a happy computer technology user on the left and an angry one on the right

10 Positive and Negative Technology Changes that Affect Business Operations

Your technology – everything in your office from physical devices to information networks – has an incredibly transformative influence on your business world and economy.  Not only does your technology impact the smallest details of day-to-day business operations by increasing the productivity of workers and investments, accelerating economic activity, promoting interdependence between industries, and allowing for the continual deployment of new technologies, it has also changed consumer preferences and reshaped the way businesses produce and market their goods.  But not all of these changes have positive effects.  Let’s take a look at some of them below.

  1. Competition – technology moves very quickly in a constant evolution that creates new 3 pieces of computer technology in an officedevices and faster systems. Businesses must take note of these changes and attempt to keep up with technology, adapting it to their present and future needs while also watching what their competitors are utilizing.  While the end result is an increase in the evolution of technology and its application to business, it can be very costly for a small business to try to keep up with the latest and greatest hardware or software out there.
  2. Confusion – while keeping up with the technology available can be advantageous, implementing new hardware or software can mean that you must not only retrain your employees, but sometimes you must also retrain your customers. This can result in lost productivity and revenue if your upgrade does not go smoothly.
  3. Crime – technology has also added an increased possibility of crime. A tech-savvy employee can embezzle funds and make it difficult for the company to trace; hackers could access personal or financial data of customers; or creators of viruses and malware can capture valuable information that could render a company helpless.  It has become imperative that businesses also spend time and money developing safeguards against these events.
  4. Productivity – new technology has driven down the cost of data processing, and increased the ease with which large volumes of data can be manipulated by and transferred between various units within an organization. Additionally, this increased processing power, along with the broad range of off-the-shelf and customized hardware and software that are available, have resulted in changing employer and client expectations of work quality and throughput both at the employee and organizational levels.
  5. engineers sitting at workplaces and working in office technologyCollaboration – current technology has opened the realm of possibilities for businesses to allow their employees to work outside the office through teleworking arrangements or off-site work assignments. Cloud computing options have made it so that work can be done anywhere at any time and clients can access their information at their leisure as well.
  6. Access – businesses used to be limited to their local area and to the clients who could physically get to them. Utilizing the internet and e-retail sites, businesses can now extend their reach all over the globe.
  7. Dependence – once a business has implemented a technology solution and integrates it into its daily operations, that business cannot remove the technology without running into serious difficulties. This dependence can have dire consequences for the business should the technology fail and businesses could find it very difficult to continue its daily activities without its vital technology.
  8. Compliance – regulations come into play when technology crosses into the realm of important social issues. For example, the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPAA) imposes strict security requirements on any healthcare organizations with digitized patient files.  Similarly, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires digital reporting and security measures within publicly traded companies.  Such regulations can impose sudden, and often very costly, expenses on the technological aspects of a business.
  9. Lost Productivity and Liabilities – instant access = instant risk. The same internet that connects you to clients across the globe can also stream videos.  Email systems that increase the speed at which you communicate with your clients also gives employees the ability to get into an online flame war with a former co-worker or client.  This introduces a new level of responsibility on the part of employers to limit and control these activities and such controls can often cost additional money.  Additionally, these controls are not always optional.
  10. Interaction and Participation – in addition to the providing organizations with another platform for marketing and promotion, and to disseminate information, social media offers consumers and the public a large, a voice. Many organizations are beginning to capitalize on the opportunities to secure feedback on their products and services, and even to use the collaborative environment that technology now fosters for crowdsourcing initiatives, such as crowdcreation, crowdvoting and even crowdwisdom.

 

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