When managing the operations of a business, it is important to supervise the business operation and perform controlled and coordinated functions for efficient operations. Companies have to interact with internal as well as external elements in order to successfully run the business. Businesses, therefore, make use of communication technologies that enable them to communicate between the different levels of the management, between the different functions of the business with their stakeholders as well as with their customers for smooth business operations.
This paper seeks to identify the need that is present for business communication technology while also highlighting how it is an important asset in the world of today. For this purpose, comprehensive research is conducted through secondary material and resources available on the internet to identify how communication technology is useful for businesses. The main communication technologies that are available in the market are explored along with their application to the various business functions and processes.
Importance of Business Communication Technologies
The operation of a business be it small or a large enterprise requires a communication medium through which the different business functions and the personnel interact for carrying out their daily tasks. The need for communication technology, therefore, has always been present. IN the fast processing and increasingly competitive market, it has now become more essential for businesses to attract customers, ascertain what their customers want, and provide it to them while operating profitably.
This requires investment by the business in communication technology to increase the process of gathering data, processing it, and increasing the decision-making process for the management. In order to speed up decision making efficient communication platforms are required by the management through which information can be disbursed to the masses and response can be gathered effectively and in a timely manner.
The use of web seminars, emails, virtual bulletin boards, and intranet enables the businesses to enhance the collaboration for the management by integrating modern technology for communication. This helps the business to increase the level of productivity while making the decision-making process for the management much more efficient.
Businesses need their employees to be able to communicate with each other and their stakeholders and have access to their systems on the movie or from a remote location. This is the reason modern internet-based communication and wireless communication technologies are used by businesses to communicate where there are constraints regarding geographic locations. “Technology gives businesses the opportunity to engage in projects which may have not been possible without technology due to differences in location and geographical distances. Thanks to technology boundaries have been effectively erased and many more projects and innovative ideas have been born and brought to fruition.” (Goessl)
Information technology and particularly communication technology has enabled in aggregating the process of globalization by bringing remote locations closer to email and video conferencing solutions. The linguistic and the boundaries of countries have been brought down by the use of communication technology (‘Some Advantages and Disadvantages of Information Technology’). The communication process between entities has been speeded through the use of communication technology making it cheaper and reducing the response time to an instant, therefore, making it efficient.
Main Business Communication Technologies Available
Traditionally the communication technologies that were available to the organizations for business purposes pertained to the telephone and paper-based mail. Meetings, internal as well as those with business partners and stakeholders of the company needed to take place in person face to face. However, the presence of modern information and communication technology has changed all of that.
The modern information and communication technology that is available to the businesses include emails, virtual bulletin boards, Voice and video conferences from a remote location, net meetings, instant text messaging services, wireless system to system communication through PDAs which link the handheld device to the business systems technology as well as other more specific functional systems like customer relationship management systems.
Organizations are using modern communication technology in order to increase customer satisfaction while also generate new opportunities through which the business can grow. Increasingly businesses are making use of modern communication technology highlighted above for interacting with the prospect alliances, business partners, and customers along with the organizational management. “Today, successful companies around the world achieve that efficiency with network-based communications tools such as e-mail and a Web presence.
These tools support the high levels of productivity and customer support that growing companies need to compete in larger and more lucrative markets. A sound network foundation will also support the new technologies and applications necessary to sustain ongoing competitiveness.” (‘Increase your Competitive Advantage with Business Communication Technology’, 2007)
Use of Communication Technology
Modern communication technology is increasingly being used by businesses as it provides them a competitive edge in the market and makes their operations more efficient while reducing the time and cost of communication. The businesses that are making the most of it are entrepreneurship and small-scale businesses. Developing countries like India have depicted immense growth in their economy due to the usage of modern communication systems for business purposes.
“The boom of information and communication technology (ICT) in India is a well-known phenomenon with a positive impact on the economy.” (Badnjevic & Padukova, 2007) The tourism industry in India has seen increased activity in the sector due to the use of communication technology by the travel agents, hotels, and hospitality businesses as well as the airline companies operating in the region.
Ecommerce based businesses have increased exponentially in recent years due to the integration of communication enabling technology with the World Wide Web. This has enabled businesses to communicate with their customers without the need for agents and intermediaries, therefore, making the communication process more efficient and effective. Business process outsourcing is another sector of operation which has opened up due to the modern communication technologies where businesses outsource their business functions to third parties
The shipping, transport, and distribution/fleet-based industry has also made use of modern communication technology for their business. The industry has companies making use of PDAs, Cell Phones, and other handheld communication devices that are connected with the main systems of the company through wireless networks to increase the efficient and instantaneous flow of data and communication from remote locations.
More specifically the companies in the fleet industry make use of the technology to monitor loads, keep track of routes and deliveries, as well as communicating with the customers and the head offices. “Shipments are now measured in days or hours, with vehicle locations and delivery times tracked and often available to customers, as needed, via the Internet. The availability, and now the affordability, of onboard wireless communication, is streamlining the process. Acceptance of this technology in our industry continues to grow and with it, seemingly limitless possibilities for greater fleet efficiencies.” (Birkland, 2005) On a more personal level, the drivers make use of the technology to communicate with their families through emails and voice-based communication devices.
The developing communication technology is being increasingly employed by the business to increase their productivity and efficiency of business operations. The modern communication technologies allow the management and the employees of the company to interact with the customer, business partners, and stakeholders for meetings, negotiation, developing business opportunities, marketing to customers as well as sharing data and information for business operation.
The main communication technologies that have contributed to the development of businesses pertain to wireless communication networks, integration of organizational systems with communications systems, emails, video conferencing, virtual bulletin boards, and the internet. Companies in the industries pertaining to tourism and hospitality, business process outsourcing, and transportation/. Delivery/ shipping and fleet management are increasingly making use of the communication technology for their business operations.
The modern communication technology available to businesses has enables them to reduce their operating costs while increasing productivity and efficiency in their operations. The decision making time for the management has greatly reduced due to multiple avenues that provide instantaneous two way communication across large geographical distances.
However despite these benefits of the technology has also given way to redundancy of some jobs, issues pertaining to privacy of information and communication, as well as the decreasing skill level of the employees.
These disadvantages cannot be overcome by ignoring modern communication technology which has become essential for businesses, Instead security measures should be implemented by businesses to safeguard their communication networks and data from malicious activity and effort should be made by the companies to provide alternate skill development programs for their employees which can help them adapt to the new technology and learn new skills relevant to their jobs. The businesses should seek to come up with new ways to integrate communication technology in their business processes for further improving the efficiency, control and collaboration in the business functions.
‘The Importance of Technology in Business’, Brianshoff. Web.
‘Some Advantages and Disadvantages of Information Technology’, Small Business Bible, 2009. Web.
Badnjevic, J., Padukova, L., ‘ICT Awareness in Small Enterprises in the Indian Tourism Branch’, 2007. Web.
Birkland, C., ‘Wireless communication advantage: the benefits of wireless technology in the hands of drivers’, Fleet Equipment, 2005. Web.
‘Increase your Competitive Advantage with Business Communication Technology’, Cisco Systems, 2007. Web.
Goessl, L., ‘Improving communications with technology’. Web.