In our previous article, we mentioned the introduction of cloud computing as one of the ways that technology has disrupted business in the 21st century. […]
The business world is not new to disruption especially because of technology. As a matter of fact, scholars of history will attest that all through […]
The biggest fear about adopting technology is the idea that it will result in loss of jobs. What many people don’t look at is the […]
The debate about artificial intelligence and its application in robotics has raised a lot of concern that human beings will be declared redundant in the […]
The term modern technology essentially means an improvement on older technology. By older technology, it could mean a technology that is a few months old […]
In our previous article, we mentioned the introduction of cloud computing as one of the ways that technology has disrupted business in the 21st century. We therefore thought it wise to take a bit of time and talk more about this technology and how it’s going to benefit your business.
All businesses whether large or small will value remote access to data. In order for a business entity to be able to achieve this, they will need to spend millions of dollars to set up such an infrastructure that will enable their staff access company data securely from any part of the world. However, there is a much cheaper alternative and that is cloud storage. Essentially, this involves signing up to a third party organization that has already set up the infrastructure therefore all you have to do is use it therefore saving your business the hustle and expense of setting up its own independent infrastructure.
Let’s take a look at the 4 benefits of cloud storage in business
It’s a cost cutting measure
As we have mentioned in our introduction, it takes millions of dollars for a business to set up and maintain an infrastructure that will enable their staff to be able to access company data remotely from any part of the world. However, with cloud storage, business entities only spend a fraction of that cost. This saved expense can then be allocated to other aspects of the business.
It enhances the level of convenience
When your company data is one the cloud, all you or your staff need is a computer or mobile device as well as a good internet connection in order to work. This means you can work remotely from anywhere as your office becomes mobile. This level of convenience will help increase staff productivity because so little time is lost having to wait for staff to get to a physical office space in order to work.
It enhances data security
Companies that provide cloud storage services have invested millions of dollars to set up state of the art security to protect their infrastructure and customer data. This is definitely a cost that your business might not have been able to afford. This then ensures that your company data is protected 24/7 therefore you never have to worry about your data being compromised.
It enhances growth opportunities for your business
Thanks to cloud storage, your business is not limited by physical borders. Being online means anyone form any part of the world can access your system therefore making business expansion to other parts of the world very convenient and relatively affordable.
There are a number of reputable organizations offering cloud storage services therefore it’s up to you as a business owner to do your due diligence and settle on the service provider you are confident will give you the best deal. At the end of the day, your business can’t survive without being on the cloud.
The business world is not new to disruption especially because of technology. As a matter of fact, scholars of history will attest that all through the centuries from the pre-historic, to the middle ages and to the present day, the main constant has been advancement in general tech. Humans have always sought better, efficient and cost effective ways of doing things all through the ages. It therefore becomes odd when naysayers blame technology that is being adopted to improve business as a bad thing mainly because of the job losses it may result into.
Adoption of technology is inevitable and the only options left of businesses is either sink or swim that is adopt technology or risk closing down. Let’s look at 3 main ways technology is disrupting business.
Technology has decreased costs and increased output
In the past, businesses had to invest so many resources in the development of operation systems from the production process to the supply chain as well as staff management. In addition, being able to tweak these systems to adopt to changing industry conditions was too much of a hustle and too expensive. Today however, it just takes a systems developer a couple of weeks to develop software solutions that are not only responsive but also very adaptable and customizable to various scenarios. To add to this, these systems are much cheaper to set up including training internal staff to operate them therefore cutting costs in terms of needing specialized staff to operate them. This has tremendously contributed to organizational output at the same time reducing operational costs.
The introduction of cloud computing
The cloud is undoubtedly one of the best business innovations in the 21st century. The fact that business entities whether large or small don’t require physical servers or storage facilities for their data as they can access them much more affordably from third-party organizations, has tremendously improved business operations. Not only has it enhanced data security but also enabled businesses to operate remotely and at more reduced costs.
The introduction of advanced customer segmentation
Because of technology especially advancement in the internet, business now have access to valuable customer data as well as analytics tools which they can readily and affordably access online which they can use for their customer segmentation. This has made it possible to target very specific customer segments thus saving plenty of money that was lost in the past when the mass media was the main avenue of reaching multiple customers. So much money was lost shooting in the dark.
Keeping these benefits in mind, we therefore shouldn’t be too quick to judge businesses for choosing to adopt technology. In all honesty, it’s the only option they have. The onus is on employees to figure out how to stay relevant in a quickly advancing tech environment.
The biggest fear about adopting technology is the idea that it will result in loss of jobs. What many people don’t look at is the many other jobs general tech will create. According to many analysts, the amounts of jobs that technology will create are way more than the number of jobs that will be lost.
Let’s take a look at the 6 reasons advancements in general tech won’t lead to job losses, at least not anytime soon.
