Gone are the days when you needed to report to a physical office and clock in to identify as an employee of a company.
The internet has opened up the digital space so much that it has become normal for companies:
– To operate without a dedicated office space
– To have employees spread all across the globe
– To conduct 100% virtual operations with no face time between colleagues
What makes this modern-day business model so successful is the fact that owners have embraced technology in all aspects. They use a range of tools and apps to interact with their employees and set agendas for the day, week, month or whatever other timelines they have.
All this has been made possible by advances in communication technology. This technology is not limited to business communication alone. Even interpersonal communication channels are no longer what they used to be in the past.
It’s a revolution that has changed the way the world communicates and the changes, seen so far, will only grow bigger.
Traditional businesses have a lot to gain by adopting modern technology. It is, after all, what their customers use. So, to stay relevant in this ever-changing business space, they must adapt to the systems that everyone else is using.
The transition from analog to digital systems
We’ve come a long way from the days of the telegraph to the phone-supported video chats we have today. When businesses relied on direct mail delivery to get their message to the masses, they had to adopt a wait-and-see approach.
Wait for the mail to be delivered, see who would respond to their sales messages, and then try and get them to buy their product.
By comparison with what’s available today, it does seem like a lot of hard work, and a lot of guesswork, too.
Now, businesses deliver their marketing messages to millions within an instant. Information about businesses, products, and services is so widely available that potential customers have a hard time choosing among providers.
Modern technology has made this transition possible and it continues to impact how we conduct business, hold transactions, and communicate with one another.
The impact starts right from within the family setting, to communication between friends, in communities of shared interests, and then in business settings.
It does not matter whether one is communicating with a two-year-old, a teenager, a middle-aged lady, an older male or a potential client. All these people use the same form of technology to communicate, which is why we have mentioned that any business that hopes to survive in this day and age has to adopt to the latest technologies to keep up with the rest of the world.
What are the preferred ways of communicating today?
Chatting on mobile platforms. People still heavily use their mobile phones, but in a different way than before. Instead of sending text messages and making phone calls, people largely prefer to chat on platforms like WhatsApp.
Phone calls. Voice calls are still popular and may be necessary, but they’ve been pushed to a last-resort operation and are also largely used for formal communication. Between friends and family, people prefer to use video calls. Again, these are supported on mobile platforms.
Social media. This is where the heart of communication lies in the society today. People spend lots of time on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and are drawn to sub-groups within these networks, based on shared interests.
Businesses that want to get their message across have to target these platforms and leverage the ‘share’feature for their message to have a wider reach.
Video has become the preferred way of communicating within social sites.
There are more live videos and vlogs being recorded on a daily basis, and projections show more growth in this area.
Businesses that seek to capture the attention of potential customers shave to use the same platforms to deliver their message.
In addition, video conferencing, webinars, and podcasts are replacing traditional boardroom meetings and brainstorming sessions. Business colleagues hold such meetings on these web-based platforms today.
Why technology is important as a communication tool
Technology guarantees a wider reach
Compared to traditional communication methods, the various technologies in use today have increased reach by thousands of times.
Technology enables instant feedback
It does not matter what corner of the world you’re posting your message from, you can be sure you’ll get a lot of feedback on it within minutes.
Technology enables instant communication
With the help of the internet, the message you put out to the world will be received as soon as you post.
Technology eliminates most communication barriers
With the exception of maybe language and cultural barriers, any communication posted on the internet reaches its audience as intended.
Automatic translation tools convert the message to different languages, so that even language is not so much of a barrier anymore, except where the meaning of some phrases is lost in translation.
What does the future for communication technology?
It would seem that we’ve seen it all, but with IT engineers and technologists beginning to introduce the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence, the possibilities of what technology will do to human communication are limitless.
Bots will likely be very active in our lives, and it will be possible to program AI bots to attend meetings on your behalf, make calls on your behalf, do your shopping, and more.
Presently, Google has an AI bot that operates as your assistant and will book services at local businesses for you. It makes the call, holds an intelligent conversation with the person on the other end, and is polished enough to understand the nuances of the exchange. If the time slot the bot provides is already booked, the bot will understand it needs to choose a different time and will go ahead and do just that.
You can expect to see more of these.
Finally, technology will continue to influence the way we communicate and will avail even more tools, for both personal and business, communication.