Living life let alone running a business without computers seems almost unthinkable today. Since 2011, the United Nations has declared access to the internet a basic human right because it makes a difference in how people live. With business, it’s arguable that companies that use computers best are most inclined to succeed simply because the possibilities and versatility of technology today are so expansive. The advantages of computers in business go far beyond better inventory tracking and record keeping.
Using computers in business is no longer optional, but are you using the right programs and software? It's important to follow industry accounts so you know how new tech and apps are redefining the ways you could be doing business.
The smartphone is essentially a computer now, and they may not be as stable and unflappable as the NASA supercomputers of 1969, but they do have millions of times more computational potential than those monoliths had. In fact, some think smartphones could even replace computers for some businesses. Then there are tablets and all-in-one desktop computers where a thicker monitor holds the entire computer. There are laptops and even desktops and laptops that offer touchscreen input now, and what you pay often dictates how long your tech will be relevant.
If there’s a problem in the computer world now, it's that obsolescence is a constant threat. Technology moves so fast and changes so rapidly that many products are rendered obsolete inside of two to three years. Staying up to date with hardware and apps can make all the difference in program stability, up time and the opportunities offered through tech. Just some of the ways computers help in business is with programs that help expedite:
- Project management
- Production and productivity management
- Design and engineering
- Expense tracking and budgeting
- Inventory management and shipping tracking
- Industry oversight and alerts
- Database and information management
- Client care
- Tracking related industry news via alerts
Third-party apps on computers and other devices have radically transformed business, and offices are beginning to be more virtual than actual. With programs like Slack, teams now collaborate around the world in real time. Video interfacing through meeting apps like Zoom allows multiple parties to meet in one virtual space with full video and audio.
Even apps like Google Docs are collaborative in real time, so teams can tag-team or pass around spreadsheets and other documents, make notes and have thorough records of all changes and commentary in the margins.
Today, you can be on vacation and check in with the office in real time. This has given rise to the digital nomad and location-independent entrepreneurs and employees who work on the road like no previous generation ever has. In a way, the internet is the great equalizer and almost makes place irrelevant in business.
Information management is a key example of the importance of computers in business administration. At a glance, a manager can see what sales are doing and what problems are arising, and they can act rapidly thanks to the instantaneous connection afforded through most management apps and programs. Better yet, computers can be programmed to have specific operations for each business or client through highly adaptable software or even proprietary creations.
Transparency and accountability are more possible with today’s technology. Even a mom-and-pop hardware shop can have software to record transactions for their customers, making orders and client care easier than ever before. Businesses can track individual employee behavior online, monitor divisional sales and accomplishments and much more.
The role of computers in business is to help you work smarter, not harder. In 2009, Apple created a cult phrase: “There’s an app for that!” It proved so true with computers and phones that Apple quickly trademarked the phrase.
The struggle today is more about finding the right software for your problem. Consider talking to or following productivity evangelists and information technology experts to see if you’re overlooking potential solutions through smartphones, tablets and computers that could be a game changer in how you solve and expedite business challenges.