Technology is a broad term that encompasses a number of processes. It entails a practical application of scientific knowledge to industry or commerce with the objective of solving practical problems (Thomas 2003, p.65). It is an agreed fact that evolution in technology has greatly transformed the way organizations and businesses are run. Most tasks that were considered tedious some years ago can now be executed with a click of the button. Companies are now able to process and evaluate huge amount information without putting much effort. On the other hand Dewan (2006) argues that that installing new technology in an organization can either break or make business. Therefore this means that the success of a given technology in a given organization will greatly depend on how properly it is incorporated into the organizational strategies (Knight, 2006, p.405-415, 222). Studies suggest that nowadays technology is an indispensable element that that all businesses should embrace. Experts think that new technology gives an organization a unique way of developing a distinct advantage in markets that are characterized by high competition. Despite being associated with many benefits, technology is associated with a dark side which can threaten the survival of businesses and can negatively affect the performance of an organization. This paper tries to establish both the positive and dark side of new technology.Positive effects of new technology
New technology has played a big role in changing our lives and the way we conduct business. New technology has played an indispensable role in transforming businesses and organizations. For instance new innovations and inventions have made it possible for business organizations to realize high level of customer satisfaction and profits (Brynjolfsson and Yang, 2002). According to Studies by Hitt (2005), technology only improves organization performance in terms of productivity when it is properly incorporated into the organization. Studies by Hitt further suggest that an organization does not achieve improved productivity merely because of new technology. According to Jolfsson (2006) the he level of improved performance all depends on the degree of success an organization achieves in integrating the new technology to its organizational strategies. Because of ever increasing competition and economic crises coming as a result of globalization of markets, resources are increasingly becoming scarce and rationalization of the available resources is inevitable (Jolfsson, 2006). Thus improved productivity has become a major concern to both private and public sector. New technology has been employed as an indispensable tool by most organizations to address this concern (Jolfsson, 2006). For instance, it is because of this reason why most organizations are investing huge amount of money in implementing new information systems. This means that new technology has played a role in transforming organizations in terms of improving productivity but this greatly depend on how this new technologies are integrated into an organization's strategic plans (Broadbent, 2007).New technology has played a big role in transforming organizations by lessening the amount of resources required to efficiently run an organization. New and improved technology ensures that fewer resources are wasted and minimal use of inefficient and bulky machinery. This has helped most organizations to remain a float in an environment that is characterized by stiff completion and scarce resources (Bharadwaj, 2009).
Improved communication is an element of new technology. This has transformed the way most organizations are run. For instance communication can effectively occur through mobile phones by text messaging, video and voice calls. The use of e-mails has also enabled organizations to communicate more using less because it is transmitted electronically. This has replaced the expensive conventional way of having to travel to far places to attend meetings. Effective and easy modes of communication that are associated with new technology ensure that businesses get feedback from their customers about their services and goods thus giving them quicker response time handling the customers' concerns. This has helped most organization to effectively satisfy their customers' needs and to maintain more loyal customers (Bharadwaj, 2004).New technology has made it possible for organization cut costs tremendously without affecting their profitability. This is because it allows an organization to use fewer resources and to greatly cut the production cost. New technology has also improved the delivery of goods and services (Knight, 2006, p.405-415).Rapid evolution in technology has transformed the world into a global village and the way organizations and individuals are conducting business. For instance, due to availability high internet speeds, most companies and individuals have embraced online businesses. They have opened online shops where all transactions are completed online. High internet speeds have also made it possible for organizations to hold online seminars also known as webinars. This has made it possible for shareholders and business members to conduct and participate in meetings without having to leave their homes. This has made business life less expensive, easier and in ensuring that less time is wasted in executing business activities (Barney, 2006).
Evolution in technology has also resulted to an increase in the level competition among organizations. New technology moves fast and is always constantly evolving resulting to creation of new and better systems and devices. Businesses are always integrating these new technologies into their present and future strategies and at the same ensuring that their competitors do not overtake them in terms of technology. This in the end results to increased organizational performance that benefits everybody. Experts also think that through the use of new technology, organizations are now able to streamline most of their operations through automation thus resulting to increased performance because tasks now can be completed more quickly and efficiently (Alpar and Kim, 2008).The availability of new and better technologies has increased the speed at which various business activities are completed. For instance many processes that conventionally required checkbooks, ledgers and journal notations have transformed and now use computer systems which are far less tedious and fast. This means that updating of inventory information can be done much now be done much faster. This has resulted to increased organizational performance because it enables businesses to react immediately to any changes (Bharadwaj, 2004).Negative effects of new technology
Although new technology has been celebrated in positively transforming organizations, it has not always been beneficial for businesses. The adoption of new technology by an organization can result in destruction of a few jobs. For instance, nowadays companies prefer using computers instead of human work because they think that computers are more productive that people (Alpar and Kim, 2008).New technology has driven many organizations out of businesses by making them obsolete. For instance because of the availability of the internet and other free news sources, many conventional media outlets such as newspapers and magazines have found it difficult to keep their audience. It has become very difficult for them to stay ahead of online news sources that have the exclusive advantage of bringing news to the masses in real time. This has forced most small news paper companies to shut their businesses for good because they are not generating enough revