The world of business is changing rapidly as a result of technological development. This is very wide departure from the traditional business enterprises to the evolution of international and multinational organizations in Nigeria economy. Some of these establishments have acquired and installed modern communications equipment.
Thus, information technology and an ultimate fully electronic office is fast becoming a reality. In effect, information and communication technology pose a lot challenges to office employees. The impact of technological improvement in the office demands that the development of a successful secretarial career today depends of upon the secretary to acquire information and communication technology (ICT) based skills and expertise as well skills required for each category of staff.
Technology changes in our environment coupled with competition within a particular industry or in the society account for the reason why secretaries should engage in training and development to meet up with the challenges. This is as a result of the need to match changes in structure, policies, technology, processes and producers with the needed performance, attitude and behaviors. This study will provide a sight into the present day technological realities in and office and how a secretary could fit into it.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Firms ought to understand the underlying sources of threats in its industry. These threats result from competitive pressure from other firms in the industry. Understanding these forces is imperative if the firm is to formulate appropriate strategies to respond; which boils down to the firm selecting products, or services to offer and the markets in which to offer them. This makes strategy a deliberate plan of action that the business will adopt in order to develop and grow its competitive advantage. There has been an increasing reliance on Information Communication
Technology (ICT) systems for managing business processes as well as driving business strategy across the banking industry. Firms have no option but to comply with globalization trends and to find a fit between globalization and organization strategies.
The firms in the banking Sector continue to face a myriad of challenges, from globalization, competition, volatile market dynamics, competition from both bank and non-bank institutions all seeking more innovative ways to add value to their services.
Birch & Young (1997) argued that consumers look for products and services that are convenient and efficient to attain. They also seek for a wide array of products to choose from at competitive rates and which offer maximum returns. Customers have become more sensitized to expect better customer service standards, better products and services as a result of the internet. Banks have to adopt strategies that would ensure their profitability and resilience against the forces that determine industry competition. This study revolves around three theories, the first being the industrial organization (IO) theory which emphasizes the influence of the industry environment upon a firm.
The second is the resource-based theory, which views performance primarily as a function of a firm?s ability to utilize its resources. This theory focuses on the specific organization with respect to the competitive environment. The third is the innovation diffusion theory which is concerned with how an innovation adopter?s perception of the characteristics of an innovation impacts his or her decision to adopt it. This affects all users of the innovation, from the employee adoption of the innovation to the customer.
In the past decade, there has been a monumental growth of Nigeria banking industry, which has led to increased competition as the banks strive to gain and retain their market share. The banking industry and the wider financial sector have undergone tremendous changes as a result of ICT?s rapid advancement. Increased competition, tighter budgets, regulatory requirements are some of the factors that put more pressure on the banking industry further adding to the hostility of the industry. Banks have had to come up with strategies that would give them a sustained competitive lead over their competitors. ICT as a strategy to achieve this has been adopted by majority of the banks in the quest to achieve lasting competitive advantage through differentiation of products and cost leadership.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Commercial banks have to come up with competitive strategies in search of favourable competitive positions in the industry in order to adapt to the changed environment and attain competitive advantage. ?Electronic banking systems have become the main technology driven revolution in conducting financial transactions. Banks have made huge investments in telecommunication and electronic systems, users have also been validated to accept electronic banking system as useful and easy to use?, (Adesina & Ayo, 2010).
Organizations encounter a myriad of challenges towards achieving competitive advantage through the use of ICT. Current research shows that organizations are not able to sustain a competitive edge for a long time, (Wiggins & Ruefli, 2005). Increasing global and domestic competition, economic downturns and volatile financial markets have all added to the pressure on organizations to come up with effective responses to survive to counter this. As a result, each bank is developing a strategy unique to its corporate culture, leading to the industry being in a state of constant change.
A number of researches have been undertaken in the banking sector. Gan et al. (2006) predicted that e-banking is necessary for banks to stay profitable in the future.
However, the lack of trust by customers on the systems, or online processes remained a barrier to growth in the adoption of e-banking services. Nitsure (2003) conducted his research on the challenges and opportunities of e-banking and concluded that e-banking substantially lowered the costs of transaction and service delivery and could possibly revolutionize the business of banking. He further explained that developing economies faced similar challenges of poor infrastructure, low literacy levels and poor penetration of information.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The study was driven by the two objectives below:
(i) To establish the ICT challenges facing Skye bank in Nigeria in achievement of sustainable competitive advantage.
(ii) To determine the strategies adopted by the Skye bank in Nigeria to cope with these challenges.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. Does ICT enhance business survival in Nigeria?
2. What factors affect ICTs use in the Nigeria?
3. Will organization strategy affect the use of ICT?
4. Should employees be encouraged in ICT training?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
To scholars the research will open avenues for further research and analysis of various factors and challenges affecting the application of ICT enabled services in a developing economy. It will also enable researchers to adopt service oriented practices in understanding customer service delivery channels and satisfaction. To the banking world the study would assist in the understanding of the variables and effects of the ICT challenges and how they impact on the banks? success and performance. It will also enable the banks to draft possible policy guidelines in their institutions.
To the government, customers and stakeholders the study would pass on knowledge on the processes, especially the self-serving technologies and their impact to the industry and overall economy. The government can draft policy guidelines using the valuable information gathered. To the stakeholders, the study will reflect the image of the banking industry in terms of its responses to the challenges facing.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research work focuses particularly on the impact of employee participation in decision making and organizational productivity using SKYE BANK PLC, ERUWA BRANCH as a case study.
1.7 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Stakeholders: Group of people with a direct interest, involvement, or investment in something.
Information: Definite knowledge acquired or supplied about something or somebody.
Communication: The exchange of information between people, e.g. by means of speaking, writing, or using a common system of signs or behavior.
Technology: The study, development, and application of devices, machines, and techniques for manufacturing and productive processes.
Performance: A presentation of an artistic work such as a play or piece of music to an audience.
Transactions: Communication or activity between two or more people that influences and affects all of them (formal).
Innovation: the act or process of inventing or introducing something new.
Banks: Where money is kept for individual people or companies, exchanges currencies, makes loans, and offers other financial services.
Organization: Group of people identified by a shared interest or purpose.
Skills: the ability to do something well, usually gained through training or experience.
1.8 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Skye Bank Plc is a product of the merger of five legacy banks as a result of the banking industry consolidation and recapitalization exercise of 2005. The legacy banks were Prudent Bank Plc, EIB International Plc, Bond Bank Limited, Reliance Bank Limited and Co-operative Bank Plc.
Following the merger and the seamless integration of the disparate resources, personnel, IT infrastructure, culture and procedures, the bank has since grown into a formidable financial institution showing strong growth and profitability and providing unique financial solutions to a wide customer base both in Nigeria and in the three West African subsidiaries of Sierra Leone, Gambia and Guinea.
In 2014, in our continuous quest to provide better customer experience, Skye Bank won the bid to acquire the 100 per cent ownership stake of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in Mainstreet Bank Limited, a deal which made Skye Bank one of the top four banks in Nigeria.
Main street Bank?s operations has since been integrated into the bank?s operations in one of the smoothest and hitch free integration process recorded in the Nigerian banking industry, enabling it to offer banking services to a wider segment of the Nigerian population and with significant positive impact on the bank?s balance sheet, financial performance and profitability.
Skye Bank is quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) with over 450,000 diverse shareholders with a shareholding structure that puts no more than 5% in the control of any one individual or company.