How would ‘emerging technologies’ affect businesses and how can businesses strategically manage the issues that may arise from such technologies?
Digital technology influenced both the business climate and the social environment. Technology deals with methods and various types of tools to collect, store, manipulate and communicate information. Several organizations worldwide have embraced and introduced innovations that are tailored for their personal use. The adaptation of technologies helps them to minimize the cost of business and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of company’s production method. Companies are now using technologies to open numerous business locations on domestic and international level. Emerging technologies embraced by businesses include new or advanced software and hardware.
Emerging technology is a segment of information technology. It is responsible for designing new products or tools, which are expected to be widely used over the next 5 to 10 years. Companies constantly look to emerging technology for the products or innovative services they deliver that help them develop their company competitive edge. Emerging innovations may require the refinement of technology already used by companies. Technology innovation also allows business to speed up its production process and allow business to improve business operations at a cheaper cost.
Talking more about emerging technologies in businesses, there are two important fields in emerging technology for businesses, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics. Robotics can be defined as a technological field and part of an engineering science which uses mechanical or electronic technology to replace human labour. Many manufacturing and development companies have incorporated robotics technology into their processes. The robotics development industry is planning to grow into other business sectors. Although Artificial Intelligence is being used to render robots smart to use in industry. Businesses use the technology of Artificial Intelligence by entering business information into the business machines that help in developing the information and forecast accurate predictions and identify trends for the company (Wood-Harper, Jayaratna, & Wood, 2013).
Emerging Technologies’ Effects on Businesses
Emerging technologies have significant effects on business in both ways; they benefit many businesses as well as they negatively affect businesses. To talk about the positive effects of emerging technologies on businesses include the effects on research and development of any company. This helps businesses develop processes of research and development which are more efficient and less costly. Companies usually adopt some of the technologies; Photonic computing, quantum computing, nanotechnology and biometrics technology. The technologies that the company uses in the research process and break down the information and other processes of business (Evans, 2003). These are the technologies commonly used by the industries dealing in chemicals, medical, petroleum or any other industry. The increased technology of research and development helps a company in developing its products more efficiently and in the low duration of time. Companies can bring their products faster in the market than passed years.
Another effect of emerging technology that benefits the business is the technological advancement in communication. Technology has improved the business communication to a great level, and it can help more to improve (Day, Schoemaker, & Gunther, 2004). There are many new methods of communication that are coming in the line of emerging technology. One of the emerging technologies includes virtual offices. In virtual offices, employees meet and discuss different situations and complete their functions of businesses. Another tool of voice over internet protocol is used for communicating in businesses by audio or video technology equipment. These are the technologies that give freedom to the companies to work with its employees or with other companies across the world (Tsai, 2003).
On the other hand, companies face few adverse effects due to emerging technologies. Companies think conventionally that they might not be able to use the technology in business operations to replace. Or enhance every aspect of operations. In some of the business functions, it is necessary to use the human labor and intelligence of human mind which includes the analysis and assessment of business situations or the information related to finance (Singh, 2008). From consumer’s point of view, it is become impersonal for the companies that have abundant of technologies implemented into the operation of businesses. Consumers might not appreciate the idea of technological advancement when they identify the unwillingness of companies to handle the situations of customer service in a personal manner.
There are some more issues in emerging technologies that affect the business.
Security, Privacy and Trust Issues
In the race for emerging technology, cloud computing is one the example that is emerging with time, although the technology of cloud computing is beneficial in terms of utilizing low cost by sharing computing and resources of storage, joint together with an on-demand provisioning mechanism that relies on a business model of pay per use. These are the new features that have a direct impact on the process of budgeting of an IT company, but it also affect the mechanism of trust and privacy and traditional security. The mechanisms are not adequate anymore, and they need to be considered for fixation to fit in the new pattern (Bruneo, Distefano, Longo, Puliafito, & Scarpa, 2013).
