Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New Times, New Technology, and the Digitized Economy

            Sitting on an operating table in an Asian hospital and receiving a surgical procedure from a doctor in the United States might sound absurd, but such procedures actually happen via robots and other technological mediums. Technology has advanced to influence just about everything in the modern world. More specifically observed are the changes that technology has caused in the world of business. As the digital revolution has evolved, practices of business and services have followed suit. Most certainly, digital technology has provided new channels and opportunities for business transactions, however, challenges in adaptation and competitiveness have proven to be a major participant in today’schanging field of business.
            Digital technology has had an impact in the business world as it has become more readily available to consumers. The accessibility of this technology once was limited to designated locations where internet connection and computer convenience were possible. Over time, mediums of technology have developed from specific locations to usability directly in consumer homes and hands. In the past few years, sales of digital devices such as computers, ipads, and smart phones, have drastically increased. The ubiquity of Wi-Fi and 3G networks, as well as the number of devices available to access these networks, ensures that consumers can quickly and easily access the Internet, regardless of space, time, or location” (Grewal4). Along with the increasedconsumers’ accessibility, the convenience of the internet has also enabled traditional business to expand.
            New channels, such as electronic commerce, have created a new type of business playing field that has transformed the way of doing business. “E-commerce is defined as buying and selling products/services over the Internet and the use of computer systems to improve overall company efficiencies” (Oudan 19). One current example of an electronic commerce company is Amazon. This company has emerged to be a main-stream source of business transactions. Amazingly, the sales made for Amazon are without any physical store locations or face-to-face buyer/seller interaction. All sales revenue comes from business transactions over the internet. The reason companies, such as Amazon, use electronic commerce and other digital-mediated services is possibly because “of cost reductions . . . flexibility and convenience [for the customer] . . . [and] the increase in availability” (Schumann 137).Although companies have been able to access more channels to reach out to consumers, accompanying challenges have threatened almost every business in operation.
            Consumers’ability to both access product informationand communicate with others quickly by digital medium has forced businesses to compete at a higherlevel. One of the challenges businesses face is that “. . . consumers have a powerful new tool: computer software programs and web services to appraise the quality of goods and services” (Chitakornkijsil 121). The use of computer programs and internet sources can cause a business to rise or fall very rapidly because reviews of service provided are posted online and readily available. Another challenge businesses face is creating value in price because of the ease in accessing prices all around in comparison. Finally, the use of social media is a challenge for businesses becauseconsumers are able to quickly converse with others; they can be influenced strongly by others’ opinions and experiences. Businesses now have to learn to adapt and create methods of success.
            Businesses can prevent digital setbacks by learning customer values in the modern world of digital technology.In public and private domains, a shift in customer values has surfaced because of the self-service technology that has been available. Critical to business practices and processes is to understand “the new values of choice, control and convenience” (Griffy-Brown 32).To their advantage, businesses can use the internet to track information about consumer search tactics, spending, and even referral habits(Grewal3).
            Vast change has met the business world and challenged companies’ status-quo practices. Further research and learning from others will aid business individuals, present and future, in finding success. Although challenges have risen, opportunities have as well. When properly educated and practices of the digitized economy obtained, people in today’s business world will overcome challenges easier, and technology will be accepted as a gateway to continual opportunity.

Chitakornkijsil, P. (2012). MORAL MEANING IN GREEN MARKETING AND SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE MARKETING. International Journal of Organizational Innovation (Online), 4(3), 113-128.
Grewal, D., Roggeveen, A. L., Compeau, L. D., & Levy, M. (2012). Retail value-based pricing strategies: New times, new technologies, new consumers. Journal of Retailing, 88(1), 1-6. doi:10.1016/j.jretai.2011.12.001.
Griffy-Brown, C., Chun, M., &Koeppel, H. (2011).Using customer-facing technology to create new business value: Insight from the public and private sector into the changing value equation.Journal of Technology Management for Growing Economies, 2(2), 21-33.
Oudan, R. (2010). Strategic decision-making in the emerging field of E-commerce. International Journal of Management and Information Systems, 14(2), 19-26.
Schumann, J. H., Wünderlich, N. V., &Wangenheim, F. (2012). Technology mediation in service delivery: A new typology and an agenda for managers and academics.Technovation, 32(2), 133-143. doi:10.1016/j.technovation.2011.10.002.

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