Throughout human history, technology has provided us with the mechanisms to do business better, faster, and more efficient ways. From the early scratch plows of the late Neolithic and early Chalcolithic ages more than 5,000 years ago to the product information management tools used today to monitor the quality of online product content, technology is the driving force behind corporate development. Without it, it would have been impossible for enterprises in all industries to thrive and national economies to grow exponentially.
In the past few decades, the level of innovation pertaining to business processes has been dramatic, to say the least. Few could have predicted only ten years ago that all decision-making would soon be based on digital output, big data, 5G internet connection speeds, and artificial intelligence.
As we look back to the last 100 years of our history, let us explore in no particular order a handful of the most critical milestones in business technology.
The Personal Computer
Most people associate the personal computer or PC with William Henry Gates III. And while there is no denying that good old Bill changed the world with the creation of Microsoft Corporation and the introduction of the Windows operating system, there is another name history has unfortunately chosen to forget. And that name is John Blankenbaker.
Born in 1929, he was responsible for the design, conception, and mass production of the Kenbak-1, the first PC in 1970. Even if only 50 units were sold and this strange-looking contraption did not stand the test of time, its place as the genesis of the technological revolution that would soon follow cannot be contested.
The late, great Steve Jobs will always be remembered as the ultimate innovator, the man responsible for successfully combining a computer and a telephone. With the first iPhone release in 2007, he showed the world what was possible and began a new era of communication at both an institutional and a personal level.
From a business perspective, you will be hard-pressed to find an employee in any organization who does not have a smartphone. Regardless of the field of work, this device is an irreplaceable, fundamental component of commercial transactions, the building of networks, and the sharing of information. Whether you have the aforementioned iPhone, a Samsung Galaxy, a Huawei Mate 30 Pro, or anything else, like the American Express ad of 1975 said, you better not leave home without it.
Video Conferencing and Presentation Software
In the times of the COVID-19 global pandemic, can you imagine a life without video conferencing and presentation platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, MS Teams, or Skype for Business? In all honesty, do you believe it would have been possible for enterprises to continue doing business in the last year and a half without at least one of them?
By simply analyzing these and other pertinent questions, we can fully grasp their true value and importance. For companies, these programs have been a godsend. They’ve been a realistic, reliable, and safe solution to deal with government-imposed quarantines and the need for isolation. For employees, it’s about being able to work and maintaining their livelihood for themselves and their families.
Automation in Manufacturing
As obvious as it may sound, a machine doesn’t feel any pain, physical or otherwise. If a robot loses one of its arms, it can be replaced in the vast majority of cases. And if it can’t, a new robot can take its place. No matter how long an unmanned submarine stays underwater, it will not lose its breath nor die. On the other hand, a human missing one of his arms or dead during a deep-sea exploration mission is a tragedy.
But automation in manufacturing not only entails making dangerous jobs safer for people. It is also about maximizing efficiency, improving quality, and saving enormous amounts of money in labor costs. It represents corporations turning their vision into reality and customers having access to a wide variety of ingenious, state-of-the-art solutions to their most pressing needs.
We have taken a closer look at four key milestones in business technology. The first is the birth of the PC, followed by the smartphone. Coming in third is video conferencing and presentation software. Finally, it is the immeasurable aid provided by artificial intelligence and automation in manufacturing processes.
Being able to work is the underlying component of human life. If you can get up in the morning, have breakfast, head for the office, and spend a few hours being productive, this will give you the means to survive and flourish. If everybody else can do the same, society will develop, the result being a benefit for all.