Technology can be a scary thing, especially for businesses that have found success doing things a certain way and are wary of changing their ways. Technology is also advancing at a rapid pace -- and sudden change is something that many people in general aren’t comfortable with. However, if you don’t keep up with new technology, you risk losing ground to your competition.
To put your mind at ease, remind yourself that technology has always advanced with the purpose of making our lives better. Also remember that all technology was new at one point in time. Those who were open to new technology have been more likely to benefit from it. So keep an open mind when new technology comes out or as current technologies continue to evolve. We have compiled a few examples of how technology has changed our lives in a positive way over the course of history.
Technology Boosts Business
We live in a capitalist society, which means that a lot of the new advancements that are made in technology are made by businesses looking to improve their products/services or to improve their ability to market their products/services. New tech has also emerged over the years with the purpose of making business operations more efficient and effective as well.
Business strategies have evolved and improved greatly as a result of technology. One of the most basic elements of running a business -- the hiring process -- has been drastically improved by technology. It wasn’t that long ago that businesses were extremely limited when it came to hiring new employees. You would have to run ads in the paper or reach out to hiring agencies for help. Even then, the vast majority of your hires would be local.
These days, the hiring pool has expanded greatly as a result of online job posting sites, such as Monster, and social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, that can connect employers with high quality job candidates all over the world. The hiring process isn’t the only business strategy affected in a positive way by technology. Advancements in statistics, communication, and trade have all been made through new technology as well.
Statistics were once extremely limited. Companies would only get access to reports on a monthly basis, making it difficult to make highly informed business decisions. With the use of automated software tools, executives can collect and analyze data in real time that can be displayed and sent out as reports whenever needed. Because everything is digital, you can also provide your organization with access to dashboards that have the most important metrics displayed instead of having to hold meetings during which you spend time putting up boards or showing slides with outdated statistics. Essentially, technology has made it easier to collect and analyze massive amounts of data to help improve your decision making while also making it easy to share reports throughout your organization at any point.
Clear communication is vital in the business setting. Miscommunication has cost companies fortunes in the past because of an inability to communicate in time or in a clear manner between employees or between companies and their clients. In the not-so-distant past, the main method of communication was the phone. You would have to have a secretary to keep track of your schedule and you would have to hope for the best that you wouldn’t get caught playing phone tag with an important deadline looming.
These days, there are software solutions that help automate scheduling. Communication platforms also allow employees to speak with one another through email or chat that can be accessed on multiple devices whether they’re in the office or not. Essentially, everyone is connected, thereby making it easy to communicate with anyone across your organization as well as with clients and prospects.
Transactions are much easier and more efficient than they once were. On the consumer side, inventions like the credit card and the emergence of e-commerce have made it easier than ever before for businesses to sell products and services to consumers at their convenience. However, transactions are also much easier on a massive scale on a B2B level. For example, companies buying components for their products would often have to wait days for the transfer of money to clear, especially if the manufacturer of those components was located overseas.
Foreign transactions like these are much easier now -- and they may even get easier as the blockchain, which is an emerging technology, gains traction. Many industry experts expect the blockchain to change everything. It could process overseas transactions in mere seconds and at a fraction of the normal cost.
New Techniques Of Promoting Business
In addition to improving business strategy, technology has also made marketing easier, more effective, and more cost-efficient. In the days before the Internet, companies were limited to running ads in newspapers and magazines. If they had the budget, they could run ads on TV or radio as well. As the Internet grew and social media platforms began popping up everywhere, marketing became much easier, especially for smaller businesses and startups with limited advertising budgets.
Not only is it more affordable to market your company online, but it’s easier to find your target audience, identify what their needs are, and engage with them on a personal level. There are far more options when it comes to online marketing as well -- and you can track the performance of your online marketing strategies using analytics tools to see what’s working and what isn’t -- and make adjustments on the fly.
Increase In Income Generation
As a direct result of being able to advertise more effectively and more efficiently, income generation has increased drastically. Startups have an easier time getting off the ground because they don’t need to invest as many resources into trying to increase brand exposure using traditional methods when they can advertise online instead. Additionally, marketing automation solutions have made it possible to eliminate the need for doing many repetitive, time-consuming tasks by hand, reducing staff needs.
