Modern technology has transformed the way businesses run their core processes. It would likely be hard to find a company that doesn't use some form of technology in their daily activities.
In most businesses today technology is found to be integrated in operations, customer service, human resources, accounting, sales, marketing and almost every other aspect of an organization.
Due to this evolution businesses need to evaluate how an organization is run and consider how the integrated IT impacts the workplace in the broader sense. This means the company objectives, visions and goals must be cohesive with the people who make up the workplace.
Here are a few of the primary ways modern technology affects the workplace:
Change is generally hard and when coping with organizational change, this can be challenging due to the number of people involved. Routines will be altered and methods of conducting transactions will change.
One solution to decreasing the resistances to change are to keep employees in the loop when integrating new information systems and/or other types of technology. Since this group will be the ones likely using the new technology, it is a good idea to provide notice and solicit feedback when making a move to modern technology.
*Affects Business Processes
Identifying the organization's requirements and evaluating the business processes is an important part of integrating new technology. Any new technology needs to support these endeavors; and it must benefit both the company and the consumer market.
This however can also have significant impact on daily processes. Sometimes routines need to be adjusted and the technology will certainly need to be able to handle the business objectives and needs in order to run.
*Adds Competitive Advantage
Instead of looking at technology as a necessary evil it sometimes helps organizations to consider the competitive advantages that can be derived through investments in modern technology.
Over the years traditional business models are changing and are forced to include technology. While it is true technology is a significant expense, it can also be perceived as opportunity.
Many innovative business opportunities lie with information systems and the power of technology. The key is to have a strategic technology plan; purchasing technology for the sake of having it will not give the competitive advantage alone, to succeed vision must be expansive and potentials analyzed.
*Speed, Accuracy and Efficiency
Using modern technology not only creates a competitive advantage by enhancing current business processes, but can help streamline tasks through automation. This can help reduce manual-labor hours, eliminate data redundancy, compile data, streamline information and overall be cost effective because it can simplify and speed up tasks.
For instance, with modern technology, departments can interact and check the status of an order, a delivery or service order from any given part of the value chain. No longer does information need to be stored in separate databases and not updated in real time; today everyone has can have equal and up to date.
*Costs and Modernization
Technology is a necessary expense in today's business environments, however it is understandable some are hesitant to take on the costs. The reality is though as technology progresses, systems become outdated and after a while are not as compatible with the web or other systems.
However companies that can effectively view technology as an opportunity and not an expense can end up enjoying the best of both worlds; not to mention keep up with the competition. Many businesses have recognized technology's potential and have integrated newer technologies into the workplace with strategy in mind.
*Information Security and Contingency Planning
While there are many advantages, it would be neglectful not to mention other responsibilities that come with modern technology and has an impact on the workplace. With data breaches on the rise and other cybercrime elements present, business must invest in contingency planning and information security.
This is an added expense that is costly, however a necessary one. Imagine the disaster if processes suddenly became unavailable or a system was hacked. Businesses must have business continuity plans and place security with their systems to protect these valuable assets.
This shouldn't be a deterrent however, because technology is going to continue to progress and competitors will be moving forward.
Technology is most beneficial when it can be integrated and used as a competitive advantage. Many organizations have found ways that modern technology can have a beneficial impact in the workplace, although this must sometimes be countered with the drawbacks so an advantageous balance can be made.