Gone are the days when technology was viewed strictly as an enabler for making things easier. Gradually, the use of technology has enveloped us – we now live in an age where technology has become our master. The decisions we make and the actions we take are all governed by millions of lines of code.
Technology has emerged as one of the critical differentiators between winners and also-rans.
Recent developments in the electronic devices industry have shown that products are becoming smaller, flexible and are capable of supporting different functions. Mobile phones for example are capable of acting as a GPS device, a communication device, data storage device and come with a plethora of other features. Technology providers are focusing their efforts solely on the mobile platform – we need access to information wherever we go, and we need it now! Companies are choosing between providers based on their ability to deliver the same performance across a computer, a mobile phone or a tablet.
Business needs for security, real-time visibility, and up-to-date information don’t stop at the office door. These needs extend throughout supply chain operations, so reliable information systems must extend just as far. Developments in mobile computing, wireless communication, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), bar code and other data collection and communications technologies are helping businesses extend visibility and control over more areas of their operations. However RFID, Bar Coding and other such tools are now a standard part of most companies’ inventory management tool set. Market leaders have since moved on to Voice enabled picking systems, Portable printers, Digital Imaging devices etc.
Modern tools have also become enablers for understanding performance and in forecasting future needs. In recent years, companies have focused more on the storage of data collected than the process of data collection itself. The process of analyzing data has become exponentially easier thanks to BI tools that delve through thousands of terabytes of seemingly unconnected data, and unearth amazing insights. As a result, cloud-based solutions have grown exponentially. Companies store their entire data onto clouds in their native format – cloud-based solutions interact with this data inside your cloud and deliver solutions onto your laptop or mobile device. These solutions are easily scalable and deliver amazing performance even at ostensibly high capacity. Cloud-based solutions offer so much win-win that it is hard to see beyond them in the near-term. We predict that the immediate future is cloudy with a heavy chance of showers.
The key lies in leveraging this technology to help your business grow further. Of course, it is easier said than done.