Technology will result in the creation of new skill sets
Whereas there is no question in the fact that most if not all of the jobs done by unskilled laborers will be lost to technology, the same technology will create new employment opportunities that require new skill sets. For instance, introducing machines in a production line will require personnel to operate as well as service these machines.
Technology will be more of an enabler not a disrupter
Most people fear that automation will lead to loss of jobs but the truth is automation is more of an enabler. Whereas the job being done in a certain way will end, the job itself will not end. Employees will just need to adjust to doing jobs in a different way as they incorporate tech in their day to day tasks.
Technology will change the scope of jobs
Adoption of technology in various aspects of the work place may take over technical aspects of the job which machines will be able to do more efficiently and effectively, but the human tasks which can’t be done by machines will still remain in the purview of humans. For instance, tasks that require reason or innovation will still be done by humans and not machines.
Technology cannot replace human judgment
Whereas technology will revolutionize the workplace and make things more efficient, no tech innovation has the capability of replacing human judgment at the work place. Organizations will still need the ability to manage their interpersonal relationships, rely on decisions driven by experience as well as gut instinct, and there is no machine that can do this.
Technology will result in a skills shortage
The pace at which tech is being adopted in the workplace is resulting in a skills shortage of staff capable of managing these technologies. This therefore means there are job opportunities just waiting to be taken. This then cancels out the claim that technology will lead to job losses.
Technology cannot set organizational objectives
Technology can only enable operations in an organization but cannot lead these operations. In an organization, humans will still be needed to set organizational objectives and formulate strategies for execution. These are things technology will not be able to do at least not in the near future.
All in all, the world needs to look at technology for what it is, and that is, an enabler. This will make many employees more comfortable with technology and figure out how to use it to their advantage as opposed to fearing it and watching helplessly as it takes over their roles.
The debate about artificial intelligence and its application in robotics has raised a lot of concern that human beings will be declared redundant in the near future as robots will take over jobs that are currently performed by man. This has resulted in a lot of fear as many people especially casual laborers who are the most threatened don’t know what the future holds for their jobs.
This article is meant to ease your pressure as we look at 5 reasons why we are confident that robots can’t replace and will never replace man.
#1 A robot will never display empathy
The thing that makes us human such as our own emotions and our understanding of other people’s emotions sets us apart from machines. No amount of no ones and zeros can replicate this. In as much as business owners may dream of cutting down their operational costs by replacing humans with robots, at some point, they will end up losing customers because business is not just about service but also about personal interaction. Robots will never be able to show empathy to customers and this will negatively affect customer experience.
#2 A robot will never be able to build relationships
One of the ways to keep customers coming back is to establish trust by building and sustaining good relationships with them. This is the only way you can acquire new customers as well as retain old ones. This is an ability that is unique to humans as our social nature enables us to build and sustain relationships. Again, no amount of ones and zeros can be able to replicate this aspect of humanity.
#3 A robot will never be able to mirror humans
Artificial intelligence is based on the assumption that humans are predictable. This is however a huge misconception. Different people have worldviews that are shaped differently based on their environment. This makes humans very unpredictable because our individual responses are influenced by very many different variables. It will be impossible for a programmer to build a machine that is able to mimic all the different human personalities and behaviors. This may be open to debate but truth be told, humans are too unpredictable and too complicated.
#4 A robot can’t think outside the box
An important ability by humans is that of being able to think outside the box therefore being able to find creative ways of solving various emerging problems. Robots can’t and will never be able to do this because their programming will not allow it. Robots are essentially programmed to work within their code and in as much as there is a fantasy world where a machine can think on its own, in the real world this will not be achieved in our life time.
#5 Bottom line is humans prefer dealing with fellow humans
Ultimately, nothing beats a human smile, touch or voice. There is a good feeling people get when they interact with fellow humans that a machine will never be able to provide. In as much as automated services may be convenient, fast and efficient, humans are social creatures and they will always crave the attention of fellow humans.
This article is not meant to paint technology such as artificial intelligence or any other general tech in bad light. In fact it’s quite the opposite. We see a world where machines will just be a tool to enhance service delivery and efficiency of humans but not a replacement.
The term modern technology essentially means an improvement on older technology. By older technology, it could mean a technology that is a few months old or a few years old. Technology keeps morphing regularly with different technology developers in constant competition to outdo each other.
In our previous post, we looked at the negative effects of technology on man. This time round our focus is on the positives. Our article will focus on general tech as well as more advanced tech such as Artificial Intelligence and how they are benefiting man.
Below are 5 advantages of modern technology to man.
#1 Increased efficiency and productivity
One of the major problems that the manufacturing industry has faced over the years is the natural limitations of man that is, man gets tired, loses concentration and is prone to errors. The introduction of various technologies in the production process has increased efficiency and productivity as machines come in to take up the physical tasks that were a burden for humans.
