Running a successful business in the technological age brings with it whole host of challenges our predecessors couldn’t have even have imagined. From cardless payments to cross-platform communication strategies, the modern landscape looks very different. So what impact has technology had on businesses and how did it help to shape this brave new world?
Image Source: Sean Ellis
From a business point of view, a lot of the innovations of the last twenty years have been a direct result of the growth of the internet. There are a variety of tools we now consider low-tech, daily essentials that wouldn’t have been an option three decades ago. Hell, one decade ago. Don not underestimate the impact not having to go directly to the bank to check balances and make payments has on the productivity of your day. Internet banking saves us hours a week. Similarly, the ability to send and receive messages instantly has revolutionised business. Communicating easily with every corner of the world opens up international markets to even the smallest of businesses.
Communications is one of the biggest areas in which technological advances have had a profound impact. So much so that it even has it’s own specialities. Public relations experts advise on how to communicate with the media. Marketing specialists can develop cross-platform strategies targeted at specific demographics. The rise of social media and e-commerce has opened up a new world. With targeted advertisements and a wealth of different options to promote your business, market share is no longer limited by location or budget. Internal communications as well has changed the way we do business. Instant messenger software and integrated phone systems enable companies to operate from many offices. This has widened the recruitment pool, allowing businesses to choose from the best people in the world.
The way we make decisions about the future of our companies has also changed. Reputable business consulting firms now offer insights and advice based on sophisticated analysis of a whole host of data points. Technology has made not only collecting huge amounts of data relatively cheap and easy, it has also provided us with the means to store it all. Analytics software means we can quickly and accurately draw conclusions on customer behaviour. Product performance and the effects small changes are having on sales and revenue can also be assessed.
The internet and e-commerce not only increased competition amongst retailers, it also made next day delivery a necessity. Logistics technology and transport improvements mean we no longer wait weeks for essential deliveries or make do without vital supplies.
The rise of technology has also facilitated a greater work-life balance, with people able to pick up emails, phone calls and documents remotely. Of course, many would argue that this has in fact blurred the lines between personal and private lives. And that’s the one shortfall technology has had on the business environment. It makes both being a workaholic effortless and at the same time encourages slackers to slack off with online shopping, remote working and ridiculous memes.