When most people think about the subject of “tech in business” their first image is of a computer. It’s understandable. Over the past 30 years, the PC and the smart phone have twice revolutionized practically everything businesspeople do on a daily basis. But the impact of computers on business is not limited to spreadsheets and e-mail.
One of the most important goals of any business is to analyze their operations, practices, R&D and especially manufacturing to determine if there is any way they can reduce their costs and maintain or improve the quality level of their product at the same time. Computers have always been a strong tool for record-keeping. Once they contain the right data, they can also be used to analyze that data for patterns that might not be obvious to someone only casually familiar with the information.
Because they are so good at repetitive tasks, computers are often used to test and re-test a set of metrics to determine if the company or a certain process has the right answer. One of the most common examples of this kind of analysis is found in the aerospace industry, where flight data is crucial to making sure an airframe is capable of handling weather conditions, temperature changes and sudden variances in wind direction. Once this information is gathered, it can not only be analyzed but also used to model different versions of the original test so the process can be improved over time.
Figuring out what has already happened is one kind of information category businesses can use to improve their approach. Figuring out what’s going to happen based on the conclusions a business can draw from what has already taken place can often be even more valuable. The financial sector has numerous powerful tools which can tell an investor what will happen with certain securities far into the future based on historical performance. This kind of information makes it possible for investors and brokerages to compare portfolios and improve returns.
As tempting as it can be to assume e-mail and spreadsheets are all the modern company needs to succeed, the truth is computers are capable of many things that humans don’t do as well. Record-keeping and testing are important. Projecting future success can be even more vital. Combining all three into a process is what makes tech a powerful business tool. The result is when humans and computers work together, the sum is often greater than the parts.