A new era has begun. Today’s companies cannot ignore certain key technologies that have revolutionized the way we work, whether independently or collectively. These advances have transformed how we collaborate, sell, connect with customers and make decisions.
In this new world, where technology dictates the rules, a company’s performance is measured by its ability to adopt innovative, intelligent processes and methods.
Let’s address the technological forces at work that are coming together to redefine how business is done.
# Mobile Computing
Increased decentralization and globalization in the business world have naturally given rise to mobile computing. As employees are increasingly “out of the office,” whether working at another site within their company, at home, or visiting clients on the other side of the world, companies have had to find tools to allow them to stay “plugged in” no matter where they are.
Laptops, tablets and smartphones have become essential. Of course, these mobile devices also have their drawbacks, such as users’ tendency to mix personal and professional life, with mobile devices you can use as well at work or at home.
# Social Media
Although social networking is often simply considered a way to interact with one’s social circle, social media should not be overlooked as a business tool. Businesses are, at this point, well aware of networks like Facebook and its billion users and are taking advantage of social media to publicize their activities and connect with consumers.
In addition, companies have also begun to develop internal social networks. These networks promote greater cohesion, serve as a forum for discussion and capitalize on the knowledge of each individual employee.
Social media, then, is being used to boost performance as well as to build relationships, between the company and the outside world (customers, prospects, vendors and other general stakeholders) as well as between employees themselves.
# Cloud Computing
The ability to transfer electronic resources to the “Cloud” is fundamentally transforming how daily business gets done. The Cloud is not only being used to virtualize IT systems and provide instant access to the latest, most powerful technology, but also to encourage new practices such as remote collaboration. Thanks to the Cloud, employees can now work simultaneously on shared documents and applications from any location and any device in real time.
To top it off, cloud technologies help companies save on support costs and give them greater flexibility.
# Business Analytics
There is no question that the abundance of information available to companies—like online sales figures—is extremely valuable. Nevertheless, the proliferation of data presents a major challenge: how can companies organize, compile and interpret this data in order to use it to their advantage?
Business analytics is the answer to this question. It provides a systematic, logical approach to data analysis by centralizing and organizing the data through intelligent “dashboards.” The data can then be used to evaluate operations, performance and customers, as well as to assist with decision-making.
# Risk Intelligence
Risk management has become an integral part of corporate governance. Similar to business analytics, risk intelligence is used to centralize and analyze scattered, constantly changing data. In this case, though, the data is used to anticipate a company’s risks, which may be technical, financial, technological, legal or societal in nature.
As a discipline, risk management is made possible by technology designed to streamline and utilize this information for practical purposes.
These trends show how companies are using technology to embrace a culture of connectivity and collaboration every day while they prepare for the business world of tomorrow, a world that will be built around virtualization, mobility and networking.