People use technology not only for entertainment, but also for business. For example, managers may send instant messages or emails to employees, and they may rely on computers and computer software to manage inventory or track funds. On the surface, technology in business appears to be "all roses," but it also holds disadvantages. Business people have to weigh these disadvantages against the advantages before they implement technology in the workplace.
Expense is probably the number one disadvantage related to technology and business. For example, as of 2010, a single computer or software program may cost several hundred dollars. Not only that, but companies can't just buy their technology once and be done--they need to update the technology constantly in order to stay abreast of technological standards and improvements. Additionally, having technology means that a company needs to pay technology professionals to assist with and monitor that technology.
Technology streamlines business processes, but in order to do so, it often displaces the personal touch of business (e.g. getting an automated service instead of a phone representative when calling a company.) Dennis Aubuchon of the California Chronicle claims that businesses that create a personal atmosphere will be more successful than businesses that do not. Following this assertion, in some cases, technology may be directly correlated to a loss of, rather than an increase in, business revenue.
Error and Production Cessation
Technology in the workplace is common. However, some employees may overly rely on their business technology to complete tasks and services. This may lead to employees not catching errors that might have been caught had the task been done manually. Additionally, over-reliance on technology impacts whether a business can complete tasks if the technology is removed. For example, a business that functions completely online can't process orders at all if the business' server fails, and factories may have to halt production of a product if a robot on an assembly line breaks down.
The commonness of a technology in business tempers the disadvantages of that technology to some degree. For instance, since so many companies use the Internet, network specialists are very familiar with how to fix issues of network security, speed and connectivity.
Technology often gives the impression of innovation, efficiency and progressiveness. Managers who don't use technology thus risk having the public and other professionals see their company seen as "slow" or "not keeping up with the times." Managers typically opt to deal with the disadvantages technology brings rather than to risk leaving such a negative impression of the company.
Some of the disadvantages related to technology link to the ethical standards of the employees, as pointed out by Gaebler Ventures. For instance, employees may choose to surf the Internet for personal reasons while on company time, or they may purposely ignore technology procedures because they have a personal dispute with management. Ethics training thus may reduce some of the disadvantages technology holds for managers.
Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website, Takingdictation.com, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.