Over the past two decades, technology has advanced at an increasingly rapid rate. Modern technologies such as the iPhone have changed how consumers go about their daily business. However, technology has also heavily impacted the way in which corporations run their businesses. In fact, entirely new fields of business have emerged as a result of evolving technology.
For perspective, digital marketing has largely surprised traditional physical marketing, and is growing at a consistent yearly rate of 10%, far outpacing more traditional business fields. Beyond just starting new business fields, technology has changed the very fabric of how business is conducted to the smallest detail.
How Has Technology Changed in the 21st Century?
Understanding how business processes have evolved as a result of technology requires looking at just how much technology has changed over the last two decades. Everybody views smartphones as the benchmark for how technology has adapted and, while this is partially true, there is so much more to be uncovered.
In reality, computing power and software development are two of the most foundational technological advancements that have allowed for all other modern technologies to develop. The primary building block of all microchips, included in the brain of your computer, known as transistors, allows your computer to translate a binary “0” and “1” sequence into a set of instructions.
Put simply, more transistors mean more computing power, thus more technological advancement. Back in 1965, a man named Gordon Moore who helped found Intel predicted that the number of transistors would double yearly, a concept that became known as Moore’s Law. In the last 20 years, specifically, this law has held true and now nearly 2.6 billion transistors can be packed into a space that, as of 20 years ago, could only hold around 5 million.
This increase in power has allowed new software and hardware to develop, which has thus allowed for new applications to emerge over time. Apps such as Instagram, Twitter, Spotify, and even general email applications were all able to be created as a result of this advancement in technology.
7 Ways in Which Technology Has Changed Business
In accordance with the above, there are a few key ways that technology has changed the way in which business processes occur. While you likely don’t social media applications while on the job, unless you work for those companies, there are seven primary ways the increase in computing power has impacted business functions:
- How employees communicate with each other
While there are many pluses and minuses to instant communication, the days of phone calls and emails being the only way to contact employees within your organization is something of the past. Platforms like Skype and Microsoft Teams allow for instant messaging over the computer, and phones allow for text messages.
Additionally, spurred on by the Covid-19 pandemic, platforms like Zoom have emerged where you can have video calls with other employees within minutes. This increase in communication bleeds into productivity in a positive way and can help employees get answers to questions they need in order to do their job.
- Mobile business environments
Remote and hybrid work options are only possible as a result of improved computing power. The affordability of personal laptops means most companies can afford to provide employees with a work device. Going further, however, virtual desktops run through personal computers, meaning companies don’t even need to spend money on equipment for employees.
- Sparked the rise of digital marketing
As mentioned earlier, digital marketing has vastly outpaced traditional marketing in a number of ways. Targeted algorithms show specific ads to the ideal customer base for a company’s product or service, which allows for a higher conversion rate. Additionally, easy access to public records online allows companies to identify who their target audience actually is.
- The introduction of artificial intelligence
Despite the sci-fi thriller movies depicting a global takeover of artificial intelligence, the technology is still in its early stages. However, when perfected, it could completely automate many business processes and shift what the workforce actually looks like, thereby creating new jobs while removing fewer essential ones.
- Costs are on the decline
Some companies don’t even need a physical office for their employees anymore, which serves as just one example of how costs can fall as technology advances. Additionally, digital documentation means paperless organizations can emerge. This reduces the cost of paper, printing, postage, and transportation of all those items, which can add up over time.
- Streamlined travel for business purposes
In the past, companies often had to rely on travel agencies to sort out travel items for employees. However, many companies now use their own travel portals which saves on external costs. On top of this, booking travel digitally can be done in seconds, and corporate payment can be processed faster than ever before.
- New forms of business have been emerging
As alluded to, new businesses are popping up constantly as a result of advancing technology. Take rideshare companies such as Uber or Lyft as an example. 20 years ago, few people could have imagined the iPhone, let alone a car delivery service that would make the taxi business buckle. New businesses such as the above are bound to continue to form in the years to come, which will present new job opportunities for many.
Revolutionize your business with technology
It’s no secret that adaptation is one of the most important tools a company needs to stay competitive, regardless of the industry they are in. However, that adaptability needs to extend to technology as well. Don’t be afraid to start integrating new technology into your business workflow in order to maximize productivity, communication, and overall revenues.
Additionally, be sure that all technology integrated by your organization contains security measures so that cybercriminals cannot exploit your business. There’s no shortage of ways in which an organization can improve their technology but staying ahead of the general curve is the best way to increase your competitive advantage.