Running a business these days is very different from running a business just 20 years ago. The entire ecosystem has changed, and we have the technology to thank for it.
Tech has permeated every layer of our lives, from the way we consume entertainment, to the way we conduct business. We’ve put together a list of ways how technology is changing business as we speak. Use this guide as a preview of things to come.
Liquidity of financial assets has always been one of the prerequisites for smooth business transactions. Back in the day, paying for a service or products within the same monetary zone could take days. Then you’d have to wait a few more days for the supplier to log the payment, prepare the shipment and deliver the goods.
Needless to say, doing business required a lot of planning. Things only became even more extreme once you moved from local business to doing business with partners overseas.
Technology is changing that issue by introducing digital financial networks capable of logging transactions in a matter of seconds. Paying for something online is lightning fast. Expedited payments mean faster order processing times and ultimately faster delivery times.
Nowadays, we’re entering the age of cryptocurrencies which will make global payments even faster once they enter the mainstream.
Automation is one of the first steps towards independent artificial intelligence. That being said, we’re still far from reaching that type of AI. For now, we have all kinds of AI assistants capable of automating a large number of menial tasks. Some voice assistant developers are working on new ways of streamlining various tasks for businesses involved in all kinds of industries. Virtual assistants are taking over call handling, thus allowing small businesses to gain a customer support footprint similar to that of much larger organizations.
Software automation is just one part of the whole story. There is also hardware automation that has been around for a long time. Yet, only recently have we seen the proliferation of highly accurate robotics and highly automated systems. Whereas the initial implementation of such technologies involved several robotic components on a massive assembly line, these days we’re seeing entire automated factories with minimal human oversight.
Communication is by far one of the most important aspects of doing business. Being able to convey your thoughts, plans, requirements, or demands to the other party is essential for any kind of compromise. We’ve had a chance to see just how far communications services have progressed.
Technology is changing and remote work has become the norm all over the world due to unforeseen circumstances of 2020 and 2021. Entire companies ditched their office buildings in favor of virtual conferences. While similar tech existed before, we’ve never witnessed it applied on this scale without it failing. Needless to say, certain companies came through with advanced solutions that were suitable for mass use.
If there’s one industry that was turned upside down by technology changing, it’s the marketing industry. Just in the last 30 years, we’ve shifted from TV and radio marketing almost exclusively to internet marketing.
The event that caused this shift was the invention of a smartphone device. Now that everyone is carrying a smartphone in their pockets, marketers have gained much more direct access to people. We can go a step further. Prior to the proliferation of smartphones and the internet in general, marketing agencies had to invest a lot of time and effort into market research.
Today, even individual digital marketing specialists can attain very accurate data within minutes of subscribing to a platform such as Facebook or similar. Such data is literally built into these networks, allowing you to surgically target specific demographics.
Modern companies are heavily dependent on computing power. With that came the need for a centralized database where all the critical data would be stored. Such databases are located off-site and are operating completely online. The idea is that every employee of the organization can access the data they need from any terminal within the organization, or elsewhere.
Cloud computing has also allowed for the centralization of critical resources. Many companies have seen a massive spike in efficiency thanks to cloud computing.
Outsourcing is one of the most controversial subjects of the 21st century, especially in the digital world. We’ve seen a massive increase in outsourcing work to countries with lower living standards where highly trained professionals are offering quality services at competitive prices.
Compared to the more common outsourcing of manufacturing, digital outsourcing is making it possible for companies to operate completely online, without being tied to a location other than for tax purposes. There are currently numerous highly profitable companies in the online marketing business that consists of employees from all over the world.
Such companies are the best representation of how modern technologies are affecting businesses around the world.
Data processing is a crucial part of what many companies need to do in order to facilitate growth. All the items we’ve listed above have led to a massive improvement in data processing and management in general. Businesses can process data much faster, allowing those who rely on this data to receive critical feedback faster and ultimately make adjustments on their end.
The future of business is looking extremely bright. The changing of technologies is so interconnected with the business that the two are driving each other forward. We are nearing the edge of several important AI breakthroughs that could cause a technological quantum leap that will have serious effects on the way we conduct business as a species.
From that point forward, it is extremely difficult to make any kind of predictions considering the uncertainties such new technologies bring to the table. Overall, the future looks more than bright from where we’re standing. At some point we’ll possibly see most industries step deep into automation, thus causing a major push for career changes, universal basic income, and more. It will be some time until that happens, though.