Technological developments are the highlights of the 20th and the 21st century. According to E-Business Strategies, the world has changed with a “real-time, information-rich” standard. This is present in current business trends worldwide as seen in all electronic gadgets available in the market. Because of technology, there are many new products and services available for people. Moreover, new kinds of trades and business are being created (Carnes). These advancements show the pride that humanity takes in inventing useful tools in everyday life as they do not only help in making people’s lives easier but also offer opportunities for entrepreneurs to enter a global economy. However, there are questions being raised by these technological developments. Where would these technological changes bring us? Would these serve for the betterment of our standards of living?
Technological developments make people’s lives easier. For instance, new models of mobile phones are released with features such as a camera, television, or music that go beyond the purpose of communication. These phones become more convenient and user-friendly. These features are provided as companies continuously gather feedback from customers.
Technological developments affect the business sector of every country. Technological developments grow rapidly and are being used worldwide for business, industrial and scientific research. According to Carnes, a commerce department analysis reveals that technology used in a firm makes it function better as there are more employers and as such more lucrative and productive. Entrepreneurs make use of technology as a marketing strategy so they could reach these people in remote areas. Technology would then lead to a better economy for countries around the world (Carnes).
Technological developments show us the concept of globalization. According to Carnes “Nations everywhere recognize the linkage between technology and economic growth”. People are now able to get customers are able to hire from other parts of the world. A global economy is now possible. One of the companies making the global economy possible is the Apple Company.
Apple Ipod touch brought the blue tooth technology to cellular phones. Equipped with features, such as touch-screen and Internet access, this gadget is very useful to consumers as they could almost everything on their phone (Apple).
Another example of technological advancement is the television set. Panasonic, for instance, has a plasma TV that is luxurious and stylish. It provides pictures that are of high quality so they seem realistic. It also has a USB power and navigational Windows-based system to keep up with technology (Infosync).
Economic growth is observed in the trends of businesses due to technological developments. Due to technological developments, competition for global investment and business activity among entrepreneurs, and even nations would become tighter (Carnes). Gadgets would then be available to global customers at a lower price. Soon, small nations would catch up with big nations in terms of the global business trend.
However, one should always note that the rise and the fall of a regional currency affect the global business. Stabilization of EXIM policies would make the foreign exchange market more stable and the stock market rise. In the event that stabilization occurs, companies would stay ahead in the global market that then gives rise to a healthy and advanced business trend.
Carnes says technology is the “engine of economic growth.” Technological developments provide many with an easier and convenient life. This trend of relying on technological development will be evident in the future. Consumer response to technology paved the way for global economy and growth. As people are looking for means to exchange information in the fastest and most efficient way possible, these technological advancements will allow for the trend to continue.
- Technological developments that dominate the business sector are the highlights of the 20th and the 21st
- There are questions being raised by these technological developments.
- Technological developments make people’s lives easier.
- Technological developments affect the business sector of every country.
- Technological developments show us the concept of globalization.
- People are now able to get customers are able to hire from other parts of the world.
- A global economy is now possible
- One of the companies making the global economy possible is the Apple Company.
- Panasonic Plasma TV offers luxury and convenience to consumers
- Economic growth is observed in the trends of businesses due to technological developments.
- In the event that stabilization occurs, companies would stay ahead in the global market that then gives rise to a healthy and advanced business trend.
- This trend of relying on technological development will be evident in the future
Apple. “Touch comes to iPod. Accessed.” No date. 29 September 2007 <http://www.apple.com/ipodtouch/>.
Carnes, K. “Building the 21st Century Workforce: The Challenge of Technological Change.” 11April 1997. 26 October 2007 < http://www.technology.gov/Speeches/Isacs.htm>
E-business Strategies. “Business Trend: From E-Business to Service Digitization.” no date. October 26, 2007 < http://www.ebstrategy.com/selfservice/services_101/ ebiz_to_serv_digit.htm >
Infosync.”Preview: Panasonic 65” Touch Screen Plasma TV”. No date. 29 September 2007 <http://www.infosyncworld.com/news/n/5888.html?rfp=dta>
In 1983, the report “A Nation at Risk” sounded a warning about the dismal state of American education, and we responded. In the ten years following that landmark report, we raised average spending per pupil in public elementary and secondary schools by about 23 percent, after adjustment for inflation. Today, our total government investments in all levels of education–as a percentage of GDP–is the highest among the G-7 nations. However, the results of increasing our investments in education have been mixed. Our students continue to perform below their counterparts in other countries in basic science and mathematics. SAT scores have barely increased over the past decade and remain below those attained in the 1960s and 70s.It is a pleasure for me to be here today, and to address a group of educators who are committed to providing their students the tools they need to compete and succeed in the economy of the next century. I hope my remarks about technological change and its implications for education will further clarify the challenge before us.
