The Kingdom of Bahrain, and the technological revolution: questioning IT capabilities at home, at work

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Authors
Al Awadhi, AbdulRahman Khalid
Issue Date
2002
Degree
BA (Hons) in Business Information Management
Publisher
Dublin Business School
Rights
Items in eSource are protected by copyright. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/copyright holder.
Abstract
The Kingdom of Bahrain has/is undergoing constant change in all areas, as it follows trends and patterns of swift technological growth: The reactions to IT issues have become almost completely divided into two main extreme views. Socio-cultural and organisational impacts have been immense, and the general public would usually have to choose between seizing IT capabilities, and adopt them at home or work, or avoiding IT functions and remain with outdated methods. The Technological Revolution: Many of these developments have centred on the computing, telecommunications and audio-visual industries giving rise to a convergence of telecommunications, computing and audio-visual technologies which is increasingly causing more synergy and integration in all types of industries, A key outcome of this technology and industry convergence is the emergence of a new 'information sector' combining many of the characteristics, and traditional outputs, of the industries involved and altering industry/business structures; The Information technology’s revolution is experiencing a pace of change, much faster than that of the industrial; and would take far less time to reach even partial maturity. From this revolution, Bahrain faced drastic environmental changes. IT increased levels of uncertainty and complexity in the environment, and Bahrain's public either grasped opportunities or fell behind. The revolution also introduced the emergence of the ‘Information Society’. In 1995, Batelco (Bahrain Telecommunications Company) launched the INET service, and the internet was first introduced in Bahrain. The public grasped it immediately, soon to create the ‘1 Computer per Household’ standard. As for businesses, its reactions varied greatly: Large organizations because fearful, and invested in IT as soon as possible. Other small market enterprises had, and may still have, no interest in the least towards the newly found uses of IT, and see the issue as complicated and problematic. This contradicts the hasty labelling of IT use as ‘user-friendly’ or helpful; without the proper introduction of IT -and its advantages in business- the possibility of acceptance and proper use is unlikely to happen. This dissertation focuses on the human perspective of IT's abrupt involvement in many business activities. Bahrain's employees (from different business-related areas), and the general public, are classified into the following two extremes: • The more experienced workers and employees, who have seen traditional methods in practice, and rely on them. Methods are seen as reliable, dependable, simple, and flexible. • The ‘new’ users of computers and IT, who would want to implement an IT strategy on their current business strategy(s). Their views on IT are positive, and see traditional methods as completely outdated. Innovation, creativity, efficiency, and the ‘breaking-down’ of complicated tasks have become newly found objectives. The dissertation will look at factors that shape these two views, and offer a recommended solution - one being suitable to the Bahraini market, and public.