Business technology is a method of organizing and coordinating technology management throughout an organization. It is a combination of management strategies, tools, organizational structures, and technological governance aimed to ensure that the use of technology across the enterprise is optimized with the overriding goal of meeting customer demands and expectations. Most companies recognize that they must continually challenge not only their competitors but also themselves in order to enhance their consumers’ perceptions and their capacity to meet market demand.
10 Business Technology Trends That Are Changing the Game
Business and technology are by no means exclusive industries from each other. The tech industry has long been a launching point for new business, and there are few businesses in the world today that don’t rely on technology at some level. But as intermixed as they already are, the crossover is only increasing.
“Business technology is a broad term that can have many meanings,” says Sean Killian, product marketing manager at Enola Labs Software. “I look at technology as utilizing innovative resources to optimize and improve current business processes with a goal of long term cost-savings or revenue-generation.” The options within that arena are virtually endless.
No matter how you define business technology or its applications, the opportunities presented by this merging of business and tech are very real. For those looking to position themselves in a digital economy, the first step is to be aware of what’s going. To help with that, we gathered expert opinions on some of the most compelling business technology trends out there.
Business technology trends to keep an eye on
1. Minimization of material investment
“Long story shortened, the largest hotel chain in the world doesn’t own any property and the largest taxi company doesn’t own any cars,” Uzoka explains. “How can you be a conduit to connect a whole bunch of people to something they need, and not have to shell out any cash?”
“These platform-oriented businesses are harnessing the power of technology to offer their services,” says Slye Joy Serrano, founder and creative director at Content Hacker. “Note also how brick-and-mortar stores are giving way to digital or online retailers.”
Technology has allowed platforms like Uber and Airbnb to cause substantial shifts within their industries without even owning the vehicles or properties of their customers. This is a successful formula other tech entrepreneurs will likely continue to pursue.
2. Security experts on payroll
“The most recent and interesting trend has been the rise of more sophisticated IT security,” says Sean Allen, digital marketing manager of Aware. As more and more companies are storing and optimizing data and transitioning to cloud platforms, data security is moving from a “buy a padlock” mentality to a “hire a security guard” mentality.
“The rise of ransomware and cloud hacks have meant security experts. For companies, this is probably the most rapidly expanding area,” Allan says. This could be why the job opportunity outlook for cyber security experts is so high.
3. Cloud-enabled everything
“The biggest trend now is companies moving their operations into cloud-enabled environments,” Killian says. “With platforms like AWS and Azure, companies can take advantage of world-class enterprise solutions for a fraction of the cost of the past.” Killian explains that these platforms have opened up affordable and stable options for small companies that may not have been able to afford those options in the past.
4. Smart offices
“For us, smart home or smart business tech has been the most interesting development of late,” says Amy Kilvington of Wooden Blinds Direct. The Internet of Things (IoT) is shaking up business technology in many ways, but one definite advantage is within the workplace itself. “We recently incorporated smart technology across the business, including smart cameras, thermostats and fingerprint recognition,” Kilvington says.
“We also plan to launch facial recognition in the near future, which will make clocking in and clocking out even more seamless. We’ve found that business technology can not only benefit our employees through data and automation, but also by making it a more comfortable and safe place to work.”
5. Tech-boosted recruiting
“I see a trend toward more technology-aided recruiting,” says Sarah Lucas, CEO of WAHspace. As examples, Lucas mentions sourcing candidates through professional networking sites, online skill testing and personality profiling, resume keyword scans and digital communications.
“While in-person interviewing skills will always be a benefit, today’s job seekers should have a strong professional online presence and know the etiquette of communicating digitally for business purposes,” Lucas says.
6. Accessible tech for all
“One of the big trends happening now is a new wave of technology that enables non-technical people to do the work that previously required a team of engineers,” says Michael Frye, founder and CEO of BigPicture. Frye mentions tools like BigPicture and Bubble that allow users to build apps or a marketing tools without knowing how to code.
But even in a smaller way, more and more businesses are seeing the value of investing in technology to better allocate employee time. “A great example is putting iPads in sales teams’ hands so they can quickly access documents, place orders and communicate with team members quickly and efficiently,” Killian says.
7. Technology certifications
“Students should take advantage of different free certifications online to help better prepare themselves for the technology realities of today’s workplace,” Killian advises. “Google, Amazon and Facebook all have various technology-related certifications that can give students a leg up on competition when it comes time to start searching for jobs.”
8. Business technologists
A business technologist is a senior-level professional who is responsible for ensuring businesses invest sensibly in technologies. These professionals take into account the current tech landscape of an organization, identify needs that can be addressed with technology and oversee the implementation of this technology.
Hannah Munro, lead business technologist at Itas Solutions , came into the job title after gaining experience in many different business departments. “I now work across multiple software platforms, helping companies to design their own business management solutions,” Munro says.
Common Types of Business Technology
Computers are utilized in a variety of enterprises. They have software that allows them to execute a wide range of tasks such as analysing financial information, sending and receiving emails, and designing sales presentations. The computer is available as a desktop computer or a portable laptop for use in the office or when traveling.
To do specific activities, computers need several types of software, which include applications and operating information. Microsoft Word, a word processing package, and Microsoft Excel, a financial spreadsheet system, are used by businesses. Microsoft PowerPoint and Apple Keynote are also used to create professional-looking sales presentations fast and easily. Businesses utilize software that is tailored to their requirements.
Networking is a method of interacting with groups of people in order to share information and documents, store data and send emails. It also enables the sharing of a printer or storage device between PCs. A network might be limited to computers within a single office or connected to multiple offices. Businesses need networking since it allows them to form contacts with others in their connected sectors in order to find new clients and partners, as well as expand.
Establishing commercial ties requires effective communication. As a result, businesses connect with customers and organizations via a telephone system. This allows for quick, efficient, and personal dealing with customers. Great customer service and effective communication with your staff will help your company develop a strong reputation and expand in the long run. There are currently commercial telephone systems that have a number of functions to meet a company’s demands.
An accounting system allows organizations to keep track of their expenses and revenue. Small businesses are the most common users of Quickbooks. It’s easy to set up and maintain. Larger businesses, on the other hand, use SAP Business One or Sage Accpac, which allow for more flexibility and system connectivity. The ideal accounting system for your company is determined by its size and needs. Before making a decision, it’s a good idea to talk to your accountant about your possibilities.
An inventory control system is used to manage a company’s whole inventory. It accurately keeps track of products, including how much inventory is in stock, updating the system when the new inventory arrives as well as when it is sold, and keeping detailed records. To keep the proper balance of things in their warehouse, understand what they have, and examine their finances, businesses need an adequate and organized system to manage their inventory.
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System keeps track of a customer’s interactions with your business. The CRM system will track the customer’s interactions with you from the minute you get information about them. When a customer calls to order a product or service or to ask for assistance or a technical query, the CRM system will tell the service representative when the items were shipped, what is back-ordered, and any previous discussions the customer has had with your organization.