To What Extend Has Technology Impacted Businesses

Introduction

Technology has revolutionised how companies do business and have provided businesses, both small and large organisations, a level playing field (Davis, 2016). Currently, technology is being applied in almost all companies to do specific business activities. Technology has not only changed the way people work but also brought some enjoyment at work and has reduced human mistakes which are usually a result of too much stress or work. Businesses currently employ an array of new technologies in almost everything from mobile devices to servers to gain a competitive edge in the market (Jones, 2017). Owners of companies should thus consider implementing new technologies in their process of planning for seamless integration and to provide them room for expansion. This will allow business owners to develop operations by using readily available effective technologies. Business technologies such as social networks, tablets, and computers, applications for customer management, accounting software and software for virtual meetings have eliminated workplace boundaries as well as have facilitated information transfer in businesses thus accelerating prompt decision-making (Aagaard, 2018). This essay will provide two arguments, their counterarguments as well as refutations. The first argument will be based on the fact that the productivity and profitability of businesses can be increased by technology. The first counterargument will concentrated on the evidence that technology can harm a business by increasing cost of operation and other extra expenses in maintenance, training and retraining. The first refutation will try to show that even though technology may put a business at increased cost of operation and other extra expenses, they may come around this by increasing innovation and creativity to come up with better products which can allow them to expand and grow. The second argument will show how technology is important in improving communication. The counter argument will show how technology may affect workplace relationship and result in information insecurity. The second refutation will show how despite technology putting businesses at risk of losing critical information, it can also be used to improve information security and widen the market base.

Argument 1

Technology has been linked to increased productivity of employees. Technology means that businesses can now increase employee productivity. For instance, there are computer software and programs which businesses can use to process large amounts of information than conventional or manual methods. According to Barnett et al. (2014), owners of businesses can implement technologies in businesses to decrease the size of human labour in their operations. The businesses can thus avoid costs payments to human labour along with staff benefits. More evidence by Kane et al. (2015) shows that even with the help of fundamental technologies, employee performance can be improved immensely. For instance, by placing data about employee appraisal in one online framework, the leaders of a business can develop measurable objectives and goals for the staff to fulfil and sustain (Subramaniyan, Thite and Sampathkumar, 2018). Owners of companies can also decide to expand their operations with the help of technologies instead of employees if the tech can offer better output in production.

Counterargument 1

However, even though technology has helped many businesses to increase productivity, it still has some disadvantages such as high costs if maintenance, training and retraining. Businesses can incur high costs of maintaining the tech and in other areas such as training or retraining. Research has found that it is quite expensive in some instances to purchase technology as well as to maintain them. Numerous small businesses are unable to afford to hire full-time technical experts and therefore resort to short-term contractors that charge them for completed tasks (Laudon and Traver, 2016). Additionally, when business technology equipment such as computers are maintained poorly, their performance decreases and the procedure of acquiring new tools can mean more expenses. Additionally, businesses that use technologies in their operations usually spend money on training or retraining their employees to use such techs. This training and retraining are because many technologies come with new ways of operating; thus employees must be trained on how to use the hardware, the new methods, and software. Therefore, the amount of money invested and the time involved in training employees can be significant. With the constant emergence of new techs, it remains necessary for a business to retrain their workers to keep them up to date with the latest techs (Tongur and Engwall, 2014). Therefore, it means that even though some techs can reduce the costs of operation significantly, other substantial expenses may be incurred in maintenance, training, and retraining. Furthermore, the losses linked to technology come from their disruptive nature. Amshoff et al. (2015) say that even though technologies can enhance production significantly, they may affect the business adversely because they change rapidly where major disruptions at surprising speeds can occur. Moreover, tech dependence might occur where any disruptions might lead to the business not being able to complete essential tasks thus leading to enormous losses.

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Refutation 1

Despite the high maintenance costs and other expenses incurred in training as well as the disruptive nature of tech dependence, technology has been associated with improved management, creativity and innovation at the workplace. Technology has improved human resource management especially in processes of recruitment, screening and hiring new workers. According to Hecklau et al. (2016), most human resource managers use the internet to advertise job vacancies. Additionally, the targeted candidates submit their applications online to human resource managers. This department can thus work easier and faster where time is saved in the recruitment process. The human resource manager can also track employee productivity and performance. I, therefore, concur with the argument of Hecklau et al. (2016) who says that once an employee is aware that his or her performance is being monitored, they will work towards enhancing their performance and productivity. Moreover, employees can use various business technologies to come up with innovative ideas that can be used to expand and grow the business. According to Henriksen, Mishra, and Fisser (2016), many businesses now develop technological challenges, and they reward employees that create ideas or solutions for these challenges using technology. For examples, employees can apply the internet tech to innovate different methods of promoting their products or services online. For instance, social enterprise networks such as Yammer.com can be employed by workers to interact and socialise with other innovative or creative employees from other organisations. The interactions can then lead to an exchange of ideas and information as well as promote brain-storming on many issues and challenges related to work (Henriksen, Mishra and Fisser, 2016). Therefore, I believe that technology is a good challenge for employees who are creative and innovative because they are encouraged to find new technological solutions to the daily problems which businesses face. Lastly, technology improves human resource management. An additional area where technology has revolutionised businesses is in technology.

