Being efficient is a growing necessity for all businesses.
In business today, efficiency is achieved through the extensive use of technology. As the global economy evolves, almost every position in business requires technical skills.
Whether you’re a software developer or administrative assistant, technology is involved in your everyday work. All the major industries would plummet if technology were to be separated from business because most business procedures and transactions involve the frequent use of technology.
New inventions and creativity in the technology sector have been driving economic growth. Modern tools such as Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, and Machine Learning have been disrupting the status quo of the business world.
Today, almost all functions of commerce require some form of technology.
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What is technology?
Since the dot-com bubble in the late 1990s, a period of massive growth in the use of the internet and technology began and has not slowed down.
Past and present human civilizations have benefited from and been impeded by technological innovations. To understand technology’s role in business, we must first understand what technology is.
Technology is the process by which scientific understanding can be applied to practical principles. As the reputed inventor Arthur C. Clarke said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
It assists society in functioning in a more advanced way, so if you are someone that tends to shy away from learning how to use new technology, you may want to rethink that choice.
Adverse Impacts of Technology on Society
Technology alone is not hurtful to society, but the ways society may use technology can result in adverse impacts of technology on society. Its negative impact can result in the following:
The heightened demand for technological innovation has caused the construction of more manufacturing and processing factories than ever. This leads to pollution, a factor that affects the land we grow food on, the water we drink, and the air we breathe.
An unfortunate duality is that the more technology we enjoy, the more we harm our environment. Technology can be environmentally friendly, but manufacturing will almost always cause pollution of some sort.
For example, according to The Guardian, Tesla’s electric vehicles contribute more to global warming than conventional cars due to the large amount of energy required to produce batteries.
Earth’s natural resources are very limited.
The more demand for technological innovation, the more limited the earth’s natural resources become. As the world’s population grows, the demand for technological essentials moves in tandem. At least in first-world countries, every person above the poverty line wants or has a phone.
This is good for phone manufacturers but not for the earth’s natural resources. There will come a time when the world is left with no natural resources for the future generation and the economy.
The Benefits of Technology
Despite the possible negative effects of technology, it has paved the way for various innovations in infrastructure, health, and other industries, which greatly benefited the world. Here are some of the benefits of technology in the following fields:
Both society and businesses have received positive impacts from innovative transportation methods.
A system or method of moving people or things is regarded as transportation. The four types of transportation are road transport, air transport, water transport, and space transport. Technologies such as cars, trucks, and buses have improved how humans navigate and transport their goods from point A to B.
Education is a cornerstone of a growing economy.
Lots of schools have integrated educational technology into their curriculum, intending to influence the way students learn. Technologies such as laptops, smartboards, and digital testing software are being used in lectures to boost students’ morale to learn.
The business community is heavily invested in educational technologies, which have countless applications for students and teachers. Remote learning has loosened the restraints on so many scholars around the globe
Why is Technology Important in Business?
It is common knowledge that technology is the main driver of success for modern businesses.
We are living in a fast-paced digital age. Being tech-savvy is no longer a bonus skill in today’s competitive economy. It is a requirement. Decision-making in business is essential to maintaining profit in the market.
The role of technology in business grows as operations become more complicated. Keeping your business up to date with emerging trends raises productivity and massively affects your bottom line.
There are many aspects that technology has modified for the better. Here are some examples:
Ensures Collaboration with Teams
Team collaboration is necessary for all business models to ensure the completion of important tasks, as well as collaborating on the planning of an ongoing project and finding compatible solutions to problems.
A project team can be located throughout the world with today’s technology. Collaboration can be done online using digital meeting tools from anywhere with an internet connection. With applications like SharePoint, businesses don’t have to save different versions of documents or spreadsheets. Files will automatically update in real-time. Internally and externally, technology has made communication simple and efficient.
Drives Marketing and Business Growth
Digital advertising has taken the internet by storm.
Modern methods will be used by businesses to connect with customers and expand into new markets through modern techniques. Even though your company has nothing to do with the internet or technology. Digital marketing is still your best bet at attracting more customers.
