Which Direction is Technology Moving the Business World?
Posted by Guest Author on February 19, 2013 in Business Technology [ 0 Comments ]
Technology has evolved business into a fluid, self-working clock. With the introduction of video communication software and the evolution of smartphones there is a direct impact on business interactions and productivity. But the question remains: is this impact for the better or worse?
Digital Conference Rooms
Videoconferencing has seen an accelerated adoption in the work place. The International Data Corporation (IDC) reported a double digit growth of market share in 2012. In part due to the advancing integration of the communication capabilities. Do these advances improve your business process and output?
Advantages of Videoconferencing
- Convenience: Video conferencing individual to give a presentation visually and verbally without having to physically be at a location.
- Lower Cost: A company loses valuable time and incurs expenses through physical travel. The digital conference room can alleviate that costs.
- Versatility: Integrated communication capabilities include document sharing which allows multiple people to work on a document, spreadsheet, or presentation. This can create a more fluid and efficient office.
Disadvantage of Videoconferencing
- No Comradeship: A Harvard Business study reported that face-to-face meetings and interactions in the workplace is declining at a rapid pace as a direct result of the transition to virtual connections.
- Extraneous Distractions: When you are out of a controlled setting there are several possible distractions. Communication hinges on an ability to comprehend a message. Some distractions could be problems with internet or power, misinterpretation of presentation, or various physical distractions at the individual locations.
The Office in the Palm of Your Hands
Mobile phones have grown into an everyday part of the business world. It’s estimated that close to 93% of Americans have a mobile phone and the latest Nielsen study reported that roughly 62% of people ages 18-44 have a smartphone.
Related: 4 Useful Apps for the Office
Advantages of Smartphones
- Constant Communication: The ability to send and receive emails, text messages, or calls outside the office means there is always a way to communicate.
- Productive Possibilities: There are literally hundreds of business applications that can be downloaded on a smartphone. These applications can even be linked to the company’s database which allows for someone to conduct a number of different work processes anywhere, anytime.
Disadvantages of Smartphones
- Blurs Personal and Work Time: Because you can access work information, documents and software at all times, it’s harder to end your day at the office. Our society seems to always be buried into a cell phone and may miss the subtleties of life.
- Possibly Counterproductive: Yes, there are several productive applications, but there are as many or more counterproductive ones as well. Games, social media, and messaging applications can distract a worker from completing their job. One survey reports that nearly 60% of work interruptions involve email, text messing, social media, and other digital uses.
What Direction Are We Going?
It is hard to give a definite answer as to what direction technology is taking business. It is certainly increasing the opportunity for production, but as with every business decision there is an opportunity cost.
A company that thrives on face-to-face interaction and a distinct line between work and business would say these technologies are moving business the wrong way. However, a company that hinges on minimizing costs and maximizing efficiency would see business value in these technologies.
So do you think technology is moving business in a positive or negative direction?
Bio: DJ Miller is a graduate student at the University of Tampa. He is an avid gadget geek who writes about everything from gadgets and phones to cloud storage and windows phone 8 operating system. You can follow him on Twitter @MillerHeWrote.