In enterprises, advances within ICT have brought a slew of cost savings, opportunities and conveniences. This ranges from highly automated businesses processes that have cut costs, to the big data revolution where organizations are turning the vast trove of data generated by ICT into insights that drive new products and services, to ICT enabled transactions such as internet shopping, telemedicine and social media that give customers more choices in how they shop, communicate and interact. Through ICT, managers and employees can take decisions quickly and accurately with the information available from corporate data. This will also help the decision makers of enterprises to manage operations effectively and respond rapidly to business opportunities or threats.
But ICT has also created problems and challenges to organizations as well as for individuals in terms of risks, security and safety. The digitization of data, the expanding use of high-speed internet and the growing global network together have led to new levels of crime, where so-called bad actors can hatch electronically enabled schemes or illegally gain access to systems to steal money, intellectual property or private information or to disrupt systems that control critical infrastructure. ICT has also brought automation and robots that displace workers who are unable to transfer their skills to new positions.
1. ICT in Agriculture
Information and communication technology in agriculture, also known as eagriculture, focuses on the enhancement of agricultural and rural development through proper information dissemination and communication processes. ICT has performed many key in agricultural development starting from decision support system to the trading of crops. The timely availability of right information and its proper utilisation is indispensable for people engaged agriculture (Ahmad et al., 2015). ICT plays a key role as decision support system to farmers. Through ICT, farmers can be updated regularly with the recent information about agriculture, weather, new varieties of crops, fertilizers, pesticides and new ways to increase productivity and quality control through telecommunication services. The dissemination of adequate, efficient and tailored technologies related to agro-climatic zone, size of farm and soil type improves the quality and productivity of the output. ICT has the great potential to widen marketing horizon of farmers. With the ICT services they can connect directly to the customers and buyers for their produce by skipping the middle man from the traditional market channel. It also allows farmers to directly enquire about the price prevailing in the market, and with this they can get the justified prices for their produce without any broker intervention. Through this, the farmers‟ income can be improved, and they will also feel empower and confident in taking decisions.
ICT in Supply Chain Management
The tremendous growth of ICT in Supply Chain Management (SCM) is playing a critical role in optimising decisions of the supply chain network flow for achieving enterprise competitiveness, enhancing the service, cutting the supply chain costs and reducing risks (Ahmad and Jamshed, 2015). With technologies like Electronic Data Exchange (EDI), Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), GIS, ERP, E-commerce, Decision Support System (DSS) and Internet if Things (IoT) the efficiency of supply chain network can be enhanced significantly. These technologies fill the loopholes in the supply chain network upto a great extent and technology like RFID help the enterprise in inventory management and tracking with its service. Manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, shippers, distributors and customers are the major stakeholders in the supply chain of enterprises, technological advancements in the SCM will satisfy each of these players and value addition can be done through proper ICT implementation. The proper dissemination of ICT in SCM is a win –win condition for all the participants here as it results in lowering cost of product, reduced working capital needs, and increased customer satisfaction.
ICT in Food Retail Market
The food retail industry has reached a consensus to use new ICT technologies, such as cloud computing, Big Data, the Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), to create innovative operational models. New technical methods are accelerating digital transformation of the retail industry, helping it make breakthroughs in many areas, such as shopping efficiency and consumption experience. In other words, the retail industry is undergoing an intelligent revolution. Whether it is online or physical, smart retailing has given a new direction to the enterprises in offering their product and services. The goal of smart retail is to centre on multiple dimensions (for example, consumers, requirements, products, and services), maximize efficiency in specific actions (such as sensing life world scenarios, pushing solutions, and implementing fast deliveries), across the entire process from commodity production to consumer experience.
ICT enabled food store in India is emerging with exponential rate and most of the shopping malls have designated separate area especially for food and gourmet section. Food stores which have implemented technologies like EPOS-Electronic point of sale, EFTPOS-Electronic funds transfer at point of sale, smart cart, digital information display units, smart storage facilities to keep the products fresh and fast delivery service with product tracking option to make the buying effective were classified as ICT enabled food store. The food retail in India is dominated by unorganized sector and the size of organized retail is merely 5% (Unnisa, 2018). Unorganized sector in food retail is primarily dominated by general stores, rural counter stores (kirana), kiosks, street vendors and street markets while organized sector includes gourmet stores, department stores, discount stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets, e-tailers and cash-and-carry formats (McKinsey Global Institute, 2017)
Recent ICT trends in Indian food and beverage retail sector include:
a) Sales of food and groceries currently account for more than two-thirds of all retail sales and the value of these sales is expected to nearly double to $686 billion by 2020
b) $5 billion or 5 percent of total FMCG sales will be online by 2020, on the basis of survey conducted among 1,600 online users spread across 8 cities covering eight FMCG categories such as skin care, hair care, oral care, home care, infant care, male grooming, beverages and food.
c) Online purchases made through mobile phones in India have grown by more than 100 percent over the past two years, with the ability to shop on the go at 47.7 percent.
d) The growing availability of apps that makes it easier to shop (45.3 percent) and convenience (38.1 percent) have emerged as the most compelling reasons for driving smart phone shopping (Indo-Asian News Service, 2018).
For citing this article’ use:
- Khan, S. A. (2020). Role of Information and Communication Technologies ICTs on consumer purchase for processed food in India.