If you ask me which is that one thing that made the greatest impact on business in the last two decades. It’s simple. My answer would be ‘Technology.’ Nothing made as much difference as technology did. It made the entire process of business easier, and more convenient.
If you look at how businesses function all over the world, you will realise that right from prospecting till the final order placement, the entire customer’s journey in a company is guided through technology.
Today, if you have mega companies like Amazon, Alibaba, Walmart, Flipkart, and Zomato, the credit should go to technology for helping them at every step. For example, a few years back, you would have never imagined that you could do your entire wedding shopping through e-commerce sites like Amazon, Myntra and Snapdeal. Who would have thought, a food aggregator company like Zomato, or Swiggy could have delivered your birthday cake in a flat half an hour?
Previously, when you wanted to travel out of the city for either personal or official reasons, you either stood in a long queue outside a railway booking office, or contacted a travel agent who charged a hefty commission. Not anymore.
You can visit the IRCTC site to book your train ticket or take help from online travel portals like Yatra.com, makemytrip.com, or many other such websites. Even for reaching the railway station or airport, you are no more dependent on local taxi service. You can just book your ride on Ola or Uber at a much affordable price and pay them through digital modes like paytm, or Google pay.
The Nature of Business Has Changed
The way businesses are conducted all over the world has seen major changes. In the past, businesses were more about physical interaction among buyers and sellers. But now after technology arrived in a big way, every aspect of business has changed.
So, if you have a retail showroom, you don’t depend only on the walk-in customers. That is just one way of getting your customer. There are many other ways like e-commerce, and running special campaigns for attracting new customers.
Use of Computer Technology
Now the use of computers in the day to day functioning of business has increased. Computer Automation is very important to increase your business’ efficiency and productivity. Computers are used to reduce the cost of running a business and increase customer’s satisfaction. There are many industry-specific office automation processes that are used in business.
Technology Helps in Communication
Computers have become a very powerful medium of communication in business. It is used in different modes of communication like email, instant messaging, contact systems, VOIP, video chat, etc.
It is also used as a means of communication among office workers, vendors, customers and various stakeholders. Companies can use Outlook to track events, manage business mail and schedule meetings with employees.
You can use various digital mediums and social media channels like WhatsApp, Skype, Google Meet, and Zoom to connect and engage with your customers. Such digital platforms are also compatible with smartphones and tablets. A virtual operator and advanced computerized phone systems like automated support makes it easier to call the right person in a quick time.
Technology for Sales and Marketing
In modern business, the digital presence is very important. Therefore, any business that needs to continuously engage with its customers would need a website and presence on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And if you are an Indian company, you would also need a strong presence on Indian social media channels like Vero, Chingari, and Connected app. All this requires technological applications.
You will need technology to implement your sales and marketing plans for business. Creating websites, launching digital advertising and campaigns, all this is done with the help of software. From creating advertisements to advertising campaigns, contacting customers to collecting data and analyzing them, everything is done through software or special tools.
Now, digital marketing has become an important medium of promoting your brand and business. It is used for targeting, measurable and interactive marketing of your products with the help of digital technology to reach customers and retain them. For the purpose of digital marketing, besides mobile phones, TV, and FM radio, the Internet is widely used as the major medium for promotion. The following digital marketing tools are used:
Technology Helps in Social Networking
There are tools like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) that are used to handle Human Resources and automated Finance related procedures of companies. Such ERP packages take care of all your important functions like financial accounting, general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, taxation, asset accounting, recruitment, profit, payroll, human appraisal and performance etc.
Besides packages for HR and Finance, Enterprise Resource Planning modules are also available for Sales, Planning, Inventory, Operations and Administration.
Technology Helps in Training
Computer technology is used for educating employees, and business associates about business procedures, business topics, technical topics, company policies, standard procedures and safety related issues. Technology is also used for training employees by leveraging tools such as e-learning platforms and e-content.
By using them, employees can choose and schedule their own training and preferred location. At the same time, they can be authenticated instantly through online assessment.
Technology Helps in Taxes and Payments
Now businesses are not supposed to raise physical invoices and challans for the billing purpose. They can send bills in digital mode, and also receive payments through net banking, or digital payment platforms like paytm, Google Pay, Mobikwik, or debit/ credit card. It’s so convenient unlike previous times when payment was usually accepted in cash or through cheques.
In earlier times, carrying cash was a big problem on account of possible theft and robbery. Sometimes, you needed to make payment immediately but you ran out of cheque leaves. Since digital payment came into practice, all such apprehensions have gone. There is no second opinion that technology has indeed made the process of business easier for both owners and customers.