Many of the technologies that have come out over the past decade and that continue to come out have made the day-to-day operations of a business more efficient, thereby reducing overhead costs and increasing productivity, both of which help to improve profits.
Impact on Advertising
The ability to advertise online provides companies with a huge advantage over more traditional methods. Now, with the right strategy you can expose your brand to a worldwide audience on the web -- something that was once impossible unless your company had an enormous budget. You can also use your website to provide consumers with content about your brand as well as engage directly with customers on social media, thereby strengthening your brand identity and growing your brand’s reputation and awareness.
Not too long ago the cost of making a TV commercial, much less airing it on a national level, were beyond the grasp of most businesses. But today creating video content is no longer cost-prohibitive. Video equipment has advanced to the point where it’s relatively cheap to buy high-quality gear, and video content posted online, such as on Facebook or YouTube, often outperforms commercials that run on TV.
Technology Advances Education
Technology has benefited many more people and fields than just the business community. One underrated benefit of how technology has advanced over the past few decades is how it has impacted education. Here are a few examples:
- The availability of online courses - Not everyone has the ability to attend college. Many people who would love to continue their education can’t do so because they are working, taking care of families, or live too far away from their local college to be able to commute. Online classes have changed all that. Now students can enroll into online programs or take single classes without having to leave their homes and at their own convenience.
- The access to web seminars - Students and professionals alike can benefit from seminars; however, they can’t always make it to them because they live too far away, don’t have access to transportation, or can’t schedule around the seminar to make it on time. The schools themselves may not be able to afford sending their students to a seminar during school hours. Web seminars make it possible for them to watch the seminar streaming live from their classroom or their home. For example, NASA has a program in which students can watch a webinar with astronauts in space from their classroom. During such a webinar, students can not only watch and listen to what the subject has to say, but ask questions and interact with them in real time.
- The ability to research any topic - Before the Internet, you would have to go to a library to do research. Even then, the library may not have had the books you needed. You would then have to order the books through the library, which could take some time. Doing research was cumbersome and time-consuming. With the Internet, you can find information on any topic you can think of. You’ll have no trouble finding multiple sources to verify that the information you obtain is as accurate.
Technology Smoothens Communication
Both business and personal communication have improved by leaps and bounds over the years. Two of the biggest improvements that technology has made on communication include:
Data Retrieval And Information Sharing
The impact technology has made on our ability to contact one another is obvious (mail, telegrams, phone calls, emails, text, etc.); however, technology has also made it possible to share content with similar ease. Computers and smartphones can store photos, videos, and any types of documents. While you can send these piecemeal to whoever you want, you can also save them to the cloud -- offsite digital storage -- thereby saving space on your phone or computer. This also means that to share this content, all you have to do is share a password and the recipient can access everything you want them to be able to access through the cloud, whether they’re on their phone, tablet, or computer.
New software tools are being released regularly now that make use of the cloud, which means the software is accessible on any device and that content can be shared within the confines of the platform, making it easier to communicate with anyone who is also using the platform within your organization, but also making it much safer and more secure.
Assisting People With Disabilities
Historically, people with disabilities have been at a huge disadvantage when it comes to their employment opportunities. Physical disabilities often restrict them from being able to physically go to work. Because of how easy it has become to safely and securely communicate and share information through the web using a wide variety of software tools, more people are able to work remotely from home. This is a huge advantage to physically disabled people since there are now fewer barriers to their pursuit of a fruitful career.
Technology has also helped assist with certain specific disabilities. For example, individuals with speech impediments can use apps such as Speak for Yourself to speak for them. Individuals who may not have the function in their hands necessary to navigate phone menus or type on keyboards can use voice control programs.
Technology Makes Everyday Life Better
While much technology has been developed for profit or to improve a company’s ability to generate profit, for the most part it’s all for the benefit of the customer. However, when it comes down to it, technology in general simply makes day-to-day life better. The following are a few examples outside of the business world in which technology has made an enormously positive impact on our lives:
Transportation and Household
Improvements in transportation have not only made it easier to get from one place to another, but safer as well. Just think about what a massive undertaking it once was to cross the Atlantic. When the pilgrims were first settling the Americas, crossing the ocean was at least a two-month journey. Once steam engines were invented, it took less than a week. Now, it can take as little as five or six hours to fly across.
