1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Information to a modern organization is a resource that is parallel in importance to land, labour and capital. It is a very vital and priceless resource. For centuries, man has tried to collate, store, process and retrieve information, and most importantly distribute or communicate it via the fastest means. It follows, therefore that man has tried various ways and methods to record and disseminate information in his attempt to proffer solutions to competing tasks over the centuries. Information therefore, is data that have been processed into meaningful and usable form, and it contains knowledge that reduces uncertainty in a particular situation (Senn, 1999). A powerful force drives the world towards a converging commonality, and that force is technology (Levitt, 1992). From the beginning of the world technology has being one of the most essential and important factors for the development of mankind (Coombs et al, 1987). During the last two hundred years, technology changes have often been related ‘to economic growth in the form of new types of goods and services.
However, information technology is a term which • generally covers the harnessing of electronic technology for the information needs of businesses at all levels. It Is a computer- based system as well as telecommunication technology for storage, processing, and dissemination of information, (Princhard and Cole 1997). It is no longer news that we are now in information age that is revolution and an information superhighway on which every corporate entity and profession must adopt if it is to survive in the 2 N century. The world of business and governance in the information age is further complicated by such concept such as democratization, competition, deregulation, privatization, commercialization, liberalization, internalization and computerization. This makes it impossible for an organization or country to survive and grow without information technology.
Today’s business environment is very dynamic and undergoes rapid changes as a result of technological innovations, increased awareness and demands from customers. Business organizations, especially the banking sector of the 21st century operates in a complex and competitive environment characterized by these changing conditions and highly unpredictable economic climate. Laudon and laudon, (1991), contend that managers cannot ignore information technology it because R plays a critical role in the advancement of contemporary organization.
The adoption of information technology concepts, techniques, policies and implementation strategies to banking services has become a subject of fundamental importance and concerns to all banks. This is owing to the fact that it is a prerequisite for local and global competitiveness. Information technology has directly influence the products and services that are offered in the banking industry. It has continued to change the way banks and their corporate relationship are organized worldwide and the variety of innovative devices available to enhance the speed and quality of service delivery. The banking industry in Nigeria has witnessed tremendous changes linked with the developments in information technology over the years. The quest for survival, global relevance, maintenance of existing market share and sustainable development has made exploitation of the many advantages of information technology through the use of automated devices imperative in the banking industry. It is against this backdrop that this study seeks to examine the impact of information technology on the growth and development of banking industry in Nigeria with particular reference to United Bank for Africa plc, (UBA), First Bank of Nigeria plc (FBN), and Zenith Bank Nigeria plc.