Resources and Skills
It is also argued that adaptation of emerging technologies in various businesses affects human skills and resources of the company. Emerging technologies in hospitals and other healthcare institutes affect the health care staff and another workforce. The adaptation of machines used for the treatment of cancer and other chronological diseases contains a high volume of radiations which is really harmful. Even though, hospital management implements many measures to protect the human resource, but the rays are injurious. Discussing more the impact of emerging technologies on businesses can be described by the less adaptive behavior of using skills of human capital (Khosrowpour, 2006). The especially business of manufacturing and production have now designed and installed special software and programs into automatic machines, which help machines to operate instead of number of working force labors. Most of the companies have eliminated manual operations that directly impact the unemployment rate in the economy (Nash & Sofer, 1996).
Social and Ethical Issues
Emerging technologies has a major role in businesses as well as on society. The advancement in technologies is making our lives easy but not better. Companies deal with many social and ethical issues by adopting the advanced and modern technologies.
The barriers over distances have shortened as the technology is getting faster and faster; the rate of outsourcing the employees from different countries is increasing as well. The security of the job is affecting the employees and business as well. Employees leave their current office as soon as they are offered a new place to work. And not just workers, companies in every other country in the world outsource their company set-up too. Some other community of businesses operating in the completely different country control their database operating customer services (Loftus, 1997). It may be effective for one company to outsource from another country, but at the same time it creates an ethical gap for the unemployed people of the country same country.
From the security point of view, an advanced technology of installing Radio frequency identification technology into the inventories to keep record at first, some businesses are now practicing implantation of this technology in humans to make the security tighter. By doing this, companies are now losing integrity from the employees’ side as they do not trust humans and have more trust on computer chips (Yee, 2012).
Role of Business Strategy and Operation on Tackling the Issues
Companies design their business strategy and operations in order to adopt emerging technologies and tackling the issues. Businesses adopt the technology when it helps to produce a healthy profit margin and it also helps to bring repeat purchases. Adaptation of technology assists the company to reduce its production cost and increase profit margin.
To reduce the risk wasting production time, instead of buying technology from various suppliers and assemble it on personal end, companies prefer to buy all the components of technology from same supplier. To overcome the loss of employee turnout rate in medical institutions, frequent rotation of employees from that department is practiced (Phillips, 1985).
Companies also design strategies for the employees to reduce the unemployment rate by give them training to operate the machines and some of the businesses also build other setups to use that workforce. Companies also arrange vocationally and training institutes to train their employees and prepare them to increase productivity and enhance their performance. Including more, companies have also adopted an approach of ‘bring your own device’ at the workplace. Employees are habitual of working at their own devices; this strategy helps to increase the productivity.
To minimize the distance between business and consumers, most of the companies have developed their Android apps for the mobiles. This way of associations with the customer brings a soft corner in the customer’s mind, and he try to ignore the company’s bad image or issues related to the company.
It can be concluded that emerging technology has a severe impact on businesses. Businesses have come to a time when they do not need to travel across the globe, and they can communicate their official matters with other companies’ without leaving their respective offices. They have a possibility to convey their information in nanoseconds; the speed of work has improved. The tool of web conferencing is the most effective and efficient way to attend meetings, seminars and other events, where they can participate and realize their presence in real time. In addition, teleconferencing is another tool for sales business. The speed of delivery of the product to the customers cannot be neglected. Electronic businesses, internet banking also represent emerging technology and playing a major part in the society. The developments in medical equipment and life saver components have an extensive impact on business and society.
Effects of emerging technologies will now increase with the passage of time; there is a chance that it will not affect the businesses in negative means. But it will rather affect the society more. Technological changes have expanded to a wide range; it will neither decrease nor stop. Businesses have now started employing a group of people only to decide and predict the impact and effects of the emerging technology that should be adopted by the company. Technological development has also provided an ease for the business to have the opponent company details and make their strategies accordingly. Hence, businesses are using smart technologies smartly.
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