Technology impacts our lives in many ways. Perhaps the biggest changes of all time have taken place within the last 20 years, what with the unprecedented developments through the Internet. The World Wide Web has facilitated unimpeded access to information for everyone. Knowledge truly is power. Thanks to these dramatic technological advancements, we are now barreling ahead into the future with sophisticated algorithms, smart systems, software and hardware the likes of which we have never seen.
Upfront investments in new technologies can be expensive, but the long-term benefits prove beneficial. Costs encompass multiple elements including materials costs, shipping costs, labor costs, fixed costs and variable costs. All things being equal, any system operating within a confined ‘tech space’ will be limited by the current technology.
Productivity is a measure of the cost per unit produced, with enhanced productivity generating much higher returns per unit investment. Technology costs may be obscure in the form of an ‘unoptimized’ website, or blatantly obvious in the form of human resources being wasted on repetitive daily activities when algorithm software could easily perform those tasks.
There are also significant software costs which can be averted by securing online communications through cost-effective VPNs. These virtual private networks provide an encrypted tunnel between the business IP address and the exit website. Hackers attempting to infiltrate company operations will not be able to gather any information from the source computer since all communications are being re-routed through the VPN server address. The cost savings in terms of potential security breaches are substantial, and many companies are now turning to secure browsing via reputable VPNs, intranet, Tor browser and related systems.
How to calculate technology costs and benefits?
The trick to accounting for investment in new technology is making the case for the upfront investment and being able to show the attendant benefits. Luckily, the right technology offers many benefits including the following:
Significantly reduced errors
Technology can assist with reducing energy costs
The costs of production/service per unit time decrease
The technology allows for optimal usage of scarce resources
The long-term returns from the technology outweigh the costs
Automation frees up human resources to focus on important tasks
Adoption of new technology enhances customer satisfaction and engagement
Society is benefiting from the adoption and implementation of the new technology
The impact of technology is largely evident online. Cloud computing (accessing and storing data online) services are now the preferred method of storing data. Cloud computing reduces company costs by eliminating the need for staffing. It comes as no surprise that IT professionals comprise a significant chunk of the budget. Besides for personnel, the adoption of cloud technology eliminates the need for in-house servers which need to be purchased, serviced, maintained, and replaced.
Of equal importance is the B2C relationship. CRM software assists businesses with their clients. Customer relationship management software is highly effective with invoicing and it replaces unnecessary software in your business. To this end, businesses no longer need to pay annual subscription fees for unwanted programs. The right CRM software can prove to be a great money-saving tool. Technology also facilitates much easier communication between team members at a company and between businesses and consumers.
Consider modern day teleconferencing facilities with audio-visual meetings connecting people all over the world at the same time. The objective of this technology is to facilitate information transfer for optimal business functionality. People don’t need to fly in, facilities and meeting rooms are not required, and employees can connect from the comforts of anywhere. The implementation of new technology can eliminate stationary budgets, streamline accounts receivables, and effectively control payments. Cost reductions are assured when these types of technologies are adopted in businesses.
When the topic of technology costs is broached, many business managers balk. They assume that a complete overhaul of the existing framework needs to be undertaken. While this may or may not be the case, it is possible to integrate new technologies into existing frameworks at minimal cost, for maximum benefit. Artificial intelligence technology, algorithms, bots, and VPNs can easily be integrated into existing systems at minimal cost, for maximum benefit. Companies that neglect implementing new technologies do so at their peril.