Modern business requires modern technology. Any business that expects to thrive today must have at least a basic understanding of the various innovations, programs and devices as well as the knowledge of how to apply these technologies. The many tools and powers that technology makes available to the business owner and employees can help the business succeed in its goals after understanding how to use them properly.
Before anything else, work can be done collaborating projects and documents using such computer programs such as Google Docs, Zoho Writer and, to a lesser extent, MS Word, which allows several users to work on a single document while placing changes/descriptions and even modifying the document in real-time.
While the ideal of a "paperless office" is still a few years away, businesses can use the Internet or internal programs to spur real-time work on projects so businesses can quickly finish what is needed to succeed.
Sometimes, businesses need to make conference calls bringing several people together and technology can help here too. Programs such as Skype or Gizmo Project offer Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services that allow individuals and businesses to call places all over the world for prices much cheaper then regular landline services.
Microsoft pointed out that a Forrester study done in 2006 showed that 17 percent of businesses made converting to VoIP a priority, with another 18 percent already using VoIP to some degree. VoIP allows businesses to be in near-constant communication with employees and others at a fraction of a cost.
Sites such as Youtube see millions of hits a day, with online video and audio becoming extremely prevalent on websites. Businesses can capitalize by making their own media. Companies can create in-house advertisements for use on websites, webinars on the use of products that can further communicate between businesses and their consumers, and provide education. These forms of media are also available nearly 24 hours a day, so think of them as day-long commercials for your business.
With the rise of social networks such as Facebook, Myspace, Digg and others, a form of crowd-based media known as social media has emerged. Businesses can take advantage of social media as another aspect of business communication, by performing such tasks as creating profiles on social networks, submitting online media to sites such as Digg, and using websites like Twitter to answer consumer questions. Many businesses have already jumped on the social media bandwagon, with some (Microsoft and Wal-Mart in particular) having experimented with their own social networks.
You can also automate certain tasks. Years ago, sending an email of a document or backing up a computer required extensive time, thus reducing productivity. Backups can be done today with a mere click of a button and automatic emails can be sent on a routine schedule with a minimum of work. A company that works automation to its fullest advantage can concentrate on more important tasks at hand, while reducing cost and increasing productivity in the workplace, as well as optimizing success for the business itself.