Written by: Alex Pirouz
Over the last 10 years, we have undoubtedly witnessed a fundamental shift in the way traditional businesses operate and engage with their customers.
The explosion of the internet and mobile technology, and the seemingly endless potential of the ways that they can be used, is outstripping and sometimes undermining structures of working that have prevailed for more than a century.
And it keeps changing every day. These changes have also had a big influence on how the business world operates. Its influence is felt in practically all aspects of the day-to-day operations of businesses, large and small.
This revolution is removing commercial and technological barriers that have previously hampered free communication between people. Major advancements in mobile technology and the advent of mobile web mean we can now shop, advertise, read, purchase and bank with our mobile device.
By challenging traditional business models, the convergence of readily available internet services and mass mobile devices has delivered unimaginable benefits to both consumer and brand.
Mobility delivers choice for the customer and also lowers barriers to entry for third parties. Integrating old business models with new to provide choice to all demographics, whether in internet or non-internet ready markets, will continue to unlock the full potential of mobile technology to all industries.
There is no doubt that business technology has revolutionised the way companies conduct business, but the question remains: are small business owners ready for the shift in technology and if so, what resources have they got in place to handle these rapid changes?
In a survey conducted by Small Business Technology Institute (SBTI) and Small Business Technology Magazine, managers from more than 3000 companies reported that after health care, managing the evolving technologies available is proving to be a major concern.
The report also indicated that small businesses tend to allocate very limited human and financial resources to support their IT functions; and small businesses approach IT support on a reactive basis and rely heavily on tactical support by product lenders.
This type of approach and decision making around an area that is arguably the most important sector within any business operating under a rapidly evolving marketplace is a sure fire way to get taken over by competitors or go out of business.
For the very first time small businesses have the opportunity to implement business technology and level the playing field with larger organisations – a chance that should not be taken lightly for those looking to remain in business.
While the list of advantages are too long to document, below you will find several key advantages to how your business will improve as a result of technological advances.
REDUCING BUSINESS COSTS
Small business owners can use technology to reduce business costs. Business technology helps automate back office functions, such as record keeping, accounting and payroll. Business owners can also use technology to create secure environments for maintaining sensitive business or consumer information.
Business technology can help small businesses improve their communication processes. Emails, texting, websites and personal digital products applications (apps), can help companies improve communication with consumers. Using several types of information technology communication methods allow companies to saturate the economic market with their message.
Companies may also receive more consumer feedback through these electronic communication methods. These methods also allow companies to reach consumers through mobile devices in a real-time format.
POTENTIAL INCREASE IN BUSINESS
Technology allows small businesses to reach new economic markets. Rather than just selling consumer goods or services in the local market, small businesses can reach regional, national and international markets. Retail websites are the most common way small businesses sell products in several different economic markets.
Websites represent a low-cost option that consumers can access 24/7 when needing to purchase goods or services. Small business owners can also use internet advertising to reach new markets and customers through carefully placed web banners or ads.
Business technology allows companies to outsource business function to other businesses in the national and international business environment. Outsourcing can help companies lower costs and focus on completing the business function they do best. Technical supportand customer service are two common functions companies outsource.
Small business owners may consider outsourcing functions if they do not have the proper facilities or available manpower. Technology allows businessesto outsource functions to the cheapest areas possible, including foreign countries.
The society as we know it is going through a radical makeover, thanks to constant connectivity everywhere.This is creating a need for a digital makeover of everything – from retail to our postal system. It is changing our infrastructure needs and it is also increasing the velocityof business. To stay ahead of the game business owners must also change the traditional way of operating their day-to-day business.
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