Transportation technology keeps improving as well. For example, the train has been a reliable method of transportation for over two centuries. Recent advancements led to the bullet train, which transports passengers almost six times as quickly as the standard train. Then there’s the automobile, which was first made available to the public on a mass scale less than a hundred years ago. These days, electric self-driving cars aren’t just a staple of science fiction, they’re a reality.
Then there’s the household. Inventions such as the washing machine and the dishwasher have eliminated the need to do routine cleaning tasks by hand. More recently, IoT (Internet of Things) has allowed households to connect all of their electronic devices to a single network, allowing users to control them remotely using their smartphones. As a result, more devices are being built to connect to the IoT. Even appliances like the refrigerator can be connected to your network, allowing you to pull up recipes on your fridge or to order food online the moment you run low on milk or eggs (or any other item).
Advanced Technology For Human Life
Technology is continually helping to save lives and to improve the quality of life through advancements in healthcare, from medical research to robotics. For example, cannabis is still considered a Schedule 1 drug (in the same category as heroin) by the FDA. Yet intensive medical research over the past decade has revealed that cannabis actually has many beneficial medical properties, and it’s one of the reasons why it’s being legalized in many states. Technology made it possible to easily record the effects of marijuana as well as the properties of cannabis itself in the hundreds, if not thousands, of studies done throughout the world. Results could be compared, analyzed, and accessed using specialized software programs. Technology also made the data that was collected and analyzed easily accessible by other research teams.
Cannabis is just a recent example of how technology has advanced medical research. Take Parkinson’s disease for example. There are records of possible treatments for Parkinson’s that date back thousands of years. Back in 2002, a surgical procedure called DBS (deep brain stimulation) was first approved. The procedure involved implanting electrodes into the brain and connecting them to a small electrical device in the chest. This device would deliver stimulation to certain parts of the brain responsible for the symptoms of Parkinson’s to help prevent tremors. Recently, wireless control was made possible through something as simple as a smartphone, making the treatment even more precise as well as personalized.
These are all recent advancements made in medical research, yet none of this would be possible without some of the massive technological inventions made over the course of the 20th century, from the X-ray machine to the MRI machine, which made it possible for medical researchers to look at the internal systems of a patient in order to learn more about the body in general.
Robotics have made a huge impact on many facets of our lives. For example, in the manufacturing industry, many dangerous tasks can be delegated to robots, making the work environment a safer place. Robotics can also help improve the speed and quality of the manufacturing process because robots do not get tired or distracted and because they work consistently the way they were programmed to.
Robotics have also made it possible to advance technology even further. For example, without robotics, the production of complex microchips wouldn’t be possible. Human knowledge has also benefited from robotics. NASA has sent various probes through space to explore our universe -- and it wouldn’t be possible without robotics. These days, robotics have advanced even further to the point where it’s not uncommon to have virtual personal assistants that follow our directions with the use of AI (artificial intelligence), such as Alexa and Siri.
Influence Of Technology
Today’s world is built on the technology that humans have invented and advanced over thousands of years. The rate at which technology has advanced has made life almost indistinguishable from what life was like even a century ago. We are very much dependent on the technology we have. This dependence doesn’t just refer to your inability to put down your phone for more than a few hours -- it refers to the many technologies that you likely take for granted that may have saved your life and made your current life possible without you even realizing it.
Technology will only continue to advance -- and because of how effective new technology is, it only means that it will continue to evolve at an even faster rate. The human race has been dependent on technology for its survival throughout its entire history, which means that the idea of stopping or slowing down is simply not a possibility. Technology must move forward and it will continue to evolve at a faster and faster rate to meet the challenges of today.
While Tech Can Have its Downsides It Really Does Make Life Easier
Human beings will always strive to invent new technology and to advance current technologies. It’s a part of our nature to improve our lives in whatever manner we can, and technology helps us do that. While there are certainly many downsides to technology, keep an open mind when new technology is introduced. You won’t want to dismiss new tech that could be potentially beneficial to you or your business.
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