The Second Machine Age
Posted by Chris Tithof
Modern technology is changing business, dictating productivity and affecting workflow. However, as a business owner, you are aware that current economic downturns affect your business's functions as much as they do your capital. Historically, one of the forces that corrects the economic losses and diminished productivity caused by recessions is technology. However, the presence of technology has become even more essential to today's basic business functions.
This current Fourth Industrial Revolution is denoted by the rise of technology. Your business can be affected by this in four ways: product enhancement, customer expectations, collaborative innovation and organizational forms. Technology has been shown to enhance the effectiveness of communication both internally and with regard to customer relations, and it also, of course, increases the value of products. In supply-side companies, revolutionary technologies disrupt the current value chains in the industry. On the other hand, demand-side companies have become more accessible and transparent thanks to changes spurred by technology. Consequently, in order for businesses to survive economic downturns and later thrive, they must adapt by utilizing technology to the fullest.
In the coming months, global business markets at every level will increase the number of computers in operation in the corporate arena to the highest levels in history. Experts predict that, in two decades, the world of business will be rendered unrecognizable as the influence and presence of technology grows a thousand times. For many, this massive increase is startling, vast and, for some investors, risky. This is because deciding what kind of technology works best for your business can be imprecise at times and, as a result, costly. However, because this change is inevitable, investment in technology must keep pace with trends.
Human capital and economic capital form the pillars of a business, and during an economic downturn, both of these take significant hits. The retention of valuable employees becomes complicated by the loss of capital that may result in decreased wages and elimination of positions. It also becomes more difficult to attract the new talent that can help your business recover in terms of productivity. Talented human capital will become even more essential, and the job market itself will be divided into low-skill/low-pay and high-skill/high-pay positions. In the end, this striation can actually help your business's productivity since you will be able to focus on positions that work with technology to maximize production after a significant downturn.
The truth is that augmenting human capital to meet a changing marketplace on either the supply or demand side of business is not cost-free. An investment of time must be put into the development at certain actionable levels of technological competence in order to advance your business. Thankfully, as a part of their development, many specific technologies reduce the amount of time required to use them. This is achieved with the application of revolutionary UX, or user experience, development on devices such as smartphones.
As the internet and technology become a larger part of our personal and professional lives, the smartphone becomes an even more effective all-purpose tool, internet connectivity becomes a thousand times more prevalent, and these devices and connectivity develop more versatile uses. In response, your business must follow the culture. Be aware that your competitors will make the shift on their own to reduce cost in the long term and to increase productivity, shorten the duration of supply chains and shrink loss. To survive and stay competitive in the future, your business needs to be competent when it comes to technology. As the skill of human capital shifts toward extending technological competency, implementing the next generation in our system is essential.
Unit4 sits at the heart of a growing partner ecosystem. This ecosystem is tackling the productivity paradox by offering a people-centric alternative to the process-focused systems that have dominated the enterprise software market. Find out more here.