The Role of Computers in Business Communication

Written by lauren nelson
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The Role of Computers in Business Communication
Computer technology plays a large role in business communication. (computer image by Ewe Degiampietro from Fotolia.com)

A 2002 study conducted by the Canadian government on the impact of computers on the world of business found the introduction of computer technology to the workplace to be one of the most significant events in business evolution to date. In particular, computers have had a large impact on the way people in the business world communicate.

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Client Communication

Computers have revolutionised the way companies communicate with their clients. Websites have made it easier than ever for clients to place orders, learn about a company's services, and ask questions, while leaving employees largely available to reach out to other clients through different venues. The speed of e-mail gives companies the ability to communicate with clients at a rapid pace, resulting in higher levels of customer satisfaction.

Supplier Communication

In the past, communication with suppliers was nearly a full-time job, as inventories needed to be calculated, and phone calls, letter writing and face to face meetings could be incredibly time consuming. With the internet, Inventories can be monitored and replenished with automatic programming, allowing communication with the supplier now to revolve more around kinds of products and the establishment or evaluation of needs.

Inter-office Communication

Computer technology has changed the way employees communicate with the people they work with. Programs like PowerPoint create engaging visual aids for presentations, and allow presenters to create visualisations of projects that might not have easily produced before. E-mail allows directives to be sent out digitally, enabling groups to communicate from further distances while and on other projects. File sharing platforms give employees the ability to access their work from any location, making telecommunication more realistic and the need for face to face communication far less.

Benefits

The role of computers in business communication provides a series of benefits. First, most digital communication methods are archived in an inbox or in automatically saved files. This provides an easy reference for future communication and work. It also helps protect you if someone is alleging you promised something or fails to follow through on their own word; you'll have records of exactly what was said.

Computer mediated communication provides the additional benefit of allowing you to do work with people from different areas of the world at a lower cost. For example, a business partner in China may prove to be financially beneficial, but the cost of travel to meet with these partners can be high. Through video conferencing online, you can have similar levels of interaction without having to shell out the money for a flight halfway across the world.

Disadvantages

While computers do aid in business communication in a multitude of ways, they can also put business people at a disadvantage. First, most computer-mediated communication takes place in a written medium, which has no nonverbal indicators associated with it. Unfortunately, without nonverbal context, the recipient of computer-mediated messages may misunderstand the intent of a comment, causing unnecessary conflict.

Moreover, computers are not infallible. If your business is largely internet and e-mail driven, and your computer crashes or the internet goes down, you may find yourself unable to get in contact with your clients.

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