[Written By External Partner]
It’s no secret that technology is evolving at an exponential rate. Consider the fact that the television was invented less than 100 years ago, and now we carry every network and access to the world in our pockets.
These evolutions have tremendous impacts on the business world, bringing forth both opportunities and challenges. Here are five ways technology is disrupting the business world, for better or for worse.
The Shift to an Online Ecosystem
Most people entering the job market today couldn’t tell you what a pink or yellow interdepartmental memo is. In fact, they’ve likely never even passed notes in class.
The business world is moving away from paper and hardware to an online ecosystem. While this shift has been in the works for some time, the prevalence of cloud technology has exacerbated the process.
The primary benefit of an online ecosystem is the cross-functionality between tools, whereas everything was under a separate umbrella in the past. We see it when using email to fax with the click of a button and with instant messaging apps that integrate with project management software.
Not only are programs no longer in silos, but people and businesses can work virtually from anywhere.
AI Learning in Business Functions
AI still seems like something out of a sci-fi movie for many people. However, it’s already heavily integrated into our daily lives, and businesses are no exception. You can see AI in action the moment you send a question to a company via social media and get a helpful response with no human on the other side of the screen.
AI is particularly prevalent in HR and recruiting, in which applications are scanned for keywords and prescreened without human interaction. This technology is beneficial for small businesses without an HR team, as well as large businesses looking to remove bias from the hiring process.
The Internet of Things in Daily Functions
Similarly to AI, the Internet of Things (IoT) is also impacting the daily functions within the business world. The IoT helps streamline processes in everything from social media monitoring to inventory management. Many shipping and manufacturing businesses use IoT integrations for real-time inventory updates and preventative maintenance on equipment.
Even small businesses can use the IoT in daily functions for scheduling, fact-checking, and to manage costs. Those working from home can use the IoT to have their thermostat adjust shortly before they wake, followed by the slow illumination of the bedroom instead of an alarm, finishing with a cup of hot coffee ready and waiting in the kitchen. In essence, the IoT is making both businesses and professionals more productive.
Accessibility Bringing New Competition
Technology is a double-edged sword, and many businesses are feeling the heat. The accessibility of modern technology has made it easier for small businesses and startups to compete in the open market. As many customers prefer the care and consideration offered by smaller firms, this new competition is disrupting established, larger companies.
The dramatic changes are also rendering entire companies obsolete. Take manufacturing, for example. The introduction and increased accessibility to 3D printing is incredibly disruptive for many established manufacturers. Rather than pay someone else to produce your product, why not handle it in-house for a fraction of the cost?
The Need for Continuous Adaptation
Perhaps the most notable disruption is the continuous need for adaptation. Investing in the latest technology today means that you could still be paying it off when it becomes obsolete in a few years. If your competition has the means to get the latest and greatest tools on the market, it can be a struggle to keep up – never mind the learning curve that goes with it.
Thanks to technology, the world of business has transformed dramatically over the past few decades. Only time will tell what the future has in store.