The technology revolution is considered the next big shift that has occurred in our society since the manufacturing revolution. Technology has far-reaching implications on business. It can make or break a business in today’s fast-paced business environment. Businesses should carefully evaluate the implications of adopting or ignoring shifts that occur in the technological landscape.
Efficiency and Productivity
Technological innovations improve the efficiency of a business and hence increase its productivity. Bill Gates had once quoted, “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
Technology is improving the execution of various operations such as sales, accounting and customer self-service. Until recently, most productivity gains have been led by manufacturing, but other businesses are now exploiting technology to improve their productivity.
Today’s customers interact with businesses using ever more sophisticated technical devices and mediums such as Internet-enabled smartphones. This imposes the need on business to adapt their processes and support these technologies.
A business built using the right technology the right way is able to respond to changes in market environment and policy in a much more nimble way. Any business depending on inflexible technological choices will find it difficult to adapt to rapidly changing business environments.
Compliance and Policy changes
The financial scams and meltdowns of the 1990s and 2000s have brought businesses under the radar of new rules and compliance policies such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the intent of which was to help expose malpractices earlier. This requires businesses to adopt their processes to comply with stricter reporting rules. Technology plays a key role to smooth out such reporting requirements without affecting the day-to-day business.
Impact on workplace
The proliferation of technology in business causes a shift in workplace culture and working conditions. Geographically distributed teams, telecommuting and flexible work timings are a few of many impacts that technology is having on work culture.
Every business has to carefully allocate resources for maintaining and improving its technology. Businesses that are predominantly technology driven are proving to be more efficient and lean than non-technology based businesses. Substantial investment in technology plays a big role in keeping a business competitive.
Challenging pace of change
The technology industry is known to change at a faster rate than the businesses it serves. Businesses have to deal with keeping up with technology upgrades and product refresh cycles. Coping with rapid advances in technology poses a unique challenge. Businesses have to decide whether to get on the latest technology bandwagon to reap its potential rewards, which may or may not appear, or stick with the older technology that meets its current needs but may result in losing a technology edge to its competitors.