Technology has made the world a smaller place when it comes to engaging with customers, reaching out to other businesses, and sourcing new materials for products, and this has been a good thing for business – there are more options, costs can be reduced, and new techniques allows for production (and production methods) that wasn’t available before. But how dependent is your business on technology?
There are some other very strong pros to the utilisation of technology in business, including increased visibility, improved brand awareness and accessibility, and reduced costs across the board (from staffing to product creation and dispatch).
But there are some downsides as well, and these need to be carefully considered, to ensure that technology works for your company, and you aren’t left floundering if something were to go wrong.
How Has Technology Changed Business?
The implementation of technology has altered practically every business on the planet, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone these days that doesn’t use some form of business tech for their company – whether it’s as simple as using social media to connect with customers, or as highly involved as AI robots on the factory line, it’s a simple fact that modern tech is everywhere.
It’s not just the sales and marketing, or construction or development side of the business either. Big data can also directly impact how companies are planning their budgets, determining their next product, or even who they want to reach and when.
There is a wealth of tools and applications available to companies of all sizes, allowing them to evaluate what they’re doing, how it’s being received by customers (and potential customers), and even what time of the year they’re going to see better sales.
AI tools and integrations have recently become more popular in creating content and handling customer service, freeing up employees to work on other tasks, and ensure that the company can grow at a sustainable pace.
But it’s important to remember that technology, like everything else in the business, is an asset, and one that can (and does) need upgrading, repairing, or replacing on a regular basis.
It’s important to stop and look every now and again, and ask yourself, how reliant are you on technology? What would happen to your business if it became unavailable?
Do You Know What Operates What in Your Business?
Think carefully about the structure of your company for a moment, and then ask yourself- what tools are used to run each element?
It is most likely that there will be technology involved in almost (if not) every element of your business.
In order to keep on the cutting edge, and to ensure technology remains a business asset, you should be making a list of every tool, program, application, and device that you use across your entire business – this should form part of your asset register.
Once you have this information, it’s important that you include vital data such as:
- Date of purchase or download
- Date of last update / upgrade / repair
- Date of license (if applicable)
- Number of licenses or usage terms (if applicable)
- Person or persons responsible for maintenance
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What Happens if You Don’t Keep an Eye on Your Tech?
For a while, probably nothing – the problems come when things go wrong or stop working, then you’re left trying to work out what has been affected by the issue, who can fix it, and how much it’s going to cost (both in terms of losses to the company, and in repair).
As much as modernising, streamlining, and making tech more inclusive and available can be good for a company, it can also be a debilitating handicap if there aren’t processes in place for maintenance, upgrades, regular system health checks, and ensuring that support is still available for the devices or programs that are in operation.
Dependence on technology can be a definite negative for businesses, especially when it comes to bringing in talented employees – if they look at the business and see related jobs being eliminated in favour of technology, then they’re not likely to want to work for that company and will seek a career elsewhere.
Technology gives you so many options and abilities that you may not have otherwise had, but you still need to carefully plan how you’re going to use it. It’s important to remember that even if technology takes on the vast majority of processes or job positions, there will always be a need for the human element, and you need to ensure that whatever you’re using can still be maintained, and your company is capable of supporting growth at a sustainable pace.