow for ICTs to interrupt employees or not and can influence the effect of ICT connectivity on employee productivity. The aim of the study is to examine the role of ICT on service delivery in Nigerian organizations.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The impact of ICT investments on service delivery and business value is an important issue for researchers, resource managers and other stakeholders. IT business value and service delivery include productivity enhancement, profitability improvement, improved work relations, competitive advantage and efficient use of resources at both intermediate level and organizational level (Prasad, 2008; Melville, 2004; and Kohli, 2003).
Considering the enormous benefits that are experienced by multinational organizations on use of IT systems, the local business organizations have moved to adopt the same kind of technologies.
However, they still experience some obstacles or hindrances in the effective and efficient use of the ICT resources in their operations. Technical challenges are centred on the lack of sustaining infrastructures such as erratic electricity supply, lack of encryption on short message system messages.
Other identified setbacks that can have an effect on firms in the application of ICT can be grouped as psychological and behavioural. These consist of security, accessibility to computers, consumer awareness, reluctance to change, the cost of adoption, and preference for personalized services etc.
The setback that faces workers is how to manage their extents of ICT connectivity to avoid disruptions in workers workflow, and ensure high performance. Increased flexibility enabled by ICTs increases productivity of employees, that flexibility facilitates long work hours and as a result, higher stress.
ICT connectivity can create both positive and negative consequences, which in turn has an effect on an individual‘s work productivity. However, high level of information created by the use of ICTs can increase job burnout and stress and thus, deter individual work productivity.
Moreover, while smartphone may increase task efficiency and individual work productivity, they can also place interruptions and delays in work practices, lowering individual work productivity.
Arising from the above, the challenge of service delivery affects all customers who demand quality services from manufacturing firms. There is no doubt that the challenges and complexities of service delivery are widening in the Nigerian manufacturing industry.
Information and communication technology as well as employees’ performance is a recent topic that requires more investigations and research, especially in developing countries. In spite of the fact that previous studies are available at the international level there is paucity in local studies
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine the role of information and communications technology (ICT) in service delivery. Other general objectives of the study are:
- To examine the extent to which organizations in Nigeria are using ICT in service delivery.
- To examine the benefits of using information and communications technology (ICT) in service delivery.
- To examine the impact of information and communications technology (ICT) in service delivery.
- To examine the constraints to the effective use of information and communications technology (ICT) in service delivery.
- To examine the relationship between information and communications technology and service delivery.
- To recommend solutions to the problems of effective (ICT) information and communications technology utilization in service delivery.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the extent to which organizations in Nigeria are using ICT in service delivery?
- What are the benefits of using information and communications technology (ICT) in service delivery?
- What is the impact of information and communications technology (ICT) in service delivery?
- What are the constraints to the effective use of information and communications technology (ICT) in service delivery?
- What is the relationship between information and communications technology and service delivery?
- What are the recommended solutions to the problems of effective (ICT) information and communications technology utilization in service delivery?
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1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no significant impact of information and communications technology (ICT) in service delivery
H1: There is a significant impact of information and communications technology (ICT) in service delivery
H0: There is no significant relationship between information and communications technology and service delivery.
H1: There is a significant relationship between information and communications technology and service delivery.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The results of this study specifically will add to the current scope of knowledge and theory in information and communication technology in service delivery in organizations in Nigeria. Policy makers may use the findings of the study to come up with strategies that can make service delivery less costly but effective. As a result they will by extension deliver on stakeholder expectations in cost management hence facilitating attainment of strategic ambitions of the institutions.
The findings of this study will guide organizations to implement policies, standards and procedures for better service delivery. In effort to provide efficient, effective and reliable services to clients the study findings will benefit ICT industry players with clients in similar setup by equipping them with prior knowledge on the kind of system functionalities that their customers may require.
This will go a long way in adopting faster and timely service delivery, thereby saving on costs and time that would be spent on evaluating the systems and at the same time offer solutions to challenges and to improve the systems.
Many public institutions in Nigeria will find this study very valuable to harness the benefits and roles of ICT and obtain a benchmark to decisions related to ICT implementation in different organizations.
The policy makers in the Ministry of Industrialization and other state agencies will find the study useful as a basis of formulating policies, which can be effectively implemented for better and easier business operations. The government will use the study so as to come up with policies and ways of promoting better services to the public.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on the role of information communication technology on service delivery, a case study of selected organizations in Lagos State.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Information Communication Technology: May simply be defined as the technologies which enable and support the fundamental processes for the capture, storage, manipulation, communication and delivery of data and information on different context such as engineering, technological, organizational, social and cultural domains. It is the technology required for information processing by making use of electronic mechanisms and computer software to convert, store, protect, transmit and retrieve information (Idowu, 2010).
Information Technology: Is indeed a compromise, limited to those industries which facilitate by electronic means the processing transmission and display of information and it excludes some industries which create the information such as makers of video and movies.
Service delivery: Service delivery is a component of business that defines the interaction between providers and clients where the provider offers a service, whether that be information or a task, and the client either finds value or loses value as a result. Good service delivery provides clients with an increase in value
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