Technology has always been accompanied by change. Some of this change is fairly small and affects only one specific sector, while other change is major and affects everyone. When it comes to changes in technology, more often than not it’s on a fairly large scale. Look at the computer, for example—we’re still seeing major ripples from changes in that technology. The business world is often hit especially hard by technology changes because they can result in the complete renovation of a process or even an entire industry. Here are eight different ways technology is changing the business landscape and how businesses have to adapt or be left behind.
1. Facilitating Business Monetization
Thanks to mobile technology, businesses have been able to monetize more than ever. Before these changes, customers had to walk into a business and pay for an item. Then, they could call in and order over the phone. With the internet, online shopping became an option. Now, thanks to the prevalent use of smart phones and tablets, businesses can offer transactions through a wide variety of apps. Retailers, restaurants, and even gaming companies offer customers the option to pay through apps on their phone in a fast, secure manner.
2) Enabling Business Real-time Analytics
In order to keep up with customer trends and craft the most effective marketing plans possible, businesses need up-to-date customer data. With smart phones, they can now use apps to gather data in real-time, making it possible to react to customer trends and new habits immediately. Various tools allow the huge amount of customer data gathered every day to be analyzed and sorted into customer sets that can be utilized in a variety of different ways. This data can be shared between departments or office locations quickly and easily through online task management programs, too, making it possible to see the big picture no matter where you’re physically located.
3) Facilitating Interactions via Business Apps
Prior to the internet, customers and businesses interacted primarily in person or over the phone, and no one ever suspected it would be any different. Now, social media sites, texting, and apps let businesses interact with their customers on a day to day basis, sharing everything from coupons and product announcements to fun videos and pictures of the staff. Social media has become, in fact, one of the major forms of advertising today, and it’s all thanks to the technology that has made it possible to go online anywhere. Customers can access the services they want no matter where they are, while businesses can reach out with information and deals at any time.
4) Fueling development of Business Gadgets
One thing you have probably noticed at the store, a restaurant, the park, and even the movie theater is that people are on their phones all the time. When they get home, they may exchange the phone for the computer screen, but they’re still online. Businesses know consumers are spending hours every day on the internet and using apps, and this knowledge is driving the development of more apps and other gadgets that will let customers interact with and purchase products from businesses. As more gadgets become internet-connected, the online customer base grows, and any business that isn’t trying to keep up by rolling out new gadgets to engage with these customers is going to get left behind.
5) The rise of the cloud
Thanks to the cloud and various cloud-based applications, businesses and even the average user can now retrieve data from anywhere they can access the internet. Businesses can also spend much less money on software by “leasing” it from the cloud. They pay for the software as it’s needed, and when it’s not, they simply cancel the subscription. There’s very little to actually install on the user’s computer.
6) Supporting Business Security
Of course, all of these apps, cloud servers, and other online systems do mean one thing: businesses must be much more careful with their security. In the past twenty years, thanks to technology changes, cyber-defense has gone from a non-concern to an industry that makes billions every year. Having a strong antivirus, locking servers down from hackers, and using an advanced intrusion prevention, and detection system No system is 100% hacker-proof, of course, but the stronger your security is, the less likely malicious people are going to target it. Hackers go after the weaker systems, so those who don’t invest in security solutions may find that they’re targeted more often than not.
7) 24/7/365 business connectivity
The world is now connected 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It’s easy to send email to an office halfway around the world, retrieve data from three different locations within a few minutes, and then attend a conference video call with representatives from a dozen different countries. Customers can access products and services at any time, allowing businesses to continue to make profits even when their physical store is closed. This connectivity only reinforced the idea that businesses must keep up with this technology. If they fall behind, they’re going to lose customers to the businesses that have embraced being connected every second of every day.
8) Other important trends
There are a number of other trends that are currently in development that may have a huge impact on businesses in the future. One example is 3D printing. This technology may revolutionize the manufacturing industry, but it also has far-reaching applications for the medical community, retailers, and anyone who needs custom parts or products. Augmented reality may seem to be limited to gaming, but it may be used for training and for virtual tours. Wearable technology is advancing at a fast paceand may change how patients record their vitals and other health information.
As technology changes and evolves, the business world will, too. How it evolves and what changes we’ll see in the next five, ten, and twenty years may be surprising, but there’s no denying that they will occur.