Chapter 9: Technology and Business Section 9.1 The History of Technology Technology Influences Business Technology refers to the tools and machines that people have invented to make life easier. The most common technology staple in the business world today is the computer. Computers have made business easier because their programs help to store, edit, organize, plan and control business operations. The Impact of Telephones: prior to the telephone people could only communicate faceto-face or in writing. Letters could take several days to reach the reader. Long distances hindered face-to-face meetings. The invention of the telephone not only created a whole new industry but it improved the way all business was conducted. Now we have cell phones, which combine the technology of the telephone with the computer. Fax machines also use telephone technology to transmit documents and are a staple piece of equipment in most businesses. Modern Technology: electronic devices have revolutionized business and society. Many countries such as Japan and Taiwan base their economies on manufacturing electronics. The demand is constant for smaller, faster, cheaper and more powerful electronics. Computers were first used only by the military. Now almost all businesses use the computer and most people have them in their homes, which now makes working from home a viable option. Technology and the E-Workforce: consists of people who work with computers while doing business. More than 77 million workers use computers on a daily basis. E-Commerce: business conducted via the Internet and can reach customers any where in the world. Employment: new markets have opened for products such as printers, fax machines, video games, and cell phones. Innovation means more jobs and more people learning new skills. Technology allows people to work easier and faster. Digital Workflow: links all the steps in a process digitally. Information is at your finger tips in an instant. Also less paper is involved. Technology Centers: California’s Silicon Valley; New York’s Silicon Alley; Oregon’s Silicon Forest; and Austin Texas’ Silicon Hill. New Jobs: The Internet has created a demand for software writers, online writers, and Web page designers. It is also easier to employers to locate employees and vice versa via sites such as Monster.com. Section 9.2 E-Commerce The Importance of Virtual Business; many entrepreneurs have been able to start and operate new businesses right from their homes. Technology transports your mind to new places in the world. What Consumers Buy Online: Travel 57%, Computer Hardware and Software 21%, Clothing and Accessories 10%, Office Supplies 7%, and Other 5%. (Figure 9.1 p.148) The Basics of E-Commerce: Everyone hooked up to the Internet is a potential customer. E-tail and E-tickets are two examples of e-commerce. E-Tail: electronic retail Stores that sell their products in stores, by mail, and online are called multi-channel retailers. Their actual stores and warehouses are referred to as brick-and-mortar, which refers to the actual buildings. When they do business via the Internet that is referred to as clicksand-mortar operations. E-commerce makes it easier for mail order businesses such as Lands End to send catalogs to consumers. This save a lot of paper and money spent on postage. How does e-tail benefit the consumer? Convenience: you can shop from home 24/7/365 and your purchases can be delivered right to your door. Choices: it is easier to comparison shop and get samples Along with its advantages there are also several disadvantages to e-tail Buying Power: it is easy to overspend or order things by mistake Additional Charges: shipping charges and sometimes taxes. Might be additional charges for returns and exchanges Immediacy: you have to wait for the product to be delivered Relying on Observation: can’t try on clothes or sit on a sofa or bed to make your choice. You must rely on pictures. E-Tickets: approximately 70% of travelers in the U.S. shop for airline tickets online. Etickets are also available for concerts, museums, sporting events, movies and amusement parks. Some people find this method of purchasing tickets easier and cheaper than going to an actual store. It is also very easy to comparison shop for these products and services. This all works great unless the business loses your e-ticket in its computer system.