Technology transforms business daily at an accelerating rate. All business branches and departments literally absorb new hardware and software, while the Internet and intranets facilitate and speed up business operations immensely. Data has become virtualised, companies’ target markets and objectives get continually globalised and business communication is currently media-based at an unprecedented degree.
Gone are the days of pen and paper data management. The same fate seems to await internal company digital databases whose role is being taken over by cloud computing services such as Gmail or Google Docs. The Internet is the most efficient tool of the present day business when it comes to handling information. More and more companies deploy their data and run them entirely within the clouds, which allows larger groups of employees to access, share and edit them online from everywhere at any time. Apart from online storage, the Internet also provides the opportunity to collect data. It facilitates and accelerates gathering business intelligence on competitors, conducting research on market demands and looking for new clients.
Global marketing and e-commerce
Another use of technology in business is the application of online solutions in marketing and sales. For the companies it means globalising their target market. Their clients and partners, on the other hand, enjoy increased availability of the services. E-commerce, online advertising and customer service have made business international, providing worldwide outreach for brands like Amazon or Microsoft. In addition to that, social media marketing gave rise to viral marketing tactics and have come to constitute immensely efficient means for company and product promotion.
Business communication is another aspect which has been revolutionised by the advance of social media and other technologies. While mobile phones, emails and PDAs have become the basic means of communicating both with clients and remote co-workers, fast transport opportunities and online conferences allow for meeting business partners from all over the world, physically or virtually. Top-down and horizontal communication between employees is largely facilitated by intranet technologies. Their overriding function is to streamline the workflow, which is achieved by providing workers with more accurate and individualised information and executing their concentration on strategic objectives. Finally, the Social CRM enabled enterprises to manage and maintain relationships with their clients, keep them up-to-date with the companies’ offers and establish rapport.
Business technology traps
Technological solutions ensure tremendous upsurge in the access and speed of all business operations, eliminating physical and geographical barriers to market development. Nevertheless, along with these benefits, a number of concerns about the implementation of business technologies arise. Security issues are at stake since computers may be hacked into and data stored in clouds and company databases is prone to theft. Furthermore, the use of high-technology entails continual demand for updating expensive software and hardware. Finally, the ubiquity of communication devices and the need to stay constantly in touch may lead to the employees’ frustration and a sense of their entrapment by technology.
In a nutshell, it is no overstatement to say that technology has redefined business in terms of data management, marketing techniques and communication at all levels. As a result of the use of Internet, companies gradually become more global, and owing to the intranets and a plethora of new communication means, the workflow is faster than ever before. On the other hand, data security breaches and employees’ anxiety caused by the proliferation of ways to contact them at any time are not uncommon obstructions to the smooth functioning and productivity of technologised businesses.