Our education system was designed at a time when our economy was based on agriculture and, frankly, the system has changed very little despite revolutionary changes in our economy. Redesigning our schools for a new age has proven to be a difficult and time-consuming task. In short, despite increased investment and effort, we are still a nation at risk.
Perhaps no force of change has greater implications for our education system than the relentless pace of technological advancement. Technology provides the tools for creating a spectacular array of new products and new services. It is creating new industries–advanced materials, mobile cellular communications, electronic commerce–and revitalizing old industries–steel, automobiles, and textiles.
We are seeing the rapid emergence of the Information Age, driven by a whole range of digital technologies that are transforming every sector of our economy.
By the end of the 20th century, information will be the most important commodity in the world’s economic system. And, the speed with which we create knowledge and our ability to put it to work for us will determine America’s position in the international marketplace. This is going to push the knowledge and skill bar ever higher.
The growing role of technology in the economy translates into some very bottom-line results.
Most economists now agree that three ingredients are essential to economic growth: capital, labor, and technology. Of these, technology is the most important. Leading economists estimate that technical progress has accounted for as much as one half of economic growth in the United States over the past 50 years. Of course, technology improves the productivity of labor. But, leading economists who have analyzed the role of technical progress in the post-war period found a greater influence on the productivity of capital; that is, new technology makes a given quantity of capital go further.
We see the growth-inducing power of technology at the industry level. Our research-intensive industries–aerospace, chemicals, communications, computers, pharmaceuticals, scientific instruments, semiconductors, and software–have been growing at about twice the rate of the economy as a whole in the past two decades. These are knowledge-based manufacturing industries with high ratios of non-production to production workers.
We also see technology’s growth-inducing power at the firm level. A recent Commerce Department analysis shows that firms using advanced technologies are more productive and profitable, pay higher wages, and increase employment more rapidly than firms that do not. In fact, in the study, employment at plants that used eight or more advanced technologies grew 14.4 percent more than plants that used no advanced technologies, and production workers’ wages were more than 14 percent higher.
The evidence is mounting. At the macroeconomic level, the industry level, and the firm level, technology is the engine of economic growth. Let me also mention that, today, the factors of production–capital, labor, and technology–are mobile and, thus, increasingly global in nature. Investment capital flows around the world daily in search of the greatest returns. Domestically-based companies tap foreign pools of labor, for example, computer programmers in Russia, and semiconductor designers in India. And technology infrastructure, once limited to a handful of advanced industrial nations, is now developing in countries around the world, as nations everywhere recognize the linkage between technology and economic growth. As a result, many nations now compete for global investment and the business activity of multinational firms. The United States must compete head to head with other nations for jobs, nations that increasingly emphasize the development of their human capital.
In order to win this competition among nations and attract as much business activity as possible into the United States, we must strengthen those assets which remain relatively fixed within our borders. We must focus on our infrastructure, both physical and technological. We must ensure that we remain at the forefront of technological innovation. And we must build the best educated and most technically sophisticated workforce in the world.
In short, education and training are competitiveness issues. In a recent poll, members of the private sector Council on Competitiveness identified strengthening the workforce as the single greatest competitiveness challenge that the country faces over the next decade–ranking above the shortfall in national savings, the cost of capital, the Nation’s technological capability, and access to foreign markets.
I want to share with you some statistics which I believe illustrate the magnitude and scope of the challenge we face in preparing our work force for the 21st century.
We are enjoying a period of very favorable economic conditions generally. The economy has been growing at a steady pace and inflation is low. Our unemployment rate sits at a bit over 5 percent, while Europe faces double digit unemployment. We have a remarkable record of job creation over the past several years. For example, since March of 1991, our economy has created 11 million new jobs, a performance that is far superior to any other G-7 nation.
And, contrary to popular impression, many of these are high-skill high-wage jobs. In 1995, 45 percent of the jobs created in the United States paid more than the national average wage of $29,420. In 1992, only 22 percent of new jobs did.
