Technology is undoubtedly the most significant gift humans have given to themselves. Our reliance on it is increasing daily, and it will increase further. Staying ahead in the competition and the marketplace is a big challenge for any firm, as the competition is fierce and market dynamics change in real time.
Technology helps businesses to keep abreast of the change and its extent. Recently, the massive spread of COVID-19 and the resultant pandemic has proven the role of technology in the sustenance of life, industry, and business at low cost and in real time. There is no facet of life and work untouched by technology and its fast-paced changes/ obsoletion.
In the 21st century, we look at several examples of the use of technology. It has overhauled the way we live and conduct business. It finds application in every sector, industry, and product line. Whether for business or social purposes, we no longer rely on traditional methods and means. Businesses have adopted technology for their sustenance, cutting-edge advantages, and financial prudence. Technology is one of the reasons why that companies like Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Infosys, Wipro, and TCS have become dominant drivers of economic growth, as all these rely on technology to stay ahead.
Some examples of such tools being relied upon by these companies include the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and Cloud Computing. They have transformed the traditional ways of doing business. Today everything is executed on a digital platform, such as e-commerce, e-learning, remote working, online banking, and Apps. Almost every action now requires technology for hiring a taxi, booking groceries/ meals, or arranging tickets/ seats. Every enterprise now needs its workforce to be adept in using technology, as keeping the workforce up to date with emerging trends boosts productivity and has a bearing on the bottom line. As technology evolves, the company must ultimately encompass it in its operation to transform its processes and resultant output. It helps in the following aspects of business:
- Propels marketing and business growth
- Improve communication
- Enhances customer relationships
- Boost competitive advantages
- Taking informed decisions
- Data analytics and drawing inferences
New technologies allow businesses to appreciate their target markets better and increase efficiency. Today, small businesses can compete with market giants, which has been possible with the advent of the Internet. As per the US Chamber of Commerce, about 84% of small businesses employ at least one digital platform to share information with their audience. Nearly 80% advertise products and services on social networks and 62% use digital and media skills in recruiting. Let us dwell on some of the key technologies in use today.
- A transactional database where each involved party generally has access to save information regarding the transactions.
- Among multiple parties, it enables the execution of a secure trade transaction without requiring verification by a third party. It establishes trust among parties.
- Delivery of computing services over the Internet. Includes servers, storage, databases, intelligence, networking, software, and analytics.
- Offers firms faster innovations, flexible resources, and economy of scale—a blessing for small firms unable to afford their own computing infrastructure and data centres.
- Companies can pay only for what and when they use it.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- One of the most significant advancements in the field of technology and a game-changer for small and big enterprises. Its importance can be measured by investments being made in AI.
- A part of digital transformation for organisations to remain competitive in the digital economy. It is concerned with the intelligent behaviour of machines and is an integral part of our lives without even realising it.
- It enhances the user experience and is being used in the latest gadgets.
- A technology that will help businesses to be agile, innovate, and scale.
Machine Learning (ML)
- Applying Artificial intelligence enables the machine to improve and learn from the experiences it undergoes automatically. This process also does not require any explicit programming to enable this.
- This process focuses on developing computer programs that have access to data and can use this data later to know.
- It is used for predictive maintenance in manufacturing industries and correction practices using ML to obtain meaningful insights.
- It is also used for product recommendations by e-commerce platforms. Matches customer purchase history with product inventory and identifies patterns.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
- Among the top technology trends of the first century, it works on a computer vision-based recognition algorithm that augments video, sound, graphics, and other sensor-based inputs on objects in the real world.
- It can be applied as an excellent tool for rendering real-world information and presenting it in an interactive way such that the virtual elements become a part of the real world.
- It makes our lives easier.
- There has been a significant surge witnessed in the demand for smartphones.
- As everything shifts to digital platforms, smartphones have become a handy tool. Everything from shopping to education to banking has become digital in the modern era.
- Adding mobile applications to a firm business structure is considered very significant.
- An advanced computer program that emulates people using it, generally on the Internet. Examples are Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Chatbots, and Voice assistants.
- Aids in meeting demand for productivity, accessibility, and quality while improving response time.
- The physical objects are printed using a digitally operated manufacturing technology based on a digital 3D model specification.
- An object is printed in successive horizontal layers of material, such as plastic or metal, till the object takes shape.
The above is only a brief overview of linkages of technology with businesses, depicting some of the prevailing trends/ tools. The challenge is to adopt the appropriate tools at the right places in business processes to have competitive gain and stay ahead in the marketplace, protecting reasonable margins and market share. Some of the technologies help information capture, and its necessary processing, the other supports drawing inferences and making decisions. With much knowledge, know-how, and technical tools in the public domain, the key to creating product differentiation, cost leadership, and eliminating project overruns lies in the clarity of goals, priorities, and adoption of timely interventions, not just superficially technology savvy.
Sources: Author’s experience
Citation: This Insight may be cited as InfEneTy ‘Technology and Business – Interdependent and Inseparable’ 15.06.2023
Tags: Technology, Business, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data, AR, VR, RPA
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