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Era Informasi dan Peran Teknologi Informasi Dalam Bisnis Saat Ini – 2nd Lecture MIA

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Oleh: Heri Akhmadi, S.P., M.A.

Tulisan tentang “Aplikasi Teknologi Informasi Dalam Bisnis Saat Ini” merupakan materi kuliah Manajemen Informasi Agribisnis (MIA) pada pertemuan kedua (materi pertemuan pertama bisa dilihat disini). Untuk sementara materi di bawah ini merupakan bahan kuliah yang sudah di upload di e_learning prodi Agribisnis UMY. Mengingat hanya mahasiswa Agribisnis UMY yang bisa mengakses e_learning, berikut ini saya share disini agar bisa menambah kemanfaatan dari bahan kuliah ini.

Sesuai materi di e_learning, bahan kuliah ini terdiri dari bahan berbahasa Inggris dan bahasa Indonesia. Jika ada kesempatan, selanjutnya insya Allah akan saya uraikan sesuai dengan materi yang pernah saya berikan pada saat kuliah menggunakan bahasa Indonesia biar semua lebih mudah dipahami.

A.  Information

“It will be sunny tomorrow;” “There are some men in the field”. “The turkey gave birth to a lion day before yesterday.” These statements convey to you something. It does not matter whether they are true or false, each is telling a story. The story being passed to you is what is known as information. Therefore Information is news passed to you either orally or in written. If the information given is true no matter who is giving it or when it is given it is said to be a fact or data.

Information could be classified based on the forms in which information can exist, the time of occurrence, and the frequency of occurrence.

  • Information classified based on form of existence include, written, oral, visual, and sensory.
  • Information classified based on time of occurrence could be historical, present, and future.
  • While information based on frequency of occurrence are those that are continuously, hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and annually.

After receiving information the question of how to disseminate it now arises. Ideally for an item to be a piece of information, it has to be passed from one person to another and from one place to another. Information could be passed through an ancient or a modern method as summarised in the Table 1.1.

Table 1.1. Methods of Spreading Information.

Old methods of spreading Information New methods of spreading Information
Oral, Town crier, beating drums, Lighting fire, Drawing diagrams representations/symbols Writing, Typing, Printing, Telephone, Telex, radio. TV, Fax, Satelite, Computer, E-mail

The oldest evidence of writing by man so far consists of clay tablets discovered at Sumer in Mesopotamia about 3000BC. These tablets contain records of grains received from, or issued to, individuals at a temple store. Since then the society has seen five distinct stages of information revolution. These stages are:

  • Invention of language
  • Invention of printing
  • Invention of mass media particularly radio and television
  • Invention of computer
  • Link-up of computers with communications devices and the development of the Internet.

B.  The Evolution Of The Information Age

The evolution of the information age is classified into three basic groups:

  1. Agricultural Age: The period up to the 1800s, when the majority of workers were farmers whose lives revolved around agriculture.
  2. Industrial Age: The period from the 1800s to 1957, when work processes were simplified through mechanisation and automation.
  3. Information Age: The period that began in 1957, in which the majority of workers are involved in the creation, distribution, and application of information.

Knowledge Workers: Workers involved in the creation, distribution, and application of information.

C.  The Characteristics Of The Information Age

  1. An information-based society has arisen

Information Society: A society in which more people work at handling information than at agriculture and manufacturing combined.

  1. Businesses depend on information technology to get their work done.
  2. Work processes are being transformed to increase productivity.
  • Work Processes: The combination of activities that workers perform, the way they perform those activities, and the tools they use.
  • Productivity: The relationship between the results of an activity (output) and the resources used to create those results (inputs).
  • Effectiveness: The extent to which desirable results are achieved.
  1. Information technology provides the means to rethink/recreate/reengineer conventional business processes.
  • Reengineering: The reshaping of business processes to remove barriers that prohibit an organization from providing better products and services and to help the organization capitalize on its strengths.
  • Business Processes: Collections of activities, often spanning several departments, that take one or more kinds of input and create a result that is of value to a company’s customers.
  1. Success in business is largely determined by the effectiveness with which information technology is used.
  2. Information technology is embedded in many products and services.
  3. Reengineering efforts to attain greater productivity:
  • Industrial Age – Division of Labor: Separation of work process into component task, with different workers specializing in each of the tasks.
  • Information Age – Teamwork, Interconnection, and Shared Information.

