Whenever the topic of technology comes up, people have a habit of imagining computers. This is understandable, given the immense impact the personal computer and the Internet have had on the daily lives of nearly everyone. At their heart, computers are mathematical machines. They perform logical operations and calculations and use that as the basis for modeling many other kinds of functions and utilities for their users. How have technologies improved and changed businesses for the better?
The ability to instantly and flawlessly perform nearly any financial calculation has made possible businesses and products that were flat out impossible as recently as 40 years ago. Even though the personal computer and the industrial machines that preceded it have always been capable of performing Herculean math calculations, the software that put this power in the hands of the average user wasn’t made available until the mid-1980s. But from that point forward, the ability to track and calculate accounting models of virtually any complexity has had a huge impact on all kinds of businesses including non-profits.
Scott Sassa, the one-time CEO of Marvel Entertainment, is said to have written the business plan for the Fox TV Network on his laptop. Such a business plan that 20 years ago might have taken six months to compile can now be written in a few days. The technologies that make this possible have been in development for decades, but it wasn’t until desktop publishing, spreadsheets and e-mail converged that it became possible for an individual entrepreneur to sit down at a personal computer and draft the road map for a new company. This application of technology can also revitalize an existing company through applications for new financing, new product designs and expansion initiatives. The results have been significant, as the current productivity gains are the highest in some time.
Something as presumably simple as a stirring machine for laboratories might be considered by some to be an area where technology doesn’t matter quite as much. Companies like Arrow Engineering however, demonstrate that any business can advance itself and make an impact. Companies like this make customers more productive through continued advancement and excellence in what types of products it builds and how they are used.
Nobody likes meetings, but the communications technologies business can use in 2015 don’t have to be limited to getting a group of people in a room and going through an agenda. The sales possibilities of instant device-to-device text, chat, e-mail and video are beyond imagining, and there are so many companies making use of these capabilities now that if your business is still relying on plane tickets and knocking on doors, you may find your sales can be supercharged by adding some complementary features to your team’s toolbox. This category alone would be enough to build a solid advantage for any company willing to fashion a sales strategy around instant seller to buyer communications. Even if the goal is simply to explain a product and let the sales happen elsewhere, the advantages should be obvious.
Digital data capacity has increased so far and so fast that it is likely there is enough room to store the entire collected knowledge of human civilization several million times over just in North America. This is of particular importance when business owners recognize that data can be sifted, sorted and analyzed for insights into how their company can be improved in the future.
Technology isn’t just limited to computers, and that means what can be covered just by discussing desktop and mobile computers doesn’t even begin to cover all that is available to advance a business. Technology is as much a philosophy as it is a tool, and entrepreneurs that recognize it will continue to succeed.