Role of IT in Business
IT in business has always played an important part in the development, marketing of and success of one’s company. Today, with the novel Coronavirus, many businesses are adapting to online operation and services and the use of the internet and IT for all generations has just become a whole lot more essential.
With some of the biggest businesses in the world existing solely online, such as Amazon and Facebook, many companies know that online presence is big business. The novel coronavirus has sent the world into a frenzy of online shopping and fighting for food delivery slots. While physical sectors have struggled with the upkeep of production due to reduced workforces, online businesses are set to continue to thrive while riding the wave of the coronavirus. The construction, travel and service sectors are struggling with the cancellations, restrictions and delays set forth in the wake of the disease. Alternatively, some production companies are completely changing what they are producing, with many production firms scrapping previous plans and instead developing ventilators, Personal Protective Equipment and hand sanitiser to fill shortages.
Uses of Technology
The uses of technology within the IT industry has expanded extortionately over the past few decades. Selling and communicating online was something of a novel concept to people around the world, but now, many understand that the internet is quite frankly a piece of technology that is wholly intertwined with our daily lives. The lung disease of Covid-19 has forced those who were once hardened technophobes into ordering their weekly shop through the internet. Small businesses have taken to adapting to a presence online, and many self-employed service providers have taken to offering different advertising and promotional content on the internet and social media.
The Demographic of Online Users is Changing
It is undeniable that the users of the internet have seen a dramatic shift in demographic. In the age of modern technology, many older people were more likely to dismiss the use of the internet and would prefer more traditional ways of shopping, communicating and reading the news. After COVID-19 began sweeping across the world in early 2020, this dynamic began to change rapidly, forcing the older generations to quickly adapt and learn the ropes with the help of the tech-savvy younger generations.
Many people who had not yet explored the all the realms and possibilities of the internet have in recent times taken to the web for all sorts of things. Many grandparents have taken to online videocalling to keep in touch with their loved ones, fitness instructors are hosting their workouts on Zoom and businesses have used this time to engage with their customers while many are stuck at home. There has been unprecedented change within the IT industry over the past few months, with many companies pushing accelerated developments and fast-tracked deadlines to accommodate an influx of users.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Moving a Business Online
The benefits of technology are astounding. Today the world is more interconnected than ever before; it is important to realise this leads to both advantages and disadvantages when transitioning a business to a more online presence.
Throughout the worldwide pandemic internet has allowed businesses to continue to operate through a large majority of employees working remotely from home. With software such as Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams, employees are able to converse and share developments and hold group meetings. While not as immersive and personal as a traditional meeting, a lot of businesses have praised such software for allowing their company to continue to function behind the scenes. The true limits of online meetings have not yet been found, since even the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, hosted cabinet meetings for the government during his personal Covid-19 recovery entirely through videocalls.
One of the excellent features the internet gives us is the ability to speak with anybody around the globe, at any time. This gives those who live on their own, are far away from family, or those who need remote medical advice from a professional, a chance to communicate through their internet-connected devices. The same sense of interconnectivity is being harnessed by businesses whose workforces can work from home and communicate through online channels. Furthermore, online meetings, webinars, presentations and proposals can be delivered as it would in the office. The sheer ingenuity of the internet and its contained software has single-handedly kept millions of businesses going.
However, despite all the excellencies of internet use and the availability of data and software, there are many downsides to this constant stream of information, too. The nature of data collection and storage poses the possibility for hacking and theft of information. Even with data protection software, there is still a chance that there may be a breach in your security. This is an important factor and one that is often overlooked by small businesses just starting up.
Data protection goes hand in hand with security. The two are interdependent and the new forms of internet communication for businesses means high confidentiality information is constantly at risk. During internet meetings, other individuals who are living in the household may overhear conversations, sensitive data or private information. The risk of this data being leaked is difficult when conversing remotely.
Internet & Power Usage
Of course, IT in business is needed to operate their company and manage their workforce online, all employees must have access to internet and a constant power source. Of course, for many, this is a luxury that is just simply not available. Some employees may not have exclusive access to these things which is an issue which may or may not be resolved by the employer themselves.
Traditionalists are those people who just won’t be persuaded that new ways of living could be more efficient or enjoyable and believe life simply doesn’t need changing. These are the people who will be struggling with the change to a more online approach to working and those who may not be the biggest fans of technology or the internet in the first place. The obstacle here is to try and create a balance of traditional business and efficient remote operations.
Why is Technology Important?
Even though some people may be averse to embrace the development of our technological world, it is important to remember the positive effects it has had. Without IT in business, small firms or big firms would be struggling to survive through the coronavirus lockdown. The togetherness that the internet has brought the world in times of literal self-isolation has been an excellent technological achievement which should bring gratitude to many. The internet and connectivity of the world we live in that has provided so much knowledge and many opportunities to those businesses or self-employed individuals who simply would not have survived in a pre-internet world.
What Will Life be Like Post-COVID-19?
Without a shadow of a doubt, the structures and operations of many or all businesses is set to be a very different picture post-lockdown. Many businesses stand by their increased productivity and efficiency of working from home and many companies have explained their plans to continue with more strategies involving remote working or online communication. This could lead to quieter commutes and less traffic congestion and pollution in larger cities as more firms are adapting to a more remote working lifestyle. With the outcome and conclusion of coronavirus still a way off, it’s important for businesses and employees alike to continue this phase of adaptation into the IT industry. With new developments around the corner all the time, it has never been a more reassuring time that we have technology and information resources fighting for new progress each day.