D. Advantages of Information Technology 

  1. Globalization

IT has not only brought the world closer together, but it has allowed the world’s economy to become a single interdependent system. This means that we can not only share information quickly and efficiently, but we can also bring down barriers of linguistic and geographic boundaries. The world has developed into a global village due to the help of  information technology allowing countries like Chile and Japan who are not only separated by distance but also by language to shares ideas and information with each other.

 

  1. Communication

With the help of information technology, communication has also become cheaper, quicker, and more efficient. We can now communicate with anyone around the globe by simply text messaging them or sending them an email for an almost instantaneous response. The internet has also opened up face to face direct communication from different parts of the world thanks to the helps of video conferencing.

  1. Cost effectiveness

Information technology has helped to computerize the business process thus streamlining businesses to make them extremely cost effective money making machines. This in turn increases productivity which ultimately gives rise to profits that means better pay and less strenuous working conditions.

  1. Bridging the cultural gap

Information technology has helped to bridge the cultural gap by helping people from different cultures to communicate with one another, and allow for the exchange of views and ideas, thus increasing awareness and reducing prejudice.

  1. More time

IT has made it possible for businesses to be open 24 x 7 all over the globe. This means that a business can be open anytime anywhere, making purchases from different countries easier and more convenient. It also means that you can have your goods delivered right to your doorstep with having to move a single muscle.

  1. Creation of new jobs

Probably the best advantage of information technology is the creation of new and interesting jobs. Computer programmers, Systems analyzers, Hardware and Software developers and Web designers are just some of the many new employment opportunities created with the help of IT.

 

E.  Disadvantages of Information Technology

  1. Unemployment

While information technology may have streamlined the business process it has also created job redundancies, downsizing and outsourcing. This means that a lot of lower and middle level jobs have been done away with causing more people to become unemployed.

  1. Privacy

Though information technology may have made communication quicker, easier and more convenient, it has also bought  along privacy issues. From cell phone signal interceptions to email hacking, people are now worried about their once private information becoming public knowledge. 

  1. Lack of job security

Industry experts believe that the internet has made job security a big issue as since technology keeps on changing with each day. This means that one has to be in a constant learning mode, if he or she wishes for their job to be secure.

  1. Dominant culture

While information technology may have made the world a global village, it has also contributed to one culture dominating another weaker one. For example it is now argued that US influences how most young teenagers all over the world now act, dress and behave. Languages too have become overshadowed, with English becoming the primary mode of communication for business and everything else.

E.  Information Technology Play Vital Role in Business Today

Business firms invest heavily in information technology to achieve six strategic business objectives.

  1. Operational excellence
  • Improvement of efficiency to attain higher profitability
  • Information systems, technology an important tool in achieving greater efficiency and productivity
  • Walmart’s Retail Link system links suppliers to stores for superior replenishment system
    1. New products, services, and business models
  • Business model: describes how company produces, delivers, and sells product or service to create wealth
  • Information systems and technology a major enabling tool for new products, services, business models

Examples: Apple’s iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad, Google’s Android OS, and Netflix

  1. Customer and supplier intimacy
  • Serving customers well leads to customers returning, which raises revenues and profits

Example: High-end hotels that use computers to track customer preferences and use to monitor and customize environment

  • Intimacy with suppliers allows them to provide vital inputs, which lowers costs

Example: J.C.Penney’s information system which links sales records to contract manufacturer

  1. Improved decision making
  • Without accurate information:

Managers must use forecasts, best guesses, luck

  • Leads to:
  1. Overproduction, underproduction of goods and services
  2. Misallocation of resources
  3. Poor response times
  4. Poor outcomes raise costs, lose customers

Example: Verizon’s Web-based digital dashboard to provide managers with real-time data on customer complaints, network performance, line outages, etc.

  1. Competitive advantage
  • Delivering better performance
  • Charging less for superior products
  • Responding to customers and suppliers in real time
  • Examples: Apple, Walmart, UPS
    1. Survival

Information technologies as necessity of business.

