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How Information Technology Has Changed the Way We Do Business

October 17, 2019

In the age of the internet, we’ve grown accustomed to running a business with the support of information technology (IT). We might not think about it on a day-to-day basis but IT has become a critical element, and in many cases is the foundation, of most modern businesses. Even though we rely on it for everything from customer service to project management, it’s hard for most business owners to provide a clear definition of what IT actually is because it covers so much. Here’s a simple definition: 

 

What is Information Technology (IT)? 

According to Merriam Webster, information technology is “the technology involving the development, maintenance, and use of computer systems, software, and networks for the processing and distribution of data.” To relate that back to your business, you can think of IT as the storing, retrieving, and manipulation of data using a computer system. If you’re an accountant, for example, this may refer to securely storing your clients’ financials, retrieving credit card statements and profit versus loss for a particular time period, and organizing that data into a spreadsheet that reflects the year’s budget to date. 

 

Related post: What Type of IT Support is Best for Your Business? 

 

We’ve always worked with data but before IT it was all done manually with lots of paper and manual calculations. Let’s take a look at what our work life would look like without the assistance of IT: 

 

What your business would look like without Information Technology 

IT wasn’t always a part of our day-to-day yet it’s easy to take for granted just how much simpler IT has made our lives at work. Let’s imagine you own a construction company. You’re managing five major projects at once for five different clients. Without IT, you’re keeping track of bids from sub-contractors, varying timelines, material costs, and client requests all on paper. You also have physical file cabinets full of spreadsheets, sub-contractor and client contact information from past projects. When you need to reach out to subs for bids, you refer to this filing cabinet, rifling through folders to find the names and phone numbers of people you’d like to contact. When you do contact these subs, you keep track of who you’ve called, whether or not they’re available, and their estimated cost for required services in another file. To remind yourself to follow-up with each sub and your clients, you make a note on your wall calendar or physical planner of when you last called and any outstanding questions you may have. 

 

As the project progresses and the budget shifts, you’re constantly recreating spreadsheets, manually updating prices, new requests, unforeseen costs, and changing timelines. You make copies of each spreadsheet, filing one at the office and bringing the other with you to client meetings. Copies are crucial because if you misplace your spreadsheet, you have to reach back out to subs and manufacturers for all the information you lost. When a client calls with a question about their project, you need someone to be at the office to answer the phone and dig into their physical file for the required information. Remote work isn’t an option. Clients often are on hold for long periods of time as you do your best to sort through their file and find the exact information they’re requesting. 

 

Then there’s the task of paying your employees and subs. Checks must all be written manually and sent through the mail. To determine what is owed, you must again dig into the file cabinet and refer to your spreadsheets, double checking the math by hand before writing the check, and then tracking that the invoice has been paid with a stamp or handwritten note. 

 

Before IT, companies weren’t able to take on as many clients or they had to hire more employees to manage the large workload required to organize, store, and effectively use data. If a fire or other natural disaster struck the office, destroying all paper copies of customer data and financials, the entire business could be forced to fold.     

 

IT benefits all types of business

It’s clear that information technology permeates nearly all aspects of today’s business world, greatly simplifying and streamlining the way we work and manage data. Without it, your business would struggle to keep up with the competition and meet customer expectations. Although you’re undoubtedly using some form of IT in your day-to-day workflow, there are often ways to improve your systems and become more efficient through custom technology solutions. From strengthening security to moving your business to the cloud, there are a variety of strategies to promote your unique business goals by leveraging IT services. 

 

Get in touch or learn more about our services to find out how our custom IT solutions could benefit your small business or agency.

 

Related posts: 

 

7 IT Mistakes Your Small Business is Probably Making

Why a CRM System is Crucial to the Success of Your Small Business

How to Convert to a Paperless Office in 5 Steps

 

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About Pagoda Technologies IT services

Based in Santa Cruz, California, Pagoda Technologies provides trusted IT support to businesses and IT departments throughout Silicon Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area and across the globe. To learn how Pagoda Technologies can help your business, email us at support@pagoda-tech.com to schedule a complimentary IT consultation.



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Santa Cruz, CA 95060

831-419-8000

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