Technology continues to advance at a rapid rate and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping. As we find ourselves with increasingly technological lives through the use of smart devices and mobile phones, business is also changing. The method by which we approach starting businesses, seizing opportunities and optimising our already established organisations has drastically shifted over the past 30 years – almost entirely due to how technology has changed society.
In this post, the team at BSPOKE aim to explore exactly what growing technologies have done to modern business and in turn, how organisations can use these changes to develop, grow and prosper.
Above all, successful business is heavily reliant on communication. Whether it’s between team members, suppliers or the organisation and its customers, communication is the foundation for business development and success. The advent of the current technological era has completely changed how we communicate and in turn, altered business structure and opportunities entirely.
The first of these technological developments was the telephone, which allowed for near-instant communication from nearly anywhere in the world, though it could become expensive and the quality of calls was far from optimal. This enabled smaller organisations with less infrastructure or capital to begin working internationally, making global businesses significantly more viable. Furthermore, this method only became easier with the advent of mobile phones.
After the telephone was the internet and in particular, email. Emails have become a staple of business communication, enabling the all but instantaneous transfer of messages and files. This has a huge impact on how modern businesses operate, enabling remote work from anywhere with an internet connection which might not have been possible with the patchy and unreliable nature of telephone signals.
After email, instant messaging services specifically designed for business use became popular. Platforms like Slack have seen a surge in popularity over recent years, enabling businesses to work in real-time and avoiding the growing issue of lost emails and cluttered inboxes.
Finally, the latest major technological advancement and widely adopted communication method is video calling. Particularly in light of recent events regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, video calling has seen a huge rise in use across businesses. As face-to-face meetings become redundant, we may see our approach to work completely charge over the next decade, with more remote businesses thriving as physical office-based organisations dwindle.
Alongside the benefits of email, instant messaging and video calling, the internet has provided a number of other major revolutionary changes in how we approach business. In particular, how we can now harness data is incredible. Analysing user data, audience demographics, product sales and more is significantly easier than it ever has been, making business decisions simpler and more logical.
Data-driven decision making is always more reliable and often more successful than instinct-based decision making and by putting this data at everyone’s fingertips, technology has allowed new, digitally aware organisations to survive and succeed much more easily. In some cases, new digital-first organisations have eclipsed their competitors with hundreds of years of history and an established brand reputation, which just shows the power of data.
Linked to the increased availability of data is the most common use for that data – marketing. Technology has completely changed how businesses market to their target market. In the past, most marketing was done en masse. Mass marketing was primarily done via television, radio, posters and billboard placements, amongst other media. Whilst this worked for some organisations, it made advertising for new brands extremely challenging and no organisations could efficiently target their specific audience and demographic.
In comparison, today’s marketing is incredibly granular. Businesses can segment and focus their advertising to extremely focused audiences and demographics, tailoring their messaging and approach to the type of individuals being targeted. This is entirely possible due to technological advancement and data analytics.
Tools like Google Analytics and SEMRush allow businesses to see exactly where users are coming to their website, what they are buying and how they got there, allowing for further audience segmentation and targeting. Put simply, before technology, marketing was often about brand advertising and hoping for it to resonate with people. Now, it’s about continued optimisation and increasingly focused targeting – only made possible through technological advancements.
Business Models, Payment Services and Trading
Whilst this has been widely assumed throughout the rest of this analysis, it’s important to highlight how technology has revolutionised the very type of businesses which can be successful. With the internet in place, organisations can develop entire business models focused on digital products or platforms. Whether it’s selling access to specific software or utilising an e-commerce platform to sell clothing online, modern businesses can have no physical contact with a customer and still provide a service or product.
This simple statement has completely changed the outlook of modern business and the economy. If an organisation neglects the power of digital, there are at risk of being left behind, evidenced by the number of department stores and famous household brands which have collapsed over recent years; most of which have been replaced by online superstores and marketplaces.
As well as increasing the types of businesses which can succeed and grow, technology has also, in turn, made it significantly easier to build a business. The best example of this is dropshipping, a style of business which saw huge popularity throughout the mid and late-2010s. Dropshipping is a style of business which allows individuals to set up an online store and sell products to customers which are then shipped directly to the customer from the manufacturer. This completely removes the need for holding stock or negotiating postage agreements with suppliers. It allows you to run an entire e-commerce business from the comfort of your own home – which is why it was so popular. Dropshipping could be done by anyone with a small amount of business acumen and technological awareness, a level of accessibility which was previously unthinkable before the current age of technology.
Productivity Optimisation and Remote Work
Finally, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic, the rapid adoption of productivity tools, workplace management systems and remote working software has been profound. Tools like Microsoft Teams, Monday and Asana have seen a huge surge in usage as organisations scramble to shift to remote working. This was entirely made possible through technology and has been reported widely.
However, beyond remote working tools, technology has also enabled businesses to hone all manner of processes into slicker, more streamlined machines. Before modern technology, organisations would often be left with stacks of paper records and files, all of which had to be sorted, signed and manually stored to maintain clear company records. This was even worse for businesses who took a large number of orders, where customer information and addresses had to be attributed to specific orders. The result was overwhelming and time-consuming.
In the modern age, these issues can be solved through the implementation of bespoke software. Organisations can streamline their processes and create a dedicated platform, tailored to their needs. The major advantage of this approach is its innate versatility; businesses can create the perfect solution for them in their current state, whether that involves complex data calculations, client relationship management or simple data entry and storage.
At BSPOKE Software, we specialise in creating completely tailored custom software solutions which are shaped by your needs and requirements. With over a decade of experience working across countless industries, we pride ourselves on taking advantage of the latest technological advancements to future proof your solution and fix whatever issues you are looking to address.