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“The ability to use technology to enhance individual, work-group, and organizational performance will become increasingly important in the twenty-first-century workplace” (Regan & O’Connor, 2002). It is important for a complete comprehension and developed skill set of organizational development, change leadership, and information technology to be present in the world of today's business. Technology is developed faster than individuals and businesses can effectively keep up with. The ability for people to adapt and change to a new world of technology is possible, but at a snail’s pace compared to the rate technology is consistently updated. The digital world has provided business new opportunities to increase in size and volume by reaching new commercial depths that have never before been imagined. To simplify, and modernize the companies processes, while gaining new customer attention, and maintaining a customer base. Information Technology or IT served as a support department for many business entities, in the past. Current day technology is the vehicle that drives the e-commerce market. No longer the stepchild of business systems, new ways of looking at how a business currently operates and in future models will operate have become a popular task for not only e-business but for brick and mortar businesses that want to survive going onward.
New Product Introduction
Streamlining processes reduce unnecessary steps, which centers the business focus to customer and market needs. The process of serving customers is represented by several steps that begin with an idea that turns into a model that can be created to a product that can be reproduced and ordered by a customer. This business process ends when the customer has paid for the order and received the merchandise. Many departments are involved in this process, sales, accounting, shipping, and product, or service installation. Traditionally, the business process model encouraged and allowed for extra steps compared to the model e-commerce provides. “By focusing on a complete business process that is linked directly to achieving corporate objectives and meeting customer and market demand, enterprises have been able to streamline work flows, significantly reducing cycle times and costs” (Regan & O’Connor, 2002). Examples of new e-business models are, Pandora for Internet radio. FrostWire and itunes innovated music downloading. Netflix altered the way consumers rent movie’s. These net-based companies have changed the way consumers retrieve music and movies. Search engines like Google, Dogpile, and Yahoo have changed the speed and access of information. Social Media sites, Facebook, Yearbook, and Myspace have changed the way individuals and businesses socialize and network.
“ The only thing constant in life is change” (Rochefoucauld, 1650). For a company to compete in today’s global market innovation of business processes, product lines, and customer service excellence is required. As technology is ever changing the needs of business innovation needs to match the inspiration of technology. “ In the new, global knowledge economy, the need to continue to invest in innovation has become even more urgent” (Regan, & O’Connor, 2002).
The Only Constant in Life...
Technology Provides Value
In reviewing the last 30 years, technology has transformed individual lives, and industry. To, mention a few, corded phone transformed into the cordless phone, pay phones have been significantly reduced in most areas: a causation from the cell phone invention, or sometimes referred to as a mobile phone, local TV programming morphed into satellite or cable providing 180 or more channels, personal computer with Internet, snail mail has been nearly replaced with e-mail, and printed newspapers still exist but many people receive their news online. The company Sprint Nextel are aligning strategic alliances, “the company’s most significant strategic alliances have been with firms with capabilities in system integration, equipment/infrastructure, mobility, software, or public sector markets/channels” (Nelson, 2007) Technology has provided substantial value to the world. The quandary companies face is how best to employ the ever-developing technology that is available. “The invention of iTunes has given many startup software companies a distribution channel for apps that otherwise may not have been invented, but the idea doesn’t have to be visionary in this way” (Sky Technology Group, 2012).
Information or access to instant real-time data for facts and figures is the real-world value of technology for the business of tomorrow. Return of Investment, or ROI is a term applied to the costs of IT versus what IT saves. Tomorrows business is built around the IT department, it is no longer a supportive function. IT is currently the heart of the company.
Future technology trends - impact on business and consumers - for Dimension Data
History has represented a time when the business of doing business was more secretive in totality. Information, a valuable commodity, and once upon a time what differentiated company from company. The Internet dissolved secrecy. Information is everywhere, at the touch of a button. Transitioning business practices from the past to the present time, changed how businesses communicate with each other, and depend on each other’s relationships to serve shared customers. “Partnerships will be the foundation for the design, production, marketing, sales, and support of products and services; these new partnerships and alliances call for sharing information not only among members of the firm, but with clients and business partners, as well” (Regan & O’Connor, 2002). When companies combine or create alliance with other companies this concept is called virtual corporations. Two or more companies that agree to make and sell comparable products or services cooperatively. Virtual Corporations allow both companies to enjoy a strength in unity, be more competitive, and successful. One has to go beyond technology partnership that includes the same vision or bottom line that is alike in comparison. The importance of shared mindset needs to be accompanied by a hungry curiosity, effective communication, organization, leadership skills, passion, and a written contract of terms. A virtual community consists of a group of people who share similar interests or common goals. Virtual communities can be geographically similar, but are mostly characterized by the what not the where. Partnerships, virtual corporations, and communities are tomorrow’s reality; however, the success rate for longevity has not yet come to pass.
Customer Support Plan
Customers drives the economics of technology. With the multiple choices that online customers have, the customer can afford to be choosy. Patrons do not have to settle for shopping locally or paying more. Not only can consumers search for the lowest price of a product or service, a higher quality of customer service is required for increased customer loyalty. “Know your customer is the mantra for companies moving away from simple cost cutting to actual growth in revenues in the coming millennium” (Regan & O’Connor, 2002). A customer support plan is a written policy that facilitates and mandates how and what the relationship between the business and its customers will look like, depending on the corporate culture of a company a customer plan will vary between each business. Understanding one’s customer is at the center of the customer support plan. If a company does not know the demographic for the merchandise being sold, there is a disconnect between the business and its customers. After the proper demographic, or multiple group population characteristics are decided, policy programs are constructed to identify ways the business can serve and assist the customer. Policies and procedures cover employee customer service training, business hours for concerns and complaints, format for questions that use e-mail or chat functions, and customer loyalty programs. As technology continues to change, customer support plans should be flexible and reviewed as other business processes are changed to reflect the company’s growth.
“The ability to use technology to enhance individual, work group, and organizational performance will become increasingly important in the twenty-first-century workplace (Regan & O’Connor, 2002). Although technology is more advanced then the ability to use it, companies are investing in innovation of technology, and are concerned with keeping a competitive edge. Business processes, accepting technology value, supporting customer needs, and developing partnerships are examples of how the twenty first workforce is changing. “Some of the significant ways in which digital networks are shaking up industrial era assumptions include putting customers in the driver’s seat, shifting the client focus from transactions to relationships, mass customization, eliminating middlemen, forging new partnerships and alliances, and creating virtual enterprises” (Regan & O’Connor, 2002). E-commerce has provided many opportunities for businesses to expand operations, find new customers, and develop relationships with other businesses to form alliances and partnerships. Notwithstanding the lack of statistical data for positive, and long-lasting partnerships, the hope, and the vision of successful technology partners exists henceforth.
The Future of Collaboration & Technology in Creative Professions - Lisa Gansky - Full Presentation
Nelson, S.(2007).Strategic Alliances Are Channels for Innovation at Sprint Nextel. Global Business and Organizational Excellence. Retrieved from EBSCOhost May 14, 2012
Regan, E. & O’Connor, B.(2002). End-User Information Systems: Implementing Individual and Work Group Technologies, 2e Chapter 2: Life in Networked Organizations. Prentice Hall, Inc. A Pearson Education Company