Many companies are changing the way they do business internationally by utilizing the latest advancements in information and communication technology. New devices like smartphones and tablet computers, the latest software and media applications, and the popularity of social networking sites make it easy for businesses to communicate with colleagues and customers around the world, evaluate product performance and sales, and market and promote their products more effectively, all of which play an increasingly large role in international business.
Information technology is largely shared through mobile devices; laptops, PDAs and smartphones are now common in any workplace. These devices make it possibly for companies to instantly share updates and new product releases not only within their company, but with affiliates, shareholders, colleagues and competitors anywhere in the world. The speed at which information can be shared via this type of technology have made international businesses extremely accessible, both to others in the business world and to customers.
Most companies have at least a minimal online presence, which is key to joining a global business community. A website, along with interaction on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, allow companies to stay up to date on their competitors, share information with customers, receive instant and honest feedback from customers and advertise their products to the world. In this case, information technology helps international businesses by providing speedier and more reliable networking, marketing, advertising and research and development opportunities.
International businesses, by default, face more competition than other businesses, as a company on the other side of the world may be producing a similar product. Information technology provides speed of communication that helps companies stay one step ahead of their competitors. In addition, more jobs are open to workers in an international business field. Many companies are allowing workers to perform their jobs from any location with Internet connection; a worker in New York can join a meeting in Tokyo via video conferencing, or a worker in Seattle could sell products from Argentina online. Opening up the workforce means more job opportunities for workers and a better chance for employers to find the perfect person to fill a position.
Information technology is present in international business in several ways. The Internet is possibly the most important facet, as most information is stored and shared globally thanks to this technology. Smartphones like the BlackBerry and iPhone, as well as tablet computers and laptops, keep workers connected in any location, making their jobs more flexible and giving them access to information instantly. Software and applications like Skype, VoIP (Voice Over Instant Protocol) and finance and productivity applications give businesses a faster, easier way to connect with others and organize their information.
There are many things to consider when approaching information technology from an international business perspective. A study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggests three ways a business worker can view this technology; as he makes the decision of whether to enter an industry, as he considers how to improve his business, and as he considers how to get ahead of the competition.
- business colleagues preparing for business meeting image by Vladimir Melnik from Fotolia.com