Modern businesses today operate in a very different way compared to the way businesses were run just 50 years ago. Throughout the centuries business was conducted on paper and by face-to-face meetings. Now, businesses are widely connected – communicating and transacting business electronically. Though personal meetings will never go away completely, the Internet has reduced travel expenditure significantly and made it easier to stay in touch with colleagues and customers around the globe.
The Internet’s impact on modern business
Cost reduction is possibly one of the biggest implications of the Internet on day-to-day business. Because of the Internet businesses no longer need to move around reams of paperwork to conduct their affairs. Instead, transactions are conducted on the Internet and communication is handled via email. These methods of working are much faster, enabling businesses to speed up decision making and to get results more rapidly than previously.
When it comes to the Internet, it is not only a matter of looking at the impact on existing businesses. Instead, the Internet has created brand new businesses in their own right. These businesses serve individuals and organizations in areas that were unimaginable before – both taking advantage of what the Internet has to offer, and managing the use of the Internet with respect to, for example, security.
Constant connectivity and its implications
As the technologies surrounding the internet have improved, the times at which people and organizations are connected to the internet has also moved from once or twice a day in front of a computer to being constantly online, whether you are at a computer, or simply in possession of your mobile phone.
This constant level of connectivity has profound effects on businesses. Workers are now expected to be reachable by email at all times, with working hours easily creeping into late nights as employees are alerted to emails on their mobile phones. Customers, in turn, expect instant responses and can become frustrated if questions are left unanswered for any period.
However, always being online has benefits. It reduces the time complex transactions take to process, as all parties are constantly available, while the information needed to bid on contracts, design products and measure up competitors is instantly available to employees around the clock.
Internet technologies with an outsize impact
The Internet on its own is of little use without the software and application technologies that make the practical use of it possible. By far the biggest change in business operations took place due to the emergence of email, however it’s newer cousin – social networking – is also making a big impact on how businesses work. Marketing and recruitment in most companies is now highly dependent on social media on both business to consumer and business-to-business platforms.
Essentially, it is not so much the existence of the Internet technology stack on its own that has changed how businesses operate; it is the many new software applications that take advantage of it. They have enabled businesses to run more efficiently, achieving more with less capital and human resources and offering a wider range of interesting products and services to customers around the globe.