May be:

  • Industry-level changes, e.g. Citibank’s introduction of ATMs
  • Governmental regulations requiring record-keeping

Examples: Toxic Substances Control Act, Sarbanes-Oxley Act

F.  E_Business dan E_Agribusiness

Agribisnis lazimnya didefinisikan sebagai suatu rangkaian kegiatan mulai proses produksi, panen, pasca panen, pemasaran dan kegiatan lainnya yang berkaitan dengan kegiatan pertanian tersebut. Karena peran ICT juga merambah pada kegiatan pertanian, maka muncullah istilah e-Agriculture dan e-Agribusiness. Jadi e-Agriculture dan e-Agribusiness pada dasarnya  adalah pemanfaatan ICT dalam bidang pertanian  atau bisnis di bidang pertanian. Dengan kata lain e- Agribusiness adalah e-business di bidang pertanian.

Seperti dituliskan sebelumnya, e- Agribusiness adalah e-Commerce atau e-business di bidang bisnis pertanian. Lantas apakah itu ‘e- business?’  Ditinjau  dari  kata  ’e’  (elektronika)  dan ’business’ (bisnis), maka pengertian e-business dapat diartikan sebagai kegiatan bisnis melalui jasa elektronika. Karena kegiatan bisnis itu  pada dasarnya adalah trasaksi barang dan jasa, maka e- business adalah transaksi barang dan jasa dengan menggunakan jasa elektronika. Bila komoditasnya pertanian, maka sering digunakan istilah e- Agribusiness. Karena perkembangan teknologi yang begitu besat, maka penggunaan jasa elektronika dalam bisnis juga berkembang secara pesat. Antara  lain, dari teknologi audio dan video ke teknologi komputer; kemudian kini berkembang menuju teknologi web atau internet.

Untuk alasan praktis, maka perkembangan teori e-Agribusiness barangkali dapat dijelaskan:

  1. Kalau kegiatan bisnis menggunakan jasa informasi elektronik, dinamakan e-Business.
  2. Kalau e-Business tersebut sebagian besar (>50%) bergerak di bidang pertanian, maka dinamakan e-Agribusiness.

Kalau disimak lebih lanjut, maka perkembangan e-Agribusiness juga mengikuti  kaidah yang umum dipakai untuk menjelaskan teori proses adopsi-inovasi, di mana mereka cepat menguasai informasi, maka mareka itulah yang cepat pula memperoleh kesempatan-kesempatan terlebih dahulu. Apakah itu kesempatan sosial, ekonomi, politik atau lainnya. Dengan kata lain makin besar jarak antara mereka yang  menguasai dan yang tidak menguasai informasi (sering dikenal dengan istilah digital divide), makin kurang menguntungkan bagi tujuan pembangunan. Untuk itu digital divide ini perlu dipangkas.

e-Agribusiness menjadi penting dan banyak dipakai para businessmen bukan saja untuk produk- produk pertanian tetapi juga produk lain yang berkaitan dengan pertanian, misalnya bidang jasa pertanian. Keunggulan e- Agribusiness, antara lain adalah karena pertimbangan sebagai berikut:

  • Mengurangi biaya. Sebagai contoh: Komunikasi bisnis yang semula dilaksanakan dengan menggunakan telpon jarak jauh, fax dan surat-menyurat dapat digantikan dengan mengirim e-mail, chatting sehingga biaya menjadi lebih murah.
  • Menghemat waktu. Komunikasi dengan cara- cara lama seperti penggunaan telpon, fax dan surat-menyurat tentu memerlukan waktu yang lama. Maka dengan memanfaatkan internet, apakah itu melalui teknik mengirim e-mail, teknik chatting, maka waktu dapat dihemat.
  • Mengintegrasikan supply chain secara lebih mudah dan singkat. Dengan memanfaatkan internet, maka betapapun kompleksnya mekanisme perdagangan (misalnya supply chain), dapat disederhanakan dengan mekanisme yang tersedia di internet.
  • Menjadi ajang promosi yang ‘mendunia’ dengan      biaya      yang             Dengan memanfaatkan internet, maka perusahaan tersebut menampakkan market exposure yang dapat diketahui oleh masyarakat dunia,
  • Merupakan diversifikasi pembentukan keuntungan perusahaan. Disamping keuntungan yang dihasilkan dari cara-cara lama yang tidak menggunakan internet, kini ada alternatif baru, yaitu bisnis dengan memanfaatkan internet yang merupakan revenue stream baru.
  • Memperpendek waktu product cycle. Dengan memanfaatkan internet, maka product cycle menjadi lebih pendek, sehingga proses berbisnis menjadi lebih banyak, dan pada akhirnya keuntungan juga akan lebih besar.
  • Meningkatkan customer loyality . Dalam bisnis modern, maka masalah kepuasan pelanggan menjadi acuan. Makin loyal pelanggan, makin baik bagi perkembangan perusahaan. Pemanfaatan internet, dalam banyak kenyataan, mampu meningkatkan loyalitas pelanggan ini.

