Before you read the following article you may want to take a look at further content around Digital Transformation and Business Strategy tools such as Scenario Planning and Porter’s Five Forces first.
The Importance of Digital Technology
The rapid growth of technology makes it very difficult to keep up to date with what is going on around us. However, it is undeniable that one of the best ways for businesses to stay competitive within an industry is by implementing and adopting technology to improve both their productivity and performance, and with the more and more types of technology which are emerging around us today this has become much more important.
Those business leaders who are always seeking ways to improve, grow and become innovative will consider technology as no other than a tool which allows them to do exactly that, where if you can leverage and implement correctly, the efficiency of your business is likely to increase rapidly.
So before we take a look at which technology you could use to your own advantage, let’s consider the pros and cons that are associated with technology today.
Advantages of technology in business
- Improved Productivity: Software systems such as project management systems has allowed business to make better use of their resources, through the likes of planning and scheduling of employees.
- Improved Communication: Online systems such as zoom, Microsoft teams and online chat boxes have made it much easier for business to communicate with different members of staff, as well as their customer base no matter where they are in the world.
- Improved Efficiency: Artificial intelligence and other types of technology are being used to automate processes and speed up the workflow of businesses, helping to improve business efficiency.
- Improved Customer Experience: Technology has been leveraged in a way to meet the demands of consumers giving them the ability to purchase products and services online easier. Customers also have the ability to receive communication from businesses easier, improving their satisfaction levels.
- Improved Security: Technology can offer large organisations who hold large amounts of confidential data certain levels of security measures.
- Better Decision Making: Technologies ability to analyse large amounts of data and information at a given time allows business to make more informed decisions, helping them strategize towards the future development of the business.
Disadvantages of technology in business
- Expensive: One of the biggest pitfalls when it comes to technology on the market is the price businesses must pay to implement it within their own environnment. This is often the reason for the gap in competitiveness between the larger organisations and the smaller firms.
- Increased Dependence on Technology: Becoming dependent on a piece of technology can leave a business at risk. Business leaders will want to have a scenario plan in place which allows them to become proactive if they found themselves in a time where a certain piece of technology fails or shuts down on them as this will allow them to have plans in place to continue to meet customer demand.
- Implications to Employee Satisfaction: The implementation of new technology can often at times see employees’ job role or responsibilities be affected. This can have implications for certain employees’ job satisfaction and as a result can have a negative effect on their productivity levels or even see them leaving the company.
- Effect on Employee Skills and Talent: Implementing software which reduces the need for certain roles and responsibilities can negatively affect employees skills and talent over time. This also applies to online communication having an effect on the social side of employees.
- Risk of Cyber Security: Although there is technology which is developed to hold large amounts of personal data, businesses can still be left open to cyber attacks, leaving them at risk of loosing customer or employee data and potentially facing legal consequences.
Now we understand the importance of technology, and its advantages and disadvantages, let’s take a look at the most common technology on the market today.
What are the 5 Types of Technology?
Below list some of the emerging technology we can find within our business environment today. Each of which has the ability to improve the efficiency of a business, however depending on the industry in which you operate will determine which technology is best suited to you.
What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Article Intelligence is becoming the number one technological application used by businesses today, where the software can be used to automate business processes and provide you with effective data insights and information. This piece of technology has been established in many different industries such as the healthcare sector, the education sector and the manufacturing sector.
Recently established Artificial Intelligence technologies are the likes of ChatGPT developed by Open AI and is set up as a language based model trained to analyse large amounts of data and deliver anyone the user conversational style response to their specific questions. Applications such as this offers opportunity for businesses to make better use of their time, where the Artificial Intelligence software system can produce data at a rapid pace, allowing business leaders to use their time focusing on other aspects of their business.
Advantages of Artificial Intelligence are in relation to the applications ability to complete human-like tasks automatically helping business reduce the time for detailed tasks. This system can also be used to improve your decision making and deliver improved results over time. In addition to this, with the platform’s ability to learn from data and improve performance, businesses can be assured that their business is likely to grow through adopting this type of technology.
