Head in the Cloud | The Evolution of Business Technology
With Generations Z and Alpha preparing to enter the workforce, pre-internet business practices may soon be forgotten. While many people can acknowledge impressive technological advancements in their lifetimes, the last decade or so has seen a rapid expansion like none before it. Business is a very important part of this conversation because profits often result from technological innovation.
Specifically, some of the biggest advancements can be linked to the growth of big data analytics. Because of the overwhelming shift to big data within all industries, business technology has been able to grow exponentially in its abilities. At this rate, new technology could become implemented into common practice every six months or so.
Let’s examine the evolution of business technology and how it’s pushed organizational efficiency to new heights. If the next 10 years are anything like the last decade, we will start seeing progress in ways we previously felt were impossible.
Collaboration Is at Its Peak
In the past, the different components of an operation were completed in isolation from one another. Now however, the creation of a product, service, or campaign is much more collaborative. Praxent released an infographic about the current state of business collaboration and noted that product managers, design teams, and development teams all work in conjunction to create human-centered projects that appeal to customers on a personal level. When all three of these components work together instead of apart, ROI is positively impacted.
Thus, project management systems like Asana, cloud applications like Google Drive, and communication software like Slack give workers the ability to give feedback on other parts of an operation in real time. New technology allows them to collaborate on the same project document from different spaces. This is much more efficient than emailing a file back and forth, as was done in the past.
And so the newfound interconnectedness afforded to businesses is key to the quality of their product. This efficiency saves money and drives sales. After all, with all of the cogs it takes to move a machine, isn’t it best when each cog is working in unison?
Cloud, Data, and Mobile
The ability to work in digital spaces rather than physical has been driven heavily by data. This lines up perfectly with the emergence of advanced mobile technology. Due to the helping hand afforded to individuals by their smartphones, work may be accomplished on the go without laptop computers. This might even make it possible to start and run a business from one’s smartphone alone.
Another concept data has given the world is the cloud. Cloud computing, as a general rule, is cheaper and more efficient. Previously popular backup systems were limited in their accessibility when dealing with important documents and files. With cloud computing, projects are saved automatically and accessible from multiple parties on their respective servers. If a server crashes, projects saved to the cloud are not lost.
Additionally, data has made certain workplace roles more efficient by streamlining common practices. Automation has helped data scientists take more interpretive roles, becoming translators of analytic insights so that organizations can use them practically. Technology has given companies more time to focus on their business strategy, because the data is automatically compiled.
Real Life Consequences and Examples of Business Technology’s Advancement
The advancement of business technology in the aforementioned ways has had a significant impact in several industries. With the adaptation of mobile technology into the healthcare field, we have seen the efficiency of patient care grow in recent years. In a more sales-oriented world, one would be hard pressed to find a modern retail company that isn’t utilizing the cloud to store their information and run their online sales.
This revolution hasn’t come without setbacks, however. For example, the adaptation of tax systems to a digital landscape has been problematic, with significant cyberattacks on the IRS and a lack of proper funding for stronger digital security measures. As business technology changes, so have potential threats to the stability of companies and industries.
All of these changes place us at a unique place in history. Generation X, largely leading the workforce right now, has a tendency to use technology efficiently. Yet, they also understand the importance of face-to-face communication in a way that millennials and the coming generations may not.
While that may bring with it some problems, that doesn’t mean that this expansion of business technology has been bad. As with any other form of progress, negative side effects are bound to appear. But the way business technology is transforming the landscape is overwhelmingly positive. The success of the cloud and mobile use have made business projects more efficient, and it will be interesting to see what new heights data takes operations to in the future. If the coming years are anything like what’s happening now, project efficiency will continue to grow.