Change is the only thing that is constant in the world. With the rise of technology, everything is not the same as before. It transforms various fields and applications – education, entertainment, healthcare and most especially, business.
Business came before civilization. Our early ancestors had done informal businesses and trades before. However, the first recorded corporations began in 1602. The first was named Dutch East India Company and followed by British East India Company.
In the 1950s, computers were born. It changed how businesses manage their operations. Instead of large piles and shelves of documents, files were saved in the computers. Data were written in electronic form. In the 1980s, the internet has made computers more powerful and smarter. From then on, business operations have started to become automated. It helped businesses maximize their efficiency and productivity.
Over the past decades, technology has really transformed the way companies, corporations and people conduct business. The technology has improved their processes and has helped them expand their businesses.
In the 21st century, smartphones are more diverse, affordable and accessible. According to the latest survey of Pew Research Center, 95% of the Americans own smartphone devices. In their 2015 data, 43% of the world population owns a smartphone. Thus, smartphones are becoming part of people’s lives.
Smartphones have already changed how businesses perform their operations. Firstly, mobile phones are used to improve means of communication. The company can reach to its employees and workers instantly through the use of instant messaging. Second, smartphones’ ability to connect to the internet enables employees to connect to their system for easy monitoring of updates and changes. Lastly, smartphones are capable of hosting various applications that can help employees improve their productivity.
The cloud technology makes it easier and more convenient for businesses to have access to data and information. It allows stakeholders share secure and private information and even retrieve data from anywhere, as long as they can access the internet. It increases their efficiency as cloud computing minimizes downtime, crashes, and loss of data.
Moreover, it gives small businesses a chance to access resources that have been prohibited to them before. This levels the playing field when it comes to competing against large businesses and corporations.
Before businesses have to knock each one’s door to promote their businesses. But with social media platforms, they are able to reach their target markets instantly. For example, the most popular social networking site Facebook has over 2.01 billion active users in the world. With the right marketing strategy, businesses can reach this number of users instantly. Apart from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram also changed the game.
Moreover, it makes it easier for businesses to profile their audience as most users provide their information on their social media accounts.
Businesses can share content – photos, and videos. This may include their business information, promotions, and product announcements, among others. Basically, social media changed the marketing landscape of businesses.
For businesses to keep up with the trend, they used software that enables them to conduct real-time analytics. This provides them an analysis of the recent customer trends or even how your business is doing in the market. It decreases your burden of preparing your actions for the future.
Some of the most common data analytics applications are Google Analytics for web traffic, Traackr for social influence, MOZ for search engine optimization and Twitter Analytics for Twitter data, among others.
Before technology, people have access to their favorite shops or stores between 10 AM to 5 PM. Those are the office hours. But now, people can now have access to businesses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.
Through technology, businesses can engage and interact with all their customers anywhere in the world, anytime. Gone are the days when customers rely on phone calls to know about your company. Now, there are websites that can provide ample information to your customers. Social media allows customers to raise their queries. Online shops allow consumers to shop for goods and services 24/7.
As mentioned earlier, smartphones have improved communication between company members. But apart from that, businesses can now gather together digitally. There are dozens of teleconferencing platforms that allow stakeholders to meet together without actually being physically present in one venue.
Technology has also provided reliable security solutions to businesses. Cyber protection, virus defense, and hacker detection are among the means that keep businesses do their transactions online very safely. Businesses can now send money, information, projects or make transactions online without the fear of being hacked, phished or intruded.
Software makes businesses do their work more accurate and efficient. There are hundreds of software available on the web for different purposes. There are specific software or applications for database management, documentation, multimedia production, bookkeeping, data entry and more. These software enable employees to automate their work, rather than them doing the work itself.
Apart from 24/7 connectivity, technology has also improved their relationship with customers and various stakeholders. Technology improves how businesses provide services or produce products for the benefit of their beloved consumers. Moreover, businesses can be able to expand the knowledge of their consumers about their products or services through more interactive means of information dissemination.
In the 20th century, virtual reality has gained popularity. This is one of the rising technologies that changed the business landscape forever. Virtual reality has improved the way businesses conduct training of new members and existing employees. It also improved their customer engagement. Through virtual reality, they can minimize their time from doing prototypes of their projects as virtual reality can provide them the vision of the projects. Further, virtual reality has redefined the way members of the company communicate with each other. These are just some of the many ways virtual reality changed business.
Again, change is the only thing constant. More advancements will come in the coming years. Some companies are developing 3D printers that enable people to easily manufacture materials that are essential for their businesses. Augmented reality is near impossible. Let us just remember that these technological advances are made to help people improve their businesses, not to totally rely our future on technology.