When it comes to technological advances, there are several different ways to understand how business has changed. If you’ve ever seen an episode of Mad Men, you might have an idea of how business used to be. Typewriters, rolodexes, cross-country flights for every important meeting, and notes on legal pads used to be the norm in most offices, even through the 1980s. In the last two decades the internet has taken over, and since then, the changes in technology have been coming faster and faster. The big picture in business might have changed over time, but innovations are happening every year, and it’s made the fundamental principals behind the way companies operate transform. From business setup to business philosophy, what has changed the most?
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It’s obvious that one of the main benefits of internet technology is the ability to communicate with colleagues and clients on the other side of the world in an instant. Conference calling, video conferencing, and the cloud are just some of the technological advances that have become commonplace, allowing for collaborations with businesses in any country and information that’s available instantly. This has also skyrocketed the amount of money businesses can make. The U.S. Census Department reported than in 2012, over $1,100 billion was spent in international related-party trade. Technology has flattened the marketplace, allowing entry to international markets that were previously difficult to break into and even bringing corporate business to developing nations.
As easy as it has become to reach other businesses, it’s become even easier to reach customers. This is particularly good news for small businesses. Since the internet became prevalent, almost anyone can start a business from their home and reach the entire world. Websites, social media, and email allows for affordable and effective marketing strategies that can get your name out there in ways never before seen. The rise of e-commerce has also expanded businesses and created new ones. The potential to make exponentially more money by buying and selling online has opened up a world of opportunity, but the online small business field is still growing. Research group Boston Consulting did a survey which found small businesses still spend less than 5 percent of their budget on internet marketing, proving that technology changes much faster than people do.
The more advances technology makes, the more advances it inspires. The internet has made it easy for entrepreneurs and designers to notice needs that are not being met and find ways to meet them. Not only is it simpler for businesses to be created, it’s easier for innovators to gain access to the right tools to create new software. New websites, mobile apps, and technological services are enabling greater customer convenience in almost every market, from healthcare, to real estate, to retail sales to banking. The internet can solve common problems and make transactions of every kind more efficient. And as technology becomes more accessible, it also becomes cheaper, so this convenience isn’t just available to an elite few.
In the end, the biggest change the internet has afforded to business in general is that everyone, across the board, can make more money. The huge leaps in technology which have connected people around the globe for all kinds of reasons have also created a global market, where you can buy, sell, trade, and collaborate with every country in the world in a much faster and more efficient way.