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6 Ways Technology Has Reshaped Business Culture

Technology has become more than a tool

Thomas Watson, the late president of IBM, said in 1943, “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” Back then, Watson was referring to a system as large as a house. Today, the same computing power can be carried inside a small bag.

So, how has technology changed the way we do business? Traditionally, technology was treated as a tool to be used. Currently, however, business culture is becoming defined by the technology it uses:

Cloud Computing
Cloud computing allows companies to meet many of their technology requirements with a high speed internet connection and a simple interface. There is no longer a need to invest in expensive hardware solutions and infrastructure. Cloud services are pay-as-you-go, so technology costs are based only on the resources used by the business. The cloud is becoming a mainstay for businesses with streamlined access to business applications, storage and knowledge across a variety of providers and platforms.

Social Media and Networking
Social media and networking allows people to easily connect across multiple locations. Social media has become a space for public opinion, information sharing and relationship building. Businesses have learned to tap into social networking to keep their customers informed, identify customer relationship issues, and increase brand recognition. Moreover, applications, such as Slack, can be used within an organization to provide real-time updates about infrastructure problems or track progress on specific requests.

Group of coworkers with technology

The miniaturization of computer components has allowed users to be more mobile than ever before. Current smartphones have as much power as full desktop computers; and with the current selection of applications, can be more productive and effective in the workplace. Mobile solutions allow field workers and telecommuters to be constantly connected to their company regardless of location. This allows faster execution of business processes as well as on-the-go knowledge sharing.

Combine the benefits of cloud computing, social networking and mobility and you get the ideal environment for global collaboration. Whether emailing, video conferencing or sharing information across a database, technology has provided improved ways for working with one another regardless of skill, responsibility or location. Technology can support real-time or delayed-time collaboration, establishing constant conversations around plans and projects. This level of teamwork increases productivity, efficiency and progress.

Bring Your Own Device
The number and types of computing devices increases each year: desktop computers, servers, tablets, laptops, smartphones and even wrist-watches. As new products come to market, many consumers try to be first to have the latest, greatest device. In fact, these early adopters quite often have more advanced technology at home than what is available to them at work. To address this gap, many organizations have introduced Bring Your Own Device initiatives, which are designed to capitalize on the current level of consumerism, while enforcing the necessary security and privacy controls to protect business data.

Another driving force behind how technology is defining business culture is millennials: the group of people born between 1981 and 1996 who have grown up in a technological world. This generation is hands-on when it comes to technology. They have experimented with different devices, identified best practices and refined their requirements on what makes technology worthwhile. Though this group is newer to the workforce, they’re often more tech-savvy than their seasoned colleagues.

Not only do millennials bring that new knowledge and experience with them to the workplace, but they’re demanding their employers keep up, too. When a significant number of people begin to show the value of a specific technology, the company is pushed to adapt. Customers expect the companies they do business with to stay relevant and innovative. Adopting new technology helps to establish a competitive position in the marketplace.

Technology offers businesses a new way to communicate with the world. We’re no longer limited by location; instead, we can interact from anywhere. This ability to collaborate at any time has not only changed the way we do business, but has changed the values of our employees and customers. Our organizations are focused on building relationships, following a more customer-centric approach that encourages engagement both internally and externally.

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