The technological environment - introduction
Technological change presents significant opportunities and threats for businesses.
Technology developments affect business operations in a number of positive ways:
- Increasing access to, and storage and manipulation of, data.
- Increasing speed and volume of communication.
- Reduced language and cultural barriers.
- Reduced costs of production.
- Reduced administration costs, waste and increased efficiencies.
- Increased outsourcing of key functions cutting operating costs.
- Higher quality products at competitive prices through improved innovation and development.
- Better working conditions, flexible working practices and greater opportunity for personal development.
- Increasing access to global markets and greater mobility in business transactions.
However, there are some potential negatives associated with technology development
- The real costs of remaining ahead of competitors.
- Fewer barriers to entry to markets, allowing smaller companies to compete using relatively low cost web marketing tools.
- Empowering customers to seek lower prices and better deals.
- The increasing support costs such as licensing of software, maintenance of equipment and the training of staff.
- Reduced job security.
- The pace of constant change undermining existing organisational structures and threatening social relationships.
- The increased risk of interconnected systems failing and resulting chaos. Not all systems are secure and it is increasingly difficult to protect systems from hacking.