All business owners will tell you the same thing – a business never sleeps. If a company of any size starts to rest on its laurels, thinking that they’re successful and no longer need to put in the hard yards, they’ll soon find that competitors that may never have even heard of have evolved and blown them out of the water. That’s exactly why companies like Apple and Samsung have spent so much money on research and development (and court battles) over the past few decades, in order to keep moving forwards and creating products that are still classed as ‘futuristic’ but available on today’s market.
The advancements in technology have changed how everyone does business, whether they work specifically with the web on a daily basis, like a specialist web design and development company or they use it as a secondary point of sale like a high street store that also sells over the web.
In today’s business world, it’s essential that you have a website – purely and simply. More and more people are using the Internet and you only have to look at the number of closed units on high streets and in shopping centres to see how online sales have influenced the market. Now, companies – both independent and multi-national – are having to think about the way they are portrayed over the web as well as how they deal with customers in a face-to-face manner.
There is further evidence of this in social media, which has been one of the biggest developments in the tech world since the turn of the millennium. Companies are hiring people to work specifically on their social accounts, ensuring that questions on sites such as Facebook and Twitter are dealt with in a way that reflects the views of the brand and maintains or enhances their reputation.
While sales and reputation are important, it’s worth focussing on whether the advancements in technology are actually enhancing the performance of various businesses. For instance, you could install a whole office full of brand new, top of the range computers; but if people can’t use the systems as well as they could with the previous models, is the business actually improving or going backwards? Installing devices that make doing the job more difficult is a lose-lose, as the business has paid out money on the machines and are losing even more because of a drop in productivity. There is always going to be a period of relative down time as people get used to the new devices, but a complete office refurb with computers they can’t use isn’t just going to need time – it may need a refund!
When you do get it right, however, it can dramatically improve business performance. Take a look at the traditional factory that we can all picture. Hard graft and plenty of manual labour can make it very difficult to get the job done but automating various processes can not only take away the strain but speed up the process and even allow companies to remain open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week even with a handful of staff to monitor the processed overnight for nothing more than safety reasons. Productivity is increased and so are profits and orders which has been a huge boost in industry and the reason why many car manufacturers in particular are automating the more difficult processes.
You simply cannot look far beyond wireless Internet connections, however, to see how technology has enhanced business performance. Employees, even if they’re not expected to answer work-related emails while on their lunch breaks, for example, can do so when they’re sat in the park eating their sandwiches to keep customers and clients happy and up-to-date; and it also means that they can work anywhere on any device – sat on the train, in the kitchen or on a tablet computer as opposed to their desktop PC – to ensure that deadlines are met even when they’re away from the office.
Photo: Florence Ivy