#2 Ease of access to information
Because of advancement in various technologies, today access to information has been made very easy. Whether its information on a medical issue, education, business, finance, and entertainment, and so on, technology has nullified geographical borders making it possible for everyone across the globe to access relevant and reliable information with just a few clicks of a button on the internet.
#3 Positive benefits to the health sector
Thanks to modern technology such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, Nano technology and many others, hospitals have been able to save multiple lives as a result of advancements in the ability of doctors to diagnose problems, do complicated surgeries, administer medication and provide general patient care with reduced human errors. These are technologies that are currently being used in both developed and developing nations.
#4 Improvement in education
Because of technology, learning has become so much easier for students who can conveniently and affordably access education resource material from any part of the world. The ability to access virtual classrooms, virtual libraries, advanced audio visual learning aids, and many more means that classrooms are not limited to physical structures as was the case in the past. Many students today will actually attest that technology has made learning much more interactive and fun therefore resulting into better outcomes.
#5 Increased innovation and creativity
Pioneers of technological advancements have motivated more innovation and creativity as new tech developers realize that technology is limitless. Millionaires keep emerging globally as innovators discover more inventive ways of solving societal problems through technology thereby creating successful business empires that have gone on to employ thousands across the globe.
With technological advancements, the possibilities are limitless and the best is yet to come. Man will continue to come up with innovations that will go a long way in saving lives, creating jobs and ultimately, making life much more bearable.
All in all, the benefits of technology outweigh the negatives.
Humans have over the past couple of decades invested heavily in technological innovation such as Artificial Intelligence for various socioeconomic as well as political reasons. What many tech researchers didn’t anticipate was the negative effects it would result into, both short term and long term.
We take a look at 3 of the main disadvantages of technology.
#1 Technology has caused social disruption
Because of technology, there has been a significant level of social disruption globally. The most significant being loss of incomes because tasks that were previously done by humans can now be done by machines. Secondly, personal interaction is slowly disappearing as interaction is now taking place virtually as a result of social media platforms on the internet. Last but not least, children who don’t have access to technological gadgets such as cell phones and the internet getting disadvantaged and unable to compete fairly with kids who have been privileged to access them.
#2 The rise of dependence
Before cell phones and the internet, people could still communicate. Today however, society has become so used to these technologies that without them, life comes to a halt. Whether in an office, at school, or on a farm, once you get used to technology, you can never go back. This sort of dependence on technology is negatively affecting humans.
#3 Many skills are becoming obsolete
The advancement in technology also means that very specific skill sets are required to operate these technologies. Considering the fact that technology keeps morphing on an almost daily basis, it means we have to keep upgrading our skills in order to keep up. Tech skills in 2017 will be rendered almost obsolete in 2018 when new technologies are introduced into the market. This makes it very difficult for job seekers in the market who are unable to keep up with these rapidly changing skill requirements.
It goes without saying that in as much as technology is here for the benefit of mankind concerted efforts must be put in place to mitigate the negative effects that they bring. Tech developers should anticipate and provide solutions for the potential negative effects that their technologies may result into.
Artificial intelligence has been a topic of discussion that has resulted in emotive discourse between tech enthusiasts and naysayers with the former supporting it and the latter against it. Innovators in the tech world have for years invested time and money to develop computers that are capable of processing thought just like humans do and this is essentially what artificial intelligence is. What many people don’t know is that AI has actually been around for a while now and is applied in many places to various degrees.
Let’s take a look at the 3 main things you should know about AI.
#1 Artificial Intelligence is a reality
A few years back, AI was simply science fiction, a plot that seemed to feature in numerous science fiction movies. However, today AI is very real and in use in various applications. Whereas it may not have gotten to the advanced level of computers reasoning like humans, AI is serving its purpose and will require heavy investment in customer education so that many misconceptions about it are cleared so that skeptics can be more comfortable with its use.
#2 Artificial Intelligence dates far back
Many people don’t know that AI was conceived as far back as Greek mythology. The idea of the existence of robots that have a human like appearance can be found in Greek myths. AI was also evident in the middle ages when the idea of the human brain being placed in an inanimate object was alluded to in an alchemy story.
#3 Formal research in Artificial Intelligence was started in the 1950s
In as much as AI research going on prior to the 1950s, it wasn’t happening in formal settings. It was during a conference at Dartmouth in 1956 that AI research was formally adopted as an academic research discipline and it’s during this conference that the name “artificial intelligence” was adopted. Since then, many other academic institutions specializing in technology have adopted AI research and made tremendous breakthrough.
AI is neither a bad nor dangerous technology to humans, it’s simply misunderstood. It will take concerted efforts to educate the naysayers on the benefits of this tech and what mankind has to benefit from it.