What competitive advantage does technology give to business? How does aging hardware affect this advantage?
Technology gives businesses a very competitive edge through the use of computers, systems, networks, and a variety of software and hardware to manage business, handle departments, and even apply support and information through a web presence. However, there are other areas to consider other than simply just hardware and software. Technology is only as useful as a solid business plan. The use of technology should fit the business plan or model to be both efficient and effective. Organization and maintaining policies can also keep and effective and efficient file management through the use of file share or even an intranet. Technology also helps companies visualize information to make it more understandable and easier to analyze. The proper use of technology enables businesses to be more efficient. Our recent research into technology for business innovation found that 56 percent indicate innovative technology is very important, yet only 9 percent are very satisfied with theirs, showing plenty of room for improvement (Smith, 2013). Other uses of technology include using big data to manage and use information, business analytics, business and social collaboration, cloud computing, mobile technology, and social media. Getting back into hardware, it is important that a company considers the future of technology when purchasing new hardware and always consider what is the best choice for the business overall. Aging or outdated hardware can actually hold a company back from gaining a competitive edge through newer hardware and practices used by their competitors. Keeping outdated equipment running properly by servicing it constantly ends up costing companies more than if they had just purchased newer, more advanced equipment and also can cause security holes (Lester, 2010).