Argument 2

There is evidence that business technology has helped businesses to improve processes of communication. For instance, software of social intranet provides workers a central portal where they can access as well as update contracts and internal documents or pass data along to other offices or departments promptly. Additionally, such methods help businesses reach customers (in real-time formats) using their mobile phones (Schwalbe, 2015). According to Schwalbe (2015), business technologies have helped businesses enhance processes of communication through apps, websites, texting, and emails. This individual says that using various forms of communication methods provided by information technology, companies are becoming able to saturate the market with their specially tailored messages. They can also get immediate feedback from consumers through electronic communication techniques. Therefore, my take is that with the help of technologies, especially those of information and communication, businesses can improve inter-office communication thus reducing a lot of physical interaction and saving time which could be better spent doing other necessary business activities.

Counter Argument 2

However, with such methods of communication like the use of emails, phone calls, Skype and video conferencing, the workplace relationships may be affected. When employees communicate through text messages, cell phones, virtual video or email conferencing tools, the face-to-face mode of communication is eliminated. According to Gabarro (2014), interpersonal communication remains essential, if not necessary, in developing workplace relationships as workers will get the opportunity to know one another where others might even share information which is not related to work. However, with these technology communication tools, the interaction between employees is killed, they become more self-centred, reserved and get buried in their jobs which can be detrimental to the business. In addition to its effects in communication, technology also affects employee productivity. Moreover, technology may be risky. The risk is particularly concerning data security. According to Chang, Kuo and Ramachandran (2016), all employees who are in positions of important decision-making often require access to some business information which is private. This access can be a threat because it will be a challenge to monitor the privacy and usage of such information especially with too much access by the employees. Also online communication may be intercepted through hacking by competitor firms and steal sensitive information about the company Chang, Kuo and Ramachandran (2016).

Refutation 2

Technology has helped many businesses to secure their confidential information. According to Jing et al. (2014), owners of a company can employ technology to develop secure environments where they can maintain sensitive consumer or business information. According to Chang, Kuo, and Ramachandran (2016), many forms of business software and technology programs are usually user-friendly and enable owners of businesses who have minor information technology background to take advantage of their features and tools. I believe this to be one of the significant ways in which technology is impacting businesses positively because, through information security, business owners together with their clients will feel confident to do business together because their information is safe. However, with technology, there is still some risks involved. Furthermore, tech allows businesses to venture into new markets in the economy through online communication. Scott (2015) says that instead of selling customer services or goods in a local market, businesses can reach international, national and regional markets. This person says that businesses can use retail websites to sell their products in many different markets. These websites are low-cost choices for businesses where customers can have 24-hour access to various services and goods (Scott, 2015). The owners of businesses can also apply the internet to advertise and reach new customers and markets by carefully placing web ads and banners.

Conclusion

Technology improves almost all aspects of a business. It improves employee creativity, innovation, and productivity. It reduces costs of operation; it secures important information, enhances communication and management among many other benefits. The above evidence shows that there are various ways in which technology can impact businesses either positively or negatively. However, companies should be careful when adopting new technologies and they should evaluate the current and future impacts on their operations carefully.

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References

  • Aagaard, A., 2018. Digital Business Models.
  • Amshoff, B., Dülme, C., Echterfeld, J. and Gausemeier, J., 2015. Business model patterns for disruptive technologies. International Journal of Innovation Management, 19(03), p.1540002.
  • Barnett, A., Batten, S., Chiu, A., Franklin, J. and Sebastia-Barriel, M., 2014. The UK productivity puzzle. Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, p.Q2.
  • Chang, V., Kuo, Y.H. and Ramachandran, M., 2016. Cloud computing adoption framework: A security framework for business clouds. Future Generation Computer Systems, 57, pp.24-41.
  • Davis, K., 2016. Technology: The future is already here. Journal (Real Estate Institute of New South Wales), 67(1), p.32.
  • Gabarro, J.J., 2014. The development of working relationships. In Intellectual teamwork (pp. 93-124). Psychology Press.
  • Hecklau, F., Galeitzke, M., Flachs, S. and Kohl, H., 2016. Holistic approach for human resource management in Industry 4.0. Procedia Cirp, 54, pp.1-6.
  • Jing, Q., Vasilakos, A.V., Wan, J., Lu, J. and Qiu, D., 2014. Security of the Internet of Things: perspectives and challenges. Wireless Networks, 20(8), pp.2481-2501.
  • Jones, C., 2017. Basware's journey to modern business-to-business performance marketing. Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing, 5(3), pp.214-220.
  • Kane, G.C., Palmer, D., Phillips, A.N., Kiron, D. and Buckley, N., 2015. Strategy, not technology, drives digital transformation. MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte University Press, 14, pp.1-25.
  • Laudon, K.C. and Traver, C.G., 2016. E-commerce: business, technology, society. Schwalbe, K., 2015. Information technology project management. Cengage Learning. Subramaniyan, S., Thite, M. and Sampathkumar, S., 2019. 15 Information security and privacy in e-HRM. e-HRM: Digital Approaches, Directions & Applications, p.50.
  • Scott, D.M., 2015. The new rules of marketing and PR: How to use social media, online video, mobile applications, blogs, news releases, and viral marketing to reach buyers directly. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Tongur, S. and Engwall, M., 2014. The business model dilemma of technology shifts. Technovation, 34(9), pp.525-535.

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