In the 21st century, we are going through a process of digital transformation and Importance of Technology, in which companies play a very important role. To do this, it is essential to know-how information and communication technologies influence companies, and what the advantages they provide are.
ADVANTAGES OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES IN SMEs
One of the main advantages of ICTs in companies is that they greatly facilitate decision making in an informed manner and based on concrete data provided by new technologies.
In this way, companies can take advantage of opportunities and deal with market threats in a more efficient way.
The use of key resources, such as business management software or social networks, big data or artificial intelligence allows access and interpretation of data to convert it into valuable information.
INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL COMMUNICATION
Another advantage of ICT in business is the improvement of communication, both internal and external.
The new technologies allow companies to be connected in real-time on a multitude of channels with customers, suppliers, investors, partners, etc. On a scale never seen.
This improvement in communication can have a very positive influence on results and productivity, bringing customers closer and integrating their feedback into decision making, if managed correctly.
Information and Communication Technologies allow us to know precisely the tastes, preferences and needs of customers, which allows companies to offer highly personalized products and experiences and rectify or adapt their strategy in almost real-time depending on changes in the market, its users or the environment.
Companies can also know their preferences, shopping habits, etc. designing effective strategies to obtain maximum satisfaction.
One of the most outstanding advantages is the best of the company’s image. The correct implementation of ICT solutions, in addition to an improvement in communication, provides a more modern and innovative image of the company, which positively influences the purchase decision process by customers.
And finally, in relation to management processes, the use of new technologies allows considerable savings in both time and money in performing tasks, greatly simplifying processes. Actions such as planning or time management are carried out more agile and, above all, more efficient.
Technology has transformed the way people interact, both in your personal and professional life (the chances of you reading this on a mobile device, whether smartphone or tablet, are huge). Companies should not only be prepared to attract and retain talent and be comfortable with these new features, but they also have to learn that their business can benefit from them.
However, you must have already heard about this right? The intention of this article is to show eight trends in technology and business that already have practical examples in the market and that will affect the entire market in the next 12 months.
The exponential growth of technology
We will live very quickly, improvements in technologies increasingly accessible at lower costs. Therefore, better products and services can be developed at less expense. Some examples of technologies on this growth are Artificial Intelligence, 3D printing, robots and airplanes, autonomous cars, virtual and augmented realities, bitcoin and blockchain, biotechnology and others.
Global Internet access
The Internet is primarily responsible for the transformation described above and its growth does not stop. It took 20 years to reach the first billion users, only five years to reach two billion and another four years to three billion. By 2020, that is, in three years, it is estimated that more than three billion users will connect to the network.
These will be the people who never accessed the web, never made an online purchase and who bring new ideas and demands. Many of them will arrive at WWW in 2017 and with them, new business opportunities. The oneweb For example, an American company focused on providing affordable high-speed Internet for the world, promised to accelerate the launch of “a satellite constellation” in 2017 and 2018 in order to meet this accumulated demand through these devices.
In the 1960s, computers were rare resources and too expensive for a single person to have. This is how the concept of sharing emerged so that a group of people could access the same system in turn. Today, easy access to the computer is represented by devices connected to the Internet and to each other.
Therefore, today many companies are able to create an interaction between people and offer things never before thought of – such as home automation hubs with voice recognition that plays music, makes lists of tasks and reports real-time data of time and the traffic.
The almost infinite access to computing power has been the main catalyst for the great evolution of Artificial Intelligence. This combination of techniques and algorithms, (the most prominent is Machine Learning and one of its aspects – Deep Learning) aims to train machines that have the same capabilities as human beings, such as reasoning, planning, natural language processing, perception, and general intelligence.
In this sense, the work environment in several industries will see that AI actually happens in 2020, but not to replace the work done by people. In this first stage, the machine will serve to increase our cognitive abilities, especially the technology capable of processing a volume of data far superior to the human being.
