Years ago, business technology was more of an amenity–it was nice to have, but wasn’t always critical for companies to meet their bottom line. Today, it’s practically a necessity. It’s hard to imagine a company in any industry operating without using some form of it.
We have entered the digital age, and it has changed how we work, how we interact with each other, and so much more. For example, businesses are relying on collaboration tools to communicate work on projects and tasks from anywhere in the world. Organizations are increasing productivity, employee engagement, and worker efficiency by implementing tech-driven applications and programs. Company executives are using wireless presentation software that makes setting up cables and hardware a thing of the past.
There are tons of ways that technology could be implemented to improve existing processes, and its place in the business world is becoming increasingly crucial.
According to a recent report from CompTIA, IT is becoming an essential part of the job, for companies across many industries. In the report, close to one-quarter of businesses worldwide plan to increase their IT spending by 10 percent or more in the next year.
The increased spending for IT solutions and initiatives reflects a shift. The growing importance and use of technology is blurring the lines between tech companies and other industries. With this shift, some are saying every company is becoming a tech-focused company. Looking at how technology is being used in industries that may have never been associated with IT ten or even five years ago, it could be an accurate statement.
Patients with chronic conditions can now closely and easily monitor their condition with the help of a wearable device. Physicians can communicate with patients in real-time, view their health metrics, and make more informed treatment decisions through mobile devices. Technology is making it easier for physicians to collaborate and share medical expertise on tough conditions. Instead of waiting for a costly doctor’s appointment or going to the ER for routine issues, some patients are using telemedicine solutions to receive care remotely.
All of these solutions and more have been made possible by the advancement of technology in the healthcare industry. Before, healthcare systems’ security concerns prevented widespread adoption. Although security is still a major concern for the industry, the value that technology has in the industry is starting to overshadow the risk. One report states that investment in healthcare IT is expected to grow from $13.2 billion in 2013 to $14.6 billion by 2018.
Robotics, wearable devices, 3D printing, and other technologies have transformed the manufacturing industry. Some are even concerned that the advanced technology could replace jobs with machines. But, machines were already being used in factories decades ago. Now, the industry is shifting their focus towards making these technologies smarter and helping employees increase productivity. According to a PwC study, the top IT priorities for manufacturing CEOs are mobility, cybersecurity, and data mining and analysis. Manufacturers will likely agree that technology has become critical to their bottom line. Many are even devoting more resources to improving IT to avoid downtime and other complex IT issues that surface.
The rising popularity of online shopping caused retailers to revamp their business models and join the digital revolution. Now, they are leading other industries in ways to use IT effectively. They are blurring the lines between digital shopping platforms and brick-and-mortar stores. Retailers are learning more about their consumers than ever before and personalizing shopping experiences with help from big data, mobile devices, and other technology. With global IT spending forecasts projected to surpass $190 billion, the retail and tech industries will continue to overlap.
But, is every company becoming tech-focused? The latest reports and technology success stories suggest that IT is taking over dozens of industry verticals. However, businesses’ main priorities will still be on what makes their services and offerings unique. Technology is simply the tool that is helping them connect with their customers, increase employee engagement and efficiency, and improve overall business performance.