How can technological changes affect a business?

The internet has completely reshaped how businesses operate. Throughout the world, we’ve seen the impact of technology on business, giving both consumers and businesses more flexibility. However, as technology advances, companies need to employ skilled technical staff to stay ahead of the curve.  

Technology continues to evolve at an unprecedented rate and businesses need to be mindful of how these changes can affect their operations.  

Online shopping has completely revolutionised brick-and-mortar stores. Now you can buy whatever you want, whenever you want, without leaving home. We’ve seen a similar impact on the travel industry. Booking a vacation once meant visiting a travel agent in person. Now, online sites let you easily compare prices and find the perfect trip for you, making the transaction much easier and quicker.  

More and more industries have had to become increasingly agile in their approach, updating technology to compete in a global marketplace.  

Read on to learn about the most prominent technological changes affecting organisations today and how you can keep up with them to drive your business forward. 

What technology trends are impacting the business world right now? 

Keeping up with the latest technological changes is the key to staying competitive. To become a tech-savvy pioneer in your workplace, you’ll need to master new technologies to stay ahead of the curve. 

8 examples of how technological changes can affect a business 

1. Artificial intelligence and machine learning 

One of the most important changes happening right now is the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning

AI allows machines to learn how to do things on their own without being explicitly programmed, which can have an enormous impact on the way we do business. Tasks can be automated to help improve the customer experience and increase data research.  

An example of this is when telecommunication companies use AI chatbots to help give their customers immediate information. This automated service filters customer needs while escalating any issues to staff. In doing so, telecommunication companies can resolve simple customer concerns promptly and benefit from lower overheads. They can also collate this data to further improve their processes and future-proof their businesses.   

2. The Internet of Things 

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the network of physical devices, vehicles and home appliances that collect and exchange data via the internet. 

IoT has the potential to revolutionise how businesses operate. It can be used to track inventory levels, monitor employee productivity and improve customer service, while also giving management teams insight into the day-to-day operations. Understanding the foundation of this technology will help your business run more efficiently. 

3. Big data and data analytics  

Big data describes the large volume of data all businesses must now deal with, drawn from multiple sources, including social media, website traffic and customer transactions. 

Data analytics extract valuable insights from big data to improve decision making, understand customer needs and identify new opportunities. This can be influential when creating marketing campaigns and advertising material, as you can identify what your target audience is searching for.  

4. Cloud computing  

Cloud computing is the practice of using remote servers to store, manage and process data. This is a major departure from the traditional model of storing data on local servers. 

Cloud computing has several advantages for business, including improving scalability, reducing costs and making it easier to collaborate. The benefits of cloud computing external servers allow employees to access information from anywhere. This has been a prominent solution during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown when access to physical servers was reduced. It also reduces the risk of server damage and lost information.  

5. Cybersecurity  

Cybersecurity is a major concern in the age of digital transformation. As more businesses move online, the risk of cyber-attacks increases, leading to data breaches, financial loss and reputational damage. 

Businesses must put in place robust cybersecurity measures to protect their operations from these threats. Common measures include firewalls, intrusion detection systems and encryption. Creating strong cybersecurity measures and keeping up-to-date with technological changes will help protect your business, employees and customers.  

6. Blockchain  

Blockchain is a relatively new technology that features a distributed database for secure, transparent and tamper-proof transactions. This makes it ideal for supply chain management and financial services. 

Blockchain has the potential to streamline many business processes and make them more efficient. For example, it can track the movement of goods through a supply chain or process financial transactions. Companies are using this technology to help improve quality control and also manage assets.  

7. Augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality   

Augmented reality (AR) superimposes computer-generated images in the real world. Virtual reality (VR) creates a simulated technological environment. Mixed reality (MR) merges digitally generated images with the real world in a way that allows them to interact. 

AR, VR and MR are being used in several industries, including retail, manufacturing and health care. For example, AR can provide customers with more information about products, VR can train employees or deliver immersive experiences for customers, while MR can be used to test prototypes before production, which helps reduce wastage.  

8. 3D printing  

With 3D printing, companies can create a wide variety of three-dimensional objects from digital files – from medical implants to fashion accessories. 

Many industries are already using 3D printing, including health care, manufacturing and retail. 3D printing can create customised products or rapidly prototype new products, cutting down development time. 


The impact of technology on business operations 

Mastering management today means being up to date on the latest technologies and understanding how they will affect business operations now and in the future. 

Keep these key facts in mind when considering how technological changes can affect your business: 

1. The way customers find and purchase products or services has changed 

The availability of online shopping and review sites means customers can now extensively research potential purchases before ever stepping foot in a store or speaking to a salesperson. Businesses need to build a strong online presence and closely focus on their reputation to stay ahead of their competition. 

2. Technology makes it easier to connect with customers and track their behaviour  

In the digital age, businesses can quickly get feedback from customers via social media, tracking behaviour on websites and email open rates. This information can be used to improve products or services and make sure they meet customer needs. 

3. Technology makes it easier for businesses to connect and form partnerships  

By using collaborative tools such as online project management software, businesses can now work together on projects without ever having to meet in person. This can save time and money without sacrificing the benefits of collaboration. 

4. Changes in technologies can be both good and bad for businesses  

New technologies can provide businesses with new opportunities to reach customers and improve operations. But keeping up with the latest changes can also be costly and time-consuming.  

The skills you need to stay on top of technological changes in business  

Technology is one of the primary driving forces behind the ever-changing business landscape. 

You need to know about the latest changes in technology so you can understand how they can affect your workplace or business. You also need to be skilled in different technologies so you can keep up with the competition. 

Some of the hard (technical) skills needed to keep up with technological change in business are: 

  • Analytical: Analysing data and understanding how it can improve business processes. 
  • Problem solving: Identifying problems and finding solutions that make use of technology. 
  • Communication: Collaborating with others to find the best technological fit for your needs.   
  • Leadership: Understanding contemporary management techniques to motivate and inspire teams to help drive the business forward. 
  • Organisational: Keeping track of the different technologies used in a business and how they interconnect. 
  • Project management: Managing projects that implement new technologies and digitally transform your organisation. 
  • Technical: Understanding and using different technologies to help your organisation move forward. 

Soft skills you need to keep up with technological change include: 

  • Flexibility: Adapting to technology’s ever-changing landscape. 
  • Creativity: Using technology to innovate and make a difference.   
  • Patience: Dealing with inevitable setbacks when implementing new technologies. 
  • Perseverance: Seeing projects through to the end, even when they don’t go as planned. 
  • Teamwork: Working with others to implement new technologies successfully. 

Invest in your education to keep up with technological trends in business 

One of the best ways to stay across technological change is to invest in your education.  

A master’s degree in management can give you the skills and knowledge you need to keep up with change and lead your business into the future. 

You will discover how to use technology to improve business processes and find out what it takes to manage projects that require you to implement new technological advances. 

The online Master of Management from UNSW  is unique – it focuses on the impact of rapid technological change. It helps students understand how tech can alter business operations and teaches them the hard and soft skills they’ll need after graduation. 

You’ll learn how to lead teams, develop strategies and create an agile environment that can adapt to change. 

The Master of Management also covers how to use data and analytics to drive decision making. With the ever-growing amount of data available, it’s increasingly important that businesses know how to make use of data to improve productivity and succeed. 

Technology is changing how businesses operate. Download a brochure or speak with one of our Enrolment Advisors to discover how the online Master of Management from UNSW keeps students ahead of the curve.