Technology has been advancing at the fastest rate since possibly the 19th Century’s Industrial Revolution. Innovations in technology, computing, communications and commerce have literally changed the way companies do business. The things that make our lives easier and communications more immediate are often taken for granted. We think nothing of clicking a mouse, pushing a button or viewing a multitude of screens. Even as recently as the 1960’s, much of our 21st Century tech would seem like something out of a science fiction movie. Video conferencing and Facetime? Straight out of an episode of The Jetson’s! These tech advancements allow us the freedom to be mobile, wireless and immediate. Here are three of the modern conveniences that make doing business better.
1. Instant Communication
Once upon a time, companies had to spend huge amounts of money on long-distance phone calls. You were in fact, tethered to your desk by a phone cord. You had to be available to receive calls and it was a hit or miss proposition to reach your business associates. You had to board an airplane and fly around the world to do business in other countries. Meetings were face to face, in the same room.
News was provided by a daily newspaper, by telegraph message or telephone. If you wanted to know how your stock was performing you had to be on the phone to your broker or install a stock market ticker in your office that spewed an endless ribbon of tape with market standings and results. Trade publications were a huge source of news about your company and your competition.
Instant communication has changed all that. Advances in telecommunications have revolutionized how business is conducted. Email, text and cloud computing allow for immediate responses and mobile communications. Anyone who has access to the Internet can hold a business meeting thanks to Skype, Google Hangouts and Facetime. Companies save on long-distance charges, travel and time spent by using these methods of communication.
News is now received via an app on your cellphone. You can get everything from stock market to economic predictions to sales data with the touch of a screen. You business associates and your customers are now only a moment away. Everything is possible with the click of a mouse. Companies can now buy, sell, market and advertise from anywhere at any time.
2. Electronic Banking
One of the most impactful tech advances has been to banking and finance. Cash is no longer king, and use of checks is declining due to the ability to pay electronically. Use your cellphone to do your banking via ACH, do your purchasing online via the Internet and receive payment via PayPal.
Companies no longer have to hand their vendors or purveyors a paper check, and money can be moved from one account to another via electronic wire transfer. This saves on paper and postage, allows for more accurate record keeping, and again, the immediacy of the transactions speeds up the way we do business. When, in the past it might take a week or even two for a check to be written, mailed , received and posted; with today’s technology, the same process might only take two days. Many employers still want to send their employees a paper paycheck, but many workers are opting to take a direct deposit, which arrives in the bank overnight on payday and saves them the trouble of going to the bank.
3. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing has freed us from the necessity of travel, saving companies untold amounts of money in airfare, accommodations and lengthy business meetings. Project management has become a completely new occupation. No longer does the manager have to check in individually with his team and have staff meetings to get status updates. The project is kept in the “the cloud” where all the team members have access to it. Each individual works on his part of the project and saves the results. The project manager can evaluate each piece of the project and the whole with the click of a mouse and communicate with his team immediately with changes or suggestions. Cloud computing also allows for team members to be anywhere in the world as all they need is a login and password to access the project.
Computing in the cloud allows for large amounts of data to be stored off site which frees space on office computer hard drives and protects secure data in the event of a systems malfunction in the office. This saves companies travel and time and is a convenient and cost-effective way to manage data.