Ada tiga aktor dalam mekanisme e- Agribusiness ini, yaitu peran produsen, peran konsumen dan peran media.

  1. Peran Produsen

Produsen menawarkan produknya melalaui internet. Tentu saja agar promosi penjualan ini dapat menarik minat konsumen, maka peran penampilan, peran kelengkapan informasi yang tersedia, peran kemudahan dan juga peran harga barang menjadi penting.

  1. Peran Konsumen

Sebagai calon pembeli, konsumen berhak untuk memperoleh informasi yang lengkap, agar tidak kecewa dikemudian hari. Informasi ini dapat berupa harga, kualitas, cara pengiriman barang, berapa hari barang dikirim, cara pembayaran, dan sebagainya.

  1. Peran Media

Penampilan informasi di media internet harus disusun dan ditampilkan sedemikian rupa agar menarik perhatian konsumen. Informasi yang ada di media bukan saja harus lengkap tetapi juga bisa menimbulkan keinginan calon konsumen untuk membeli. Disini peran ahli internet, ahli komputasi dan ahli teknologi informasi menjadi penting.

Walaupun e-Agribusiness mempunyai kelebihan atau keunggulan yang luar biasa, namun e-Agribusiness juga mempunyai kelemahan- kelemahan tertentu. Kelemahan ini, antara lain dapat dituliskan sebagai berikut:

  • Tidak semua tempat tersambung dengan fasilitas jaringan internet. Jadi masalah tersedianya infrastruktur ini menjadi amat penting.
  • Tidak semua konsumen dapat melakukan transaksi dengan teknik e-Agribusiness ini. Hal ini disebabkan mungkin karena ketidak-tahuan dan karena melakukan suatu hal yang tidak biasa atau tidak lazim.
  • Tidak semua tempat tersedia piranti lunak atau software untuk e-Agribusiness ini. Kalaupun juga ada, sering juga masih mahal. Memang kini sudah mulai banyak tersedia software software khusus untuk membuat sistem e- Agribusiness ini, seperti Intershop Online (produk Intershop Communications), Merchant Server (produk Microsoft Corp), Electronic Commerce Suite (produksi iCat), dan sebagainya.
  • Tidak semua orang mempunyai kartu kredit. Kalau juga mempunyai kartu kredit, kadang- kadang banyak konsumen yang masih ragu, karena pertimbangan keamanan. Khawatir kalau informasi kartu kredit yang diberikan akan disalah-gunakan pihak lain yang tidak bertanggung jawab.
  • Kesulitan yang disebabkan karena ciri produk pertanian itu sendiri, misalnya sifatnya bulky (volumenya besar tetapi nilainya kecil), produknya kadang-kadang musiman, standarisasi antar negara mungkin berbeda, dsb- nya.

e-Agribusiness, walaupun berkembang secara lambat tetapi pasti akan berkembang cepat pada  masa mendatang, ditandai dengan hal-hal sebagai berikut:

  • Banyaknya usaha bisnis komoditas pertanian yang sudah memiliki website,
  • Banyaknya promosi permintaan atau penjualan komoditas pertanian yang diiklankan di internet, dan
  • Banyaknya trasaksi       jual-beli       komoditas pertanian melalui internet.

 

Referensi

Kumar, M. P. (2014). Information Technology: Roles, Advantages and Disadvantages. International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer Science and Software Engineering. Advanced Research International Publication House.

Laudon, K. C. and Laudon, Jane, P., 2015, Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm, 13th Global Edition.

Musa, A. A. (2010). Foundation of information and communication technology.

Senn, J. A. (2000). Information technology in business: principles, practices, and opportunities. Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Soekartawi, S. (2007). E-Agribisnis: Teori dan Aplikasinya. In Seminar Nasional Aplikasi Teknologi Informasi (SNATI).

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