In this article, we examine the way in which businesses can benefit from technologies. The second part will examine how technology may hinder the much-valued social aspects of a company.
Technology affects businesses in different ways and has an important role to play in business operations. Technology has tangible and intangible benefits that will increase business profit and reduce the time spent on administrative tasks. The culture, reliability, productivity and relationships of the business depend on the technological involvement of the firm.
Technological change brings risks, prospects and pressures to businesses. Some businesses can control changing technology and use it to improve products and processes or even create new products and processes that will expand markets and profits.
The primary benefit of information systems and databases is their ability to provide a user with the information and tools needed to undertake tasks effectively and efficiently.
Technology can shape an entire business
Technology can create a seamless and highly mobile environment. A mobile telephone, head set, surface computer, and leading edge WIFI network allows professionals who are working on a document at their desk, to move into another room and around the office without losing connection. The physical barriers disappear, and professionals can deliver results fast.
Another way in which technology can be helpful in ensuring more people receive appropriate services, is for the business to create an enquiry section online featuring specialised and specific questions addressed to the client which will focus on the client’s needs and encourage them to only specify the information which is crucial to the type of advice they need. This would save time as it would significantly cut the time taken to meet with the client and discuss their situation overall before pinpointing the exact help they require.
The client would upload their documents and the professionals will prioritise each client’s needs. Due to the reduced time taken to understand the client’s needs, they would be able to accommodate a greater number of people.
This would also address the issue regarding access to justice for smaller cases that would usually not be prioritised and would make it more economical in terms of money and time.
Also, if the case details are online, all fee-earners involved in the case can work together in a more efficient and cost-effective manner for the client.
Technology can also bring about financial loss and chaos
Technology can also bring about isolation, decreased human contact at the workplace and raise levels of depression. For instance, if the entire business depends on technology for its functioning, a malfunction in the computer equipment or other technology being used can result in delay in dealing with a matter, cause financial loss and in some instances, massive anxiety and disruption within the company.
With the current rise in technology, there would be less need for staff and therefore the number of jobs available is likely to decrease. However, the staff training on the technology involved would need to be enhanced so as to ensure that it functions accurately and staff are able to fix any problems which might arise.
For example, supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury, Waitrose etc. use self-service check-outs. The need for employees at the tills would decrease but in return, staff need to be trained to work with and understand the self-service check-outs and be able to deal with problems associated with them.
The down-side of this is that with less staff present, there will be less people to greet, help customers and answer queries which would possibly impact on the quality of customer service and the social and welcoming atmosphere in the supermarkets, which may be one of its greatest selling points.
Overall, technology is a great way to enhance business productivity in terms of administrative, production and other business tasks. However, the human presence is important in order to ensure an efficient and effective service and to maintain employee and customer satisfaction. Customers’ overall experience will determine whether they wish to return to the company. As human nature is social, good social experiences with staff members will be one of the most remembered and valued qualities of the company.
Silviya Hristova is a legal intern at Pure Business Law. She is an LLB Law Graduate from SOAS, University of London as of September 2017 and will embark on an LPC/LLM course at BPP University in January 2018. She has always had an interest in law and greatly enjoys being able to put her skills into practice within her internship at Pure Business Law.