Then I will use the example of music. A long time ago to listen to your favorite music at any time you had to buy a CD with an entire album – 80 minutes because it was what fit on that device – and also have where to play it. To share that music with someone, you had to lend him your CD, but then all aspects of this description changed. Today you have the demand for music services and you can only hear a complete album if you wish.
And these drastic changes are not exclusive to the music industry. Great advances in technology and business applications caused the disruption of people’s experience. And here I am not talking only about the end-user experience. The industry as a whole will cease to exist and, increasingly, we see a change in the way of thinking and interacting with products and services in practically all segments. Which brings me to the next point.
Evolution of business models
Easy access to technology is allowing new business models to be tested in a simple and economical way. Great innovations occur in years and no longer in decades – and we walk fast for weeks or months. Billions of dollars businesses will be created in a few months. When these new models emerge, technology becomes a key part of the strategy and companies must rethink the most important skills and reinvent.
Organizations need – all of them – to identify the value of their business, such as price and then begin to make changes in the way they sell and charge for their products. This movement is not easy and does not happen overnight, however, in 2017 we will see more and more companies in search of digital culture.
The digital experience
People already have digital experiences in their day to day, sharing their data with applications such as Uber or Waze to have the benefit of a better transport service. At work, the messages and video applications and the platforms that allow the management of documents, workflows, among others, allow greater interaction between departments – regardless of where each team is assigned. Therefore, the process of creating and sharing knowledge is getting faster. With all the information generated by the sharing economy, companies need – and consumers expect from them – to identify behaviors and use this to find value in new places.
They will be adopted next year, precisely because they are a response to this demand. People want to answer certain questions, seek information or make their complaints in the same way they obtained that product or service: digitally.
Changes in the value proposition
Data is the driving force behind the next big wave in the search for the value proposition. It is this combination of data quality and intelligence that companies are focusing their technological efforts on increasing the power of their networks, achieving unlimited connectivity and using the computing power to collect, aggregate, correlate and interpret data and therefore, bring dramatic improvements in people’s lives.
The main challenge is to adapt the mentality and the adoption process of this new changing world, since innovation and disruption can come from anywhere, at any time. In addition to focusing on their core competencies, companies have to learn to use technology as an additional knowledge they already have at home.
HOW TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ICT IN COMPANIES?
In the same way that you should know the advantages of ICT in business, it is important to highlight the main keys to take advantage of the market opportunities they offer.
- Internet and RRSS: thanks to social networks, companies can maintain two-way communication with their target audience, thus offering a closer and more transparent image. This greatly influences your trust, which favors the creation of long-term relationships.
- Relational Marketing: with the internet and social networks, companies can interact with their customers in a different way than they have been doing until now. They offer users space where they can comment on their impressions, exchange ideas or launch suggestions, for example.
- Customer needs: 21st Century Marketing is based on adapting the company’s products and / or services to the specific needs of customers, and not vice versa. Thus, thanks to ICT in business, companies can know in detail the needs of their target.
- Collaborative work: the implementation of Information and Communication Technologies should be aimed at collaborative work, reducing costs and facilitating project management. They facilitate internal communication, as well as coordination and collaboration between different work teams. In addition, they considerably speed up decision making.
RESOURCES AND MARKETS OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES
Currently, the implementation of ICTs in companies is mainly aimed at Small and Medium Enterprises in Spain. Currently, a high percentage of SMEs have their own corporate website, as well as social media profiles. Even so, taking into account the demands and needs of the current market, the road that remains to be taken in relation to ICTs in business is very long.
One of the main objectives in the short and medium-term is the training of employees and work teams in relation to Information and Communication Technologies. In the same way, in many SMEs, it is necessary to implement software programs, as well as other Cloud Computing solutions.
ICT systems are a very important tool in current businesses and companies. A wide range of factors is involved in the implementation of information systems, with human capital being one of the most important. In many cases, it is the employees themselves who are reluctant to adopt new procedures. That is why it is so important to establish a strategic plan, taking into account the present and future needs of the company.