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IT Shaping Business

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Technology in modern-day times seems to evolve and expand every day. Moore’s Law states that every two years, the overall processing power for computers doubles (Moore’s Law, n.d.); similar to this, all accompanying hardware and software that our computers connect to will grow as well. Today, businesses enjoy the various changes that technology has granted them, including increased redundancy, security, profitability, and scalability. Technology has practically invaded every facet of business operations, thus making the world of tomorrow available at our fingertips, now.

The most notable impact that technology has had on the business world as of late is the continued impact of the Internet on how we, as a species, interact and share information. While the invention of the Internet is not necessarily a new phenomenon, one can argue that several of the most recent advancements can almost be categorized as entirely new methods for operating a business. For example, the Internet’s speed, affordability, and methods of connecting the entire world with an information super-highway have all greatly improved. Both businesses and their customers can enjoy gigabit network speeds, strong wireless Internet connections, and cloud-storage technology; this ensures that business can perform their revenue-increasing duties and that their customers can purchase their services from wherever they are in the world.

Cloud computing, with the help of the abovementioned advances to the Internet, provides organizations with unparalleled levels of connectivity, security, and scalability, all while freeing up the need for physical hardware. In the business world, one’s networks and IT infrastructure needs to be able to scale quickly with the organization’s growth and be able to withstand the constant evolution of cybercrime. Cloud computing allows the risk of failing to effectively secure or back up an organization’s data to fall on a separate organization. For cloud providers such as Google and Amazon, their vast amount of resources help provide their customers’ cloud applications and data with high confidence levels in their security and availability. With the always-present threat of ransomware attacks, having data stored on and off-premises in the form of cloud storage is worth its weight in gold. With cloud computing, one can quickly add or remove users, departments, storage devices, computing power, and have access to a wide variety of tools and services from anywhere in the world on practically any Internet-connected device.

Another area of business operation that has dramatically changed due to technology is the mobile device phenomenon. Organizations in the past relied on their customer’s to either come to their store’s physical locations or be at their desk using a PC to browse their products or services. Today, the computing power in our pockets is far superior to the desktops of recent years, leading customers to participate in new manners with organizations, purchase more inventory regardless of their location, and allow a more in-depth wealth of information that can be collected.  Data collection is now a vital essence to almost every area in the world of business. The data stored by merely visiting a website can give organizations the ability to track their customers and employee’s search manners, their locations in the world, and employ the use of targeted advertisements. While the science and morality of data privacy and collection is an ongoing heated battle, its vast benefits are hard to ignore.

With the immense amount of information currently available to organizations, storing and using the data is vital to the continued success and improvement of how the business operates. Big data and AI are hot topics in today’s business world, leading to the growth of new career fields in the science of processing data for use in marketing research and security. Even technologies such as Google’s search engine, while not entirely a new invention, have revolutionized the manner in which information can be searched for, leading businesses to build their websites with specific tags and investing in SEO (search engine optimization).

The rise of applications has also dramatically impacted how businesses operate, as there is seemingly an app for anything you can dream of. Organizations are now making their own mobile applications to better facilitate their customer’s needs, ranging from web-based shopping stores to live analytics of their software services. Social media, possibly the most remarkable change to how we, as a population, communicate, has grown from a mere social interaction process to a global, industry-changing revolution. A company’s social media presence can either expand their reach and revenue or quickly decimate any notability or respect with their customers. In today’s politically-correct environment, a poorly worded or non-researched Facebook post can be misinterpreted as racist, sexist, or other potentially fatal viewpoints. It seems every day we see organizations fall victim to this sort of thing, leading businesses to hire marketing teams that focus primarily on managing the customer’s view of the company by researching and testing future social media posts in focus groups.

Technology has always been the fuel to the fire of business operations; with recent developments of the Internet, the processing power of our computers and mobile devices, new and improved storage methods (SSD, cloud), and AI, we are all part of an exciting, yet worrisome generation of complete reliance to our robot overlords, so to speak. With this growth of technology, privacy and data security rules, regulations, and policies are frantically trying to keep up, leading auditors to not only have to understand the recent technology changes thoroughly but to help businesses comply with state, local, and government laws. Globally, we are currently seeing exactly how technology is required for the success of a business due to the troublesome times of COVID-19; with many organizations around the planet either shut down entirely or transitioning employees to work from home, I can’t imagine a better test for the sheer magnitude of benefits that technologies such as cloud computing and mobile devices offer the current workforce.

References

Moore’s Law. (n.d.). Moore’s Law. Retrieved November 30, 2020, from http://www.mooreslaw.org/

Otero, A. R. (2019). Information Technology Environment and IT Audit. In Information technology control and audit (Fifth ed., pp. 3-30). Boca Raton, Florida: CRS Press.

Hyde, E. (2016, September 01). 8 Ways Technology Is Changing The Business Landscape: Articles: Internet of Things. Retrieved November 30, 2020, from https://channels.theinnovationenterprise.com/articles/8-top-ways-technology-is-changing-the-business-landscape

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