Many people today believe that most of the jobs being created are low-wage service jobs. The media features stories about workers losing their jobs to downsizing and being forced to downsize their lifestyle as well. (Editorial cartoon about job creation.)
The reality is that the U.S. service industries are producing many good jobs. In fact, from February 1994 to February 1996, the largest service industry gainers, by far, were in managerial or professional specialty occupations, which are relatively high paid jobs that require high knowledge and skill.
Overall, two thirds of full-time job growth between February 1994 and February 1996 occurred in occupational or industry categories paying above median wages.
Therefore, at least for the moment, the problem is not job creation; our problem involves a mismatch between skills and opportunities.
Increasingly, our country’s competitiveness and what we as individuals earn depend on what we learn. Knowledge, and the ability to use information and technology are becoming the keys to employment and wealth.
For example, the returns to education grew tremendously during the 1980s and the 1990s. In 1980, the median male college graduate earned roughly one-third more than the median male high school graduate. By 1993, this wage premium had grown to over 70 percent.
While the United States is among those countries with the highest rates of post-secondary completion, the majority of Americans do not earn a four-year college degree. Twenty-five percent of men and 30 percent of women in the United States have bachelor degrees.
This chart illustrates the strong correlation between educational achievement and earnings.
And this chart shows that those with a higher education are far less likely to become unemployed, and fare well even in a recession.
There are many possible explanations for the rise in earnings inequality including skill-based technological change, trade liberalization, demographic shifts, the decline of unions, and rising immigration.
However, leading economists generally agree that technological change is the largest contributor.
Much of the difference in income inequality probably reflects the increasing importance of computer skills in the workplace; half or more employees today interact with computers on the job. By the turn of the century, that number may rise to 95 percent.
As a result, technical skills–particularly computer skills–are in demand. The demand is so great, we are seeing growing shortages of computer professionals.
What has been the long-term business trend of the past three decades? Transforming the world of business from an industrial economy, paper-dominant process model to a real-time, information-rich digital model.
Given this backdrop, take a moment and count all the critical processes – ordering, fulfillment, payment, billing, sales, marketing, and customer service – in your business. Now answer the following question: What percentage of your business processes is digitized? 10%, 20%, or 30%? We estimate that even the most advanced corporations (GE, Wal-Mart, or IBM) have digitized only 20%-30% of their business processes. The small and midsize business have done even less.
The Game Is Changing! Is Your Organization Paying Attention?
It does not take a genius to discern the pattern: Companies are steadily, systematically digitizing business processes. It took more than three decades of time-sharing, client-servers, and e-business to get to 25% digitization. We expect that it will take another 20 years to arrive at 40%-50% digitization.
Every business is an information business. Given the big picture of digitization, it is important to ask the question: What is beyond first generation e-business? Did the disappearance of so many dot-coms signal the end of e-business? No, the online channel is still alive and well and at the heart of the transformation of twenty-first business; however, it has evolved.
The state of the art in e-business no longer revolves solely around technology. Many components of e-business technology have become a relative commodity. A superior ability to acquire, interpret, and act on digitized information and provide distinctive services is the hallmark of outstanding companies.
Five trends have led to the push for well-designed services.
- 1. Leverage and ROI – Budgets are down, and IT spending at many companies has peaked and is secularly declining. Rather than spend more, companies are looking to create new value by leveraging existing technology investments.
- Retooling the processes – Companies are using technology to reconfigure operational processes and improve flexibility through either better business process management (BPM) or business process outsourcing (BPO).
- Seamless multi-channel services – To satisfy customers on all fronts, companies are moving from uni-channel, single business unit solutions to cross-enterprise, multi-channel solutions.
- Fragmentation to consolidation – Corporations are integrating and consolidating applications more quickly and cheaply than ever before in order to create a more transparent, real-time business environment.
- “Can I help you” service thinking – Companies want to approach business issues both from the inside out (the traditional perspective) and from the outside in (the customer perspective).These trends imply that survival hinges on value capture and continuously streamlining operations, both of which are critical for managers forced to present a solid business case for all expenditures. Services digitization, or systematically creating new services by rewiring and integrating existing business processes, is how managers can accomplish these goals and stay in front of the competition.
Technology, as so many have painfully realized, only constitutes a small part of the overall solution. Implementing the latest technology applications and infrastructure without giving thought as to how they benefit customers, employees, or suppliers is of little use and results in poorly designed services.
The Bottom Line:
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