It goes without saying that technology has revolutionised our daily routines. We wake up to alarms set by sleeping patterns, ask smart speakers to check the weather for us, have fresh meals delivered to our doors, and watch on-demand content based on personal preferences.
The overarching influence of technology has made a similar impact on the world of business too, with many industries and enterprises now completely reliant on computerised systems to perform essential processes.
But despite the fact this has afforded several advantages for many organisations such as increased efficiency and improved productivity, there are some ways in which technology can hinder your business as well…
Greater Accuracy and More Accountability/Information Overload
For product-based businesses, technology is delivering greater accuracy and more accountability on a daily basis.
To give an example, warehouse inventory management software can effortlessly track the movement and storage of products and materials. It provides up-to-date information about stock levels, shipping times, and everything in-between.
However, employees may not be used to working with advanced software and could struggle with information overload. After all, IBM says that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are produced every day, which requires more than just basic comprehension.
Chances are that any new adoption of technology will require appropriate training for employees to get up-to-speed with it, otherwise the benefits could be lost. Simpler solutions that make life easier and avoid disparate and competing technology are needed.
Smarter Communication/lack of Human Touch
Along with the instant nature of email and social media, technology has allowed for seamless, smarter communication in other areas too. For instance, chatbots are able to answer customer queries without the need for input from an actual employee.
Connected devices such as televisions and fridges can also send data reports and crash details directly to the manufacturer to speed up issue resolution.
“Chatbots will take much of the diagnosis from the user as part of a real-time, online interaction,” says Mike Bell of tech firm Bridge Consulting Partnership. “And this will all be facilitated by a smartphone app, which will query the device.”
Chatbots are one example of automation, which has been widely reported as a threat to millions of jobs. Although they have the potential to cut staff and reduce salaries, chatbots lack the human touch, which many customers prefer when it comes to solving their problems.
Remote Working/Never Switching Off
The proliferation of technology has made remote working, which is becoming more and more popular across the UK, a lot easier. In fact, giving staff more flexibility is not only a good motivator but also keeps office running costs down.
Connected devices also allow businesses to remotely diagnose and electronically repair products with software updates, as Mike Gallant from PTC explains:
“Leading IoT adopters are now involving augmented reality (AR), which will enable consumers and service teams to virtually see how to correct a problem. Remote service technicians could walk customers through simple repair procedures by seeing exactly what the customer can.”
But while technology has physically freed employees from their desks, it has also eliminated natural breaks from the working day. Being ‘always on’ could even spill into the weekend or outside of working hours, resulting in more stress, less leisure time, and unhappy employees.