What is Blockchain Technology
Blockchain Technology is often seen in supply chain management where it encourages transparent information sharing for business networks. This type of technology became popular in 2009 when it was adopted by Bitcoin due to its ability to record information and make it impossible to change or hack.
Blockchain is described as a digital ledger where businesses can use this tool to record and distribute transactions securely. The Blockchain ledger will start off as one block, then when a transaction is made another block will be formed containing a new piece of information. These two blocks will then be linked with each other, and the link will remain as other transactions are made and more blocks are added.
The main advantages that come with this technology which business can leverage is greater security, greater trust and improved efficiencies.
What is Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) in its simplest terms looks to connect devices to the internet, and other devices. The aim of this technology is to create a network of connected devices, formed to collect and share data and information about the environment around them. These ‘things’ could be anything from vehicles, physical devices to cooking accessories, each of which are capable of having sensors to connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the internet.
Each of these technological devices will have built in sensors capable of integrating data from different devices and share valuable data to make certain changes. These types of communication devices are seen all around us, for example if you are driving a car which can detect the brightness outside and adjust your headlights to match your requirement.
Internet of Things (IoT) is being used in businesses to provide informed up to date insights by analysing large amounts of data where the program also offers the ability to automate processes, this has made it common in the manufacturing industry, allowing companies to improve their efficiency.
There are currently over 7 billion Internet of Things devices being used today, with reports from Oracle saying experts are expecting these figures to grow to 22 billion by 2025.
What is Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing is known as the delivery of computing services which allows business to become more flexible and innovative by storing data in ‘the cloud’, helping you improve your efficiency and have lower operating costs.
There are three types of cloud computing technology which you can find in the business environment. These have been listed below
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): This type of service is considered as a pay as you go service, offering you essential storage and networking, as well as the flexibility to scale up by saving money on general business costs. This is often seen with companies such as Amazon and Microsoft.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): Platform as a service looks to develop and deploy resources from the cloud which could be used to the advantage of your business. An example of this is through online app stores, where you have the ability to purchase and manage the applications and services.
- Software as a Service (SaaS): Software as a service seeks to deliver software applications over the internet, where everything is managed by the provider, helping the business improve productivity levels. This type of software is seen with emails and Microsoft Office 365.
Businesses today are using cloud commuting to their advantage to improve their speed in terms of how easy it is to access complex information, and reducing their cost through the reduced need for hardware and software systems. The cloud computing software system also improves both productivity and performance, where it reduces the need for time consuming IT requirements such as software set up and patching, allowing you to allocate your time effectively.
What is Big Data Analytics
Many businesses are generating huge amounts of data on a daily basis, whether it be with their customers communicating with them or purchasing their products and servicing, or their employees carrying their roles and responsibilities. It is one thing to store this data, however it is another to use it to your own advantage, and this is known as Big Data Analytics.
This type of technology will discover trends and patterns within large amounts of data and use this to help businesses make informed decisions. This will be completed through various steps as explained below.
Step 1: Collect the Data
Big Data Analytics will be set up in a way to collect and gather informed structured and unstructured data from multiple sources within your business such as social media, cloud storage and mobile applications.
Step 2: Process the Data
When all the data has been gathered and stored securely, it will then be processed in a way to extract key information and accurate results. During this process the data will be cleaned and transformed into usable data for the business. This is often done in either larger batch processing or smaller stream processing.
Step 3: Analyse the Data
The data will then be analysed and categorised into data which could be used by the company. The outcome of this is often seen with data mining to identify patterns and relationships, predictive analytics by using historical data to predict the future and seek out opportunity or potential risks, and deep learning which uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning techniques to find patterns within a large complexity of data.
That summarises an overview of the 5 types of technology your business could potentially leverage and use to exploit opportunities and grow in the future. If you enjoyed this article and want to view more content like this, make sure and check ProfileTree’s Youtube out for more. Thank you!