Role of technology in business
What businesses need technology for?
All kinds of manufacturing companies use technological innovations to streamline production processes. Robots can assemble products and parts faster and more precisely. They don't need coffee, sleep, or vacations. What's more, modern automated production lines are becoming less and less defective. As a result, they offer work without downtime.
Robots efficiently process huge amounts of data 24 hours a day. Food production is carried out with the help of automated machines that dose ingredients with great precision or divide portions and sets. What's more, software, based on data, is able to pinpoint exact places in the production process that need improvement.
How to translate all these technologies into business development?
Nowadays, communication is one of the basic elements of any business. The ability to cut through the information noise and effectively reach a specific audience is extremely valuable for any company.
The software available today supports the optimal use of communication channels. Analysis of huge amounts of data is an opportunity for numerous communication optimizations.
- Timing – algorithms can determine the most effective times to contact your audience. Whether it is sending an email, inserting a post, or publishing a video.
- Content – tools that support content creation today can identify the types of headlines or titles that will interest readers. What's more, there are already effective solutions for creating almost complete articles (such as Writesonic or Copy.ai)
Similar to car manufacturing, will content creation departments be automated? Will algorithms replace humans in the near future? I think this direction is worth watching.
Are robots capable of making better business decisions than humans? This is a question I would not like to face at the moment. Business decision-making is critical to a company's existence, so we shouldn't put it on the technologies’ back. However, there are already solutions that support making the right decisions by reducing the risk of making a mistake.
Data processing – modern solutions before anything support the speed of decision-making. Technology in business is not only the collection of large amounts of data, it is also the ability to analyze it and make it instantly available. This allows companies to make accurate decisions before their competitors do, and every efficient entrepreneur knows the benefits of being the first.
Currently, we distinguish between several types of ways to make quick decisions with the support of algorithms:
- Decision support systems (DSS) – a decision support system for solving unstructured problems
- Group decision support system (GDSS) – a type of decision support system that makes it easier for a team to identify and solve problems.
- Geographical information systems (GIS) – a decision support system designed specifically to work with spatial information.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) – a system designed to replicate human behavior.
- Expert systems – AI with argumentation skills used to solve a problem.
- Neutral network – an intelligent learning system, with the ability to recognize patterns.
- Genetic algorithm – a system designed to mimic the evolutionary process. Operating according to the principle of “survival of the fittest”, it is supposed to provide better and better solutions.
I wrote above about the possibility of using technology in the context of communications. However, this is only one aspect in which technology supports marketing activities. Martech is a field that is developing very rapidly. Almost every month it brings changes and innovations in the marketing technology space.
Today's marketing is based on data and its analysis. As with decision-making processes, algorithms support marketers in optimizing channel selection and marketing budget execution.
Technology in marketing, practically covers the spectrum of demand. There are even new spaces emerging that can only be explored through technology.
- Marketing automation – is it possible to take a customer through the marketing funnel without the marketer's involvement until they make a buying decision? Unfortunately, not yet. However, a well-configured marketing automation tool will save time and support improved marketing performance.
- Analyzing consumer data – Marketing data analytics is becoming more and more involved. Marketing tools allow the collection of more and more data. Modern algorithms allow quick analysis and availability of valuable insights. .
- Budget execution – learning algorithms are appearing in more and more marketing tools. Today, technologies suggest how to optimize campaign spending. What's more, algorithm suggestions often work better than human decisions.
Today more than ever the phrase “competition never sleeps” reflects the market situation. Creating competitive advantages or searching for new areas to grow are tasks that businesses constantly perform.
As with marketing or business decisions, technology can search, analyze, and provide insights that would normally be extremely difficult to find.
I've written about communication, but maintaining good relationships with customers is another matter entirely. Sales is another area that benefits from the support of technology. A CRM system is no longer just used to store information about customers and contracts. Advanced analytics allow for much more.
Going through the stages of the sales funnel together with the customer is much easier when you know:
- what contact methods work best for your company,
- which materials have the best impact on the customer,
- where on the purchase path the lead is located.
Providing salespeople with real-time data helps them improve sales effectiveness.
Business and technology
You already know how technology can support business development. However, how does this actually happen? What tools and specific solutions are behind this kind of support? I'm already rushing to answer.
The value of Machine Learning for businesses is to automate its development. These applications get better and more precise over time. Today, businesses use Machine Learning in the context of customer service, for example, it can be:
- a chat-bot that recognizes what a customer writes and responds in real time,
- a system for recommending additional products in online stores,
- an algorithm for dynamic quote creation and estimation.
The Machine Learning trend is growing rapidly, offering newer and more interesting solutions.
Tools that replicate the behavior of a real person are slowly gaining a place in business reality. They are able to support everyday activities, allowing each of us to operate more efficiently. Examples of such tools are:
- Intelligent assistants like Asana, Siri, or Google Assistant. The functionality of these tools is growing rapidly. It is possible that in some time they will be able to handle most of our daily tasks for us.
- Creators of the best advertising texts, headlines, titles, and lately even entire article content are getting better and better. The way robots write increasingly resembles that offered by humans. In time, these tools can enter the daily life of any content creator.
Today it is no longer necessary to explain to anyone how important cloud solutions are for businesses. Scaling a business whose infrastructure is based on the cloud is a whole new dimension of development. Cloud Computing has already revolutionized business, and the next few years will bring even more new opportunities thanks to this technology.
Mobile applications cover the vast majority of business needs for customers. Today, it is no longer just simple tools and catalogs that you provide to your customers, but advanced tools that support:
- customer engagement in interactions with your brand,
- loyalty to your brand,
- personalized and tailored marketing,
- usability and effectiveness of other channels.
AR and VR
The development of technologies creating virtual reality is opening up new business opportunities. It is already supporting e-commerce, desktop sales, marketing, and promotion in many aspects today. Moreover, reality creation is already occurring in industries like:
- real estate,
- urban planning,
- custom contracting.
Blockchain is a technology that is still mainly associated with cryptocurrencies and cutting-edge projects. However, it has already found a space for itself in business. At the moment, blockchain is used in several business aspects.
- Fraud protection – a data chain that does not allow editing of historical data and always provides access to it is an effective method to protect against fraud.
- Supply chain management – complete supply knowledge can be quickly, efficiently, and most importantly, securely processed through the blockchain.
- Secure data sharing – sending data with the ability to track the entire process of its circulation, and doing so with high security standards? It's already happening.
Summary – technology in business
Business and technology are closely intertwined at every turn. Entrepreneurs who are thinking about business development realize how much they can gain from modern solutions. I hope that with this article I have introduced you to the importance of technology in business today.