For example, a landscaping company would have no online transactions but having an easily accessible website is still very important for catching a customer’s interest. To give your business an edge over the competition, you should have experts in search marketing, web optimization, and social media targeting.
Streamlined Decision Making
Decision-making is crucial for the management of any business, no matter the industry. With the use of technologies like artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning, companies make better data-driven decisions.
These tools lead to insights drawn from customer engagement, marketing, and finance departments for increasing the accuracy of decisions being profitable.
Enhances Customer Relationships
It is every business’ goal to build a reliable and strong customer base. Customer Relationship Management software lets companies determine what their customers want.
Big Data analytics aids businesses analyze massive amounts of qualitative customer data. A business is hence able to give its users an enhanced, more personal experience, which leads to a more prosperous relationship.
Examples of Technologies in Business
Worldwide, companies are investing in technology. There are countless examples of the use of technology in business. If you’ve read this far, you now understand the importance of technology in business. Check out some specific modern technologies and how they have advanced the business world:
Cloud computing is the placement of computing services across the web. Which includes storage, servers, software, databases, and much more. Cloud computing is faster and easier for companies to get computing power.
Small companies can rent access to computing infrastructure and data centers instead of purchasing their own. This allows businesses to cut expenses of maintaining and owning IT infrastructure and pay as they go, so they only incur the costs of what they use.
Artificial Intelligence is the most significant technological advancement in recent history. AI describes applications where a machine mimics human brain functions like thinking and problem-solving. It has been an economic driver for companies, small and big.
AI is the intelligent behavior of machines, and it is a cornerstone of almost every new handheld device. Digital assistants are the most understood form of AI. Software such as Google Assistant, Siri, and Cortana, eliminates the need to even browse the web yourself.
Nowadays, machines can teach themselves, and intelligence is rendered into them, which we call machine learning. Machine Learning is an application of Artificial intelligence that gives machines the ability to learn and improve from experiences without a need to program them manually.
Machine learning is mainly categorized as the development of software that can access data and later use that data to learn. The goal is to make computers able to learn without any human interaction. Some examples of businesses using Machine Learning are the Manufacturing sector uses it for estimating when they need to do maintenance to their machinery. Also, e-commerce stores use ML for recommendations on what to sell.
3D printing is the process of making a physical object from a three-dimensional digital model. Utilizing additive methods, a 3D-printed item can be produced. An item is made via an additive method by adding suitable materials in layers until the product is formed.
In the business world, 3D printing is mainly used for prototyping by manufacturing or engineering firms.
A decentralized database shared by every one of the nodes in a computer network is known as a blockchain. As a database, a blockchain stores information of all kinds in digital format. Most people know of blockchains because of the role they play in the transactions of cryptocurrency.
A blockchain’s distinctiveness is that it creates trust without the necessity of a reliable third party by ensuring the validity and security of a data record such as a bank. In bitcoins case, blockchain is used in a decentralized way so that no one person can control the cryptocurrency system, all users collectively retain control.
How Can You Grow Your Business Through Technology?
In Canada, these types of software and tools are considered innovative.
The federal government has implemented Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax incentives (SRED) to encourage businesses of all sizes to start using these tools. SRED is a program offered by the federal government wherein companies who are facing technical challenges may recover up to 68% of their qualified costs like payroll, contractors, and materials.
So, if you plan on integrating more technology into your business, you should make sure to take advantage of all the grants available to you.
Technology is what drives our global economy. No matter the industry you are in, there is some sort of technology that will solve problems for your business. Every business owner should be up to date with their technology whether it is to break into a new market, save lives, or boost sales, technology will have its impact. We rely on technology more than we did in the past, and we will likely rely on it more in the future than we do now.
Shelly Solis is a content marketer and SEO who loves books, technology, and food. She is the co-founder of SaaSLaunchr, a saas marketing agency specializing in content outreach and growth hacking.