Technology has the potential to transform our work and lives. Businesses can benefit from technology by enabling them to be more productive, develop faster and produce more quickly, make better decisions, and provide superior customer service. These benefits can be difficult to realize when new technology is integrated. Technology can be disruptive at first before it becomes empowering.
While the ideas in this article might be applicable to all business situations, they are intended to address the integration of new information and communication technologies into business processes. Information technologies include computers and peripheral equipment, as well as data flow over local area networks. Communications include all voice and video activity, including the telephone system and any related equipment as well the communication pathways that create the large area networks.
Technology Impacts Business Processes
Each action taken within a company is part of a process. Sometimes, the processes can be easily defined and easily observable. For example, the purchase order path. Sometimes the process isn’t so obvious, but it still exists, even if it’s by default.
The introduction of new technologies into the business world:
Accelerate existing processes
Expand the capabilities of existing processes
Change the process
The new technologies can often open up new avenues for business by changing processes.
New technologies will not only speed up existing processes but also be disruptive. This is due to the need to alter patterns of behavior or relationships with others. When disruptions occur, productivity can suffer initially, but then the new processes will become just as familiar. At this point, it is possible to achieve the goal of achieving a higher level productivity than before the introduction or modification of technology.
This is a common cycle associated with the introduction new technologies:
Productivity is lower and, finally,
Higher productivity plateau than the starting point
These are the obvious goals of introducing new technologies:
Reduce the time required to increase productivity
Maximize productivity gains
To achieve these goals, it is important to understand:
The context in which the processes are operated, that is, who will suffer from changes in the affected processes
Technology’s potential is being democratized
Different types of people will react differently to new technology
The business processes and introduction of new technologies are not isolated . Both exist in a context that could be both a part and an affect:
Your social relationships with other companies and within your organization