How technology can improve productivity and performance in your business

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How technology can improve productivity and performance in your business
The role of technology in business performance is difficult to overstate. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Technology can improve both productivity and performance within a business in various ways. Both web and desktop technologies can give small and large businesses the tools to communicate and organise in ways that were either not possible or prohibitively expensive before the advent of information technology as it is available today. Business technology can be applied to multiple aspects of the operations within commercial and corporate organisations, with tangible results in terms of performance.

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Customer reach

In the past it was only possible for large businesses to reach customers on anything other than a local scale. With the Internet and Web services such as websites and email, even small businesses can reach potential customers on a global scale. For example, a retail company can send products to customers around the world through a single website interface, which is not typically expensive to set up. For online services, the Internet also makes it possible to work with clients and customers in virtually any country around the globe. The consequences for performance are therefore significant.

Communication

Technology has enhanced communication between people in a way that minimises cost and maximises on efficiency. For example, email and social networking are fast and relatively low cost when compared with traditional techniques such as telephone and the postal service. This enhanced communication model within an organisation and between it and customers or partners can have significant implications for productivity. Businesses can also use communication technology to outsource operations, bringing additional productivity and performance improvements.

Organisation

Web and software technologies can improve organisation within a business. For example, scheduling and project management systems can integrate project and task progress even in cases where the people involved are situated at remote locations, i.e. not all working within the same office as in the traditional scenario. Database technologies also provide a single central hub for data related to a business which preserves efficiency across the organisation. Having a shared data source through either Internet or shared internal resources creates a unified system for teams of employees working toward the same objectives.

Performance measurement

Information technology has made performance measurement achievable on a scale that was not possible before the advance of computing. Even small businesses are able to access these technologies, many of which are low cost. Spreadsheet and database-powered systems allow businesses to store and manipulate data which can then be used to analyse and model systems for future decision making. Such models can help managers to make plans which can increase productivity in the long term. Having an accurate analysis of past performance can be a vital step in making effective future plans, a task facilitated by many technologies used in business. The level of information sharing offered by the web also gives businesses the data to enhance productivity within their sectors.

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