Technology has changed the way businesses operate, communicate, and compete. With automation, data collection, seamless communication, and integration, the modern business landscape is no longer limited to geography, workforce, and capital.
For Example, Apple can develop and design iPhones in the US, manufacture them in China, and deliver around the world within days or even hours. This skyrocketed Apple’s profit to huge numbers, that any company could have even dreamt of before the 80s.
Among all other technological advancements, software has impacted businesses the most. Applications and computer programs are the backbones of most businesses that are surviving and thriving today. From human resource management to quality assurance, every company is using software to automate, integrate and streamline processes.
Today, an average small company typically spends around 6.9% of the total revenue (not profit) on their IT infrastructure, ranking only second to HR cost in many industries.
This blog will tell you how technology helps in business growth and the importance of software in the evolving business landscape.
What is a Business Landscape?
Business landscape refers to the way businesses operate, survive, and grow. It includes the people involved along with products, services, market, and the industry they operate in.
It is like a bird-eye view of the environment in which an organization sells their products, makes purchases, conducts operations, and competes with rivals.
- Business Structure: It includes such elements as strategy, vision, mission, hierarchy, culture, revenue model, and all other important internal configuration of the company.
- Market: It includes the physical and virtual environment, types of customers, competitors, and the industry dynamics that help shape the demand for a particular product or service.
- Sales & Marketing: Includes the buying criteria, customer retention strategies, sales process, product and service, price positioning, and advertising.
- Technology: Involves the information system, hardware, and software that a business uses to manage its operations.
- Environment: Every aspect of the external environment that influences a business. These include political, economic, and environmental factors that change the functioning of a business. It also includes competitors, shareholders, creditors and all other stakeholders of the business.
Importance of Software in Business
Computers, software, and other modern technology used in business are impeccable parts of any organization’s operation today. Lest understand this with a simple example
Imagine asking your customer to wait in line during checkout while your cashier draws the price register and manually identifies the item, fills the price, applies a discount, and calculates the total payable amount. The customer would be frustrated and start looking for alternatives
Now install a POS billing system with a barcode reader in the same place. The customer will not have to wait for long, as the barcode of products will be scanned, and discounts will be applied automatically. The bill would be generated, and the customer can make the payment quickly and effortlessly.
This is one of the many examples of how software has changed the modern business landscape today. Let’s understand some of the other ways in which technology is shaping organizational growth.
Software has enabled businesses to automate operational processes boosting their efficiency and effectiveness. Various business processes like manufacturing, marketing, accounting, data collection, billing, etc. can be automated using the software
- Communication, Integration, and Collaboration
In the past, businesses used to rely on traditional methods of communication like phone calls, fax, and emails. However, with the advent of new technologies, businesses can now communicate and collaborate with employees, clients, and customers in real-time, regardless of their geographical location. This has helped businesses improve their workflow and make better decisions.
- Data Collection, Interpretation, and Prediction
This is another significant area where technology has helped businesses to grow. Previously only large businesses used to collect data as it was extremely time-consuming, expensive, and required a high level of expertise.
However, with the advent of cloud computing, businesses can now collect and compile data at every level in real time. Even startups and small businesses can interpret and visualize data to predict future trends, which has helped them stay ahead of the curve.
The above-mentioned points are just a few examples to show you the importance of technology in business. There are countless other ways in which software has changed the modern business.
Suggested Read: 6 Reasons Why Every Business Needs a Software Solution
5 Ways How Technology Is Changing The Business Growth
Technology hasn’t just shaped the way companies work today. But it continually shaping the business environment and will continue to do so in the coming years. Here is how information and technology are changing the business landscape.
- Quality Over Price
There was a time when customers preferred price over the product or service. However, with the rise of the internet and eCommerce, market entry is no longer a barrier, and the market has been more competitive than ever.
Almost all the sellers are identically pricing products/service, as it’s extremely easy for consumers to compare prices. It’s no longer about selling a product, now it’s about delivering the product faster with a seamless buying experience.
Business software and technology could give your company a competitive edge by helping you deliver your products faster and efficiently.
- The Customer Is the King
Earlier customer feedback or testimonials were mostly limited to word of mouth and didn’t affect business much. But now with social media taking the center stage, businesses are more answerable to their customers’ opinions. A single tweet or post by an unhappy customer can lead to massive social media outrage. So, businesses now must address their customers’ queries quickly, nurture them and take their feedback seriously.
For Example, a CRM software Like Salesforce will give you deep insights into your customer’s buying patterns, habits, and preferences so that you can cater to their needs better. It also enables your organization to collect, categorize and address customer feedback easily. Similarly, your business can interact with your customers on all communications channels through a single window, increase customer satisfaction level and build a positive brand image.
- Use of Big Data
Big data is the most popular buzzword in the business world today. It is defined as a large set of data that can be used to identify trends, patterns, and correlations. Businesses use this data to make better decisions about their products, services and customers.
Businesses are now able to personalize products, services, plans and marketing campaigns as per customer preferences, buying habits and purchase patterns. This has completely changed the sales and marketing lifecycle of businesses.
Here is an image showing the use of Big Data in different industries. It indicates that industries that are dependent on customer base like banking and healthcare use Big Data more frequently than manufacturing and energy sectors.
- Targeted Marketing
Putting up hoarding boards like “Coke Cola: Things Go better with coke” on the highways is decades old now. The new way of marketing is to show your ad directly to the smartphone screen of the user who searched for a solution on the internet. Digital targeted marketing is the KSF of almost all businesses now.
- Serve Beyond Expectation
“If I had asked the public what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse. “– Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company
The world has become so competitive that businesses must keep on innovating to survive. They must come up with new marketing strategies, product features, and smart ways to solve the challenges of their clients. If they don’t, they will quickly become irrelevant, and their customers will move on to someone who does.
- Technology’s Effect on Business Activity
The dynamics of doing business will keep evolving with time and having a proactive approach to upcoming change will increase the chances of survival and growth.
With emerging technologies like cloud computing and SaaS, even small businesses could afford state of the art technologies and software to compete with giant entities making businesses even more competitive.
Soon, technologies like Artificial Intelligence and IOT (internet of Things) will have larger purpose in the business landscape, making companies even more productive, agile and scalable.
- How has technology changed the business landscape?
Technology has changed the business landscape in many ways, from automating manual work to integrating business processes, departments, and branches. It has made businesses more agile, scalable and productive than ever.
- Why are People investing in modern software technology?
People are investing in modern software technology because of its many benefits, including automation of work, easy access to data and information, easy integration of different processes, and enhanced security.
- What are the new technologies that are changing the business landscape?
Out of many emerging technologies cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence, IoT, and Distributed Ledger are the most impactful technologies changing the business landscape.
- When should small businesses invest in software and automation?
Small businesses should invest in software and automation when they're ready to scale up and want to reduce operational costs.