In the 21st century, when we look around us, there are several examples of the use of technology. Technology has overhauled the way things were done. Its use in every sector is significant.
Whether it’s for business or social purposes, we no longer rely on traditional methods and means. Businesses have also adopted technology for their benefit. This is one of the reasons why tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, etc. have become dominant drivers of economic growth. Interestingly, these companies also rely on technology to stay ahead.
In recent years, there have been new inventions and developments in the field of technology. Modern tools like Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, Big Data, and Cloud Computing are some examples. These developments have transformed the traditional ways of doing things. Nowadays, everything is being brought to digital platforms. E-commerce, E-learning, Remote Working, and Online Banking, almost everything now requires some sort of technology.
So, in this blog, we will try to cover the use of modern technologies like AI, Cloud Computing, and ML by big companies. In the blog, we will be discussing the benefit of using technology. Also, we will discuss some examples to make things clearer.
Why is technology so important in business?
Years back, when there was very little use of technology by businesses, the IT department was not a must in a company structure. However, Today, the IT department in every business, big or small is indispensable. IT experts are largely attributed to the changing dynamics at the organizational level.
Every company now requires its staff to be tech-savvy as keeping the workforce up to date with the emerging trends, it not only boosts productivity but also has an immense bearing on the bottom-line.
As technology evolves, companies have an ultimate need to encompass technology. This is because technology has transformed several elements for the better. So, we will have a look at some of them in brief:
Improved Communication- IT is fundamental for effective internal and external communication. In house, technology streamlines the types of data relay that occur between sections or departments. While, for external communication, it has several options like email marketing and social media marketing. Technology has made communication easy and ubiquitous.
Streamlined Decision Making- Decision making is a crucial part of any business. With the introduction of technologies like big data, AI, and ML, companies are able to gather crucial market and customer data. It is a technology that captures critical data and helps a business to see its weak areas and ways of how to strategize accordingly. The insights drawn from the finance, marketing, and customer engagement departments helps a lot in making accurate decisions.
Propels Marketing and Business Growth- After getting crucial insights and strategy making, it requires an efficient approach to get favorable results. Technology helps in this as well. Businesses use modern technology to advertise and break into the markets. Forward-thinking enterprises advertise digitally intending to drive traffic.
Enhances customer relationship- It is the customers who turn a product into a brand. Any company in the world craves to build a concrete customer base. Reputable CRM management systems let businesses discover what their customer base wants. Big Data Analytics helps companies analyze tons of customer data and Cloud Computing helps with storage. Companies modify their approach analyzing the available data and hence are able to give their users an enhanced personalized experience which ultimately leads to a healthy relationship.
Boosts competitive edge- Nowadays, the competition in the market is fierce and businesses in the same niche are spending more to market and advertise. Technology helps you stay at the top. It offers companies better insights into the market that is further utilized to drive traffic.
(Read about How PhonePe uses technology in its road to success.)
So, these were some of the roles of technology in business. Now, we will look at the few technologies and how they have changed the face of business forever.
Technologies in Business
Ways of doing business have changed drastically over the past few years. New technologies allow businesses to better understand their target market and increase their efficiency. Nowadays, small businesses are able to compete with giants of the market and that has been made possible with the advent of the internet.
Companies are investing heavily in technology globally. There are endless examples of use of technology in business, including social media.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 84 percent of small businesses are using at least one digital platform to share information with their audience. About 80 percent advertise products and services on social networks. Furthermore, 62 percent of small enterprises say that having strong digital and media skills is a key factor in the recruiting process.
Having understood the importance of technology now we should look at these one by one to understand how they actually help.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence has been one of the biggest advancements in the technology field. It has been a game-changer for both small and big enterprises. Its importance can be understood by looking at the investments being made in AI.
IDC in its Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Spending Guide forecasts Global spending on AI to double over the next four years, growing from $50.1 billion in 2020 to more than $110 billion in 2024. The reason being is the deployment of artificial intelligence by organizations as part of their digital transformation efforts and to remain competitive in the digital economy.
AI is concerned with the intelligent behavior of machines, and today it has become an integral part of our lives, without us even realizing it. AI enhances the user experience and it is being used in latest gadgets. We are being provided assistance with the help of software like Google Assistant in Android while Siri and Cortana in ioS and Windows respectively. This eventually helps companies to serve their consumers better.
"AI is the technology that will help businesses to be agile, innovate, and scale. The companies that become 'AI powered' will have the ability to synthesize information (using AI to convert data into information and then into knowledge), the capacity to learn (using AI to understand relationships between knowledge and apply the learning to business problems), and the capability to deliver insights at scale.”
-Ritu Jyoti, program vice president, Artificial Intelligence at IDC
Referred blog: How has Artificial Intelligence changed our daily lives.
2. Machine Learning (ML)
Machines can get intelligent on their own, intelligence is imparted into them and this is where machine learning steps in. Machine Learning is an application of Artificial Intelligence that makes machines able to automatically learn and improve from experiences, without a need to explicitly program them.
Machine learning focuses on the development of computer programs that can access data and later use that data to learn. The primary aim is to make computers able to learn automatically without any human intervention.
Businesses use ML in many ways, Manufacturing industry uses ML for predictive maintenance. Manufacturing firms require regular maintenance and correction practices, so they use ML to obtain meaningful insights. This helps them to lower the risks of unexpected failures.
E-commerce platforms use ML for product recommendations, Here, the ML algorithms use the customer's purchase history and match it with the large product inventory to identify hidden patterns and group similar products together. There are many such uses of ML in different sectors.
3. Cloud Computing
In simple terms, Cloud Computing is the delivery of computing services over the internet. The services include servers, storage, databases, intelligence, networking, software, and analytics. Cloud computing offers firms faster innovations, flexible resources, and economies of scale.
Cloud computing is no less than a blessing for small firms that can not afford their own computing infrastructure and data centers. Companies can rent access to things from servers, applications, to storage from cloud service providers. This helps firms to cut the expenses of owning and maintaining heavy IT infrastructures as they can simply pay for what they use and when they use it.
Read about Amazon Web Services.
4. Mobile Application
Smartphones have witnessed a great surge in their demand. As everything shifts to the digital platforms, smartphones have become a handy tool to carry. Companies also know that people have the option of looking up businesses and anything else that comes to mind whenever they want.
Use of Mobile applications by businesses to connect better
So, to be readily accessible to their respective target markets whenever needed companies are creating mobile applications. There are very less firms that don't have their mobile applications. Everything has become digital be it shopping, education or banking. So, mobile applications are a great addition to a firm business structure.
5. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
Augmented and Virtual Reality are among the top technology trends of the 1st century. Both technologies are very useful in many ways to businesses. Augmented reality is a technology that works on computer vision-based recognition algorithms to augment sound, video, graphics, and other sensor-based inputs on real-world objects. It uses the camera of devices to perform.
Use of AR in shopping
AR is a good way to render real-world information and present it in an interactive way so that virtual elements become part of the real world.
AR is being used to make our lives easier. AR aids in the development of translation apps that can interpret a text in different languages. Video game companies are using AR to create more games and offer a more realistic experience. Google Lens is also an example of AR.
6. 3D printing
This is a digitally-operated manufacturing technology where physical objects are printed through a 3D printer on the basis of a digital 3D model specification. In this technology the process of manufacturing is an additive one, implying that it takes place layer by layer instead of shaping a larger object into the required shape.
Production through a 3D printer is executed by enabling an object to be printed in successive horizontal layers of materials such as plastic or metal till the object is properly produced.
7. Digital assistants
A digital assistant is basically an advanced computer program that emulates an interaction with the people using it, generally over the internet.. They are generally represented through technologies like Robotics Process Automation (RPA), chatbots, and voice assistants. These assistants will aid future organizations in meeting the demands for productivity, accessibility, and quality while also improving response times in terms of customers or employees.
A blockchain, in layman's terms, is a transactional database where each involved party generally has access to the same information regarding the transactions. It is difficult to alter the database information except if the majority of participants are in agreement that this alteration is in harmony with the defined rules for an approved transaction.
Blockchain enables the execution of secure transactions among multiple parties while eliminating the need to verify the transaction with a third party. It establishes trust among the parties within a network that would be communicating. This technology has an integral role when it comes to innovation and value creation.
“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
- Albert Einstein, Scientist
Technology is the biggest gift humans have given to themselves. Our reliance on it is increasing day by day and, as it seems, it will increase further. Staying ahead in the market is the biggest challenge for any firm as the competition is fierce and market dynamics changes quickly. Technology helps businesses to keep up with the changing market.
We have tried to explain the ways in which technology helps a business. Also, some specific technologies which are trending have been discussed. AI, ML, Cloud Computing, AR are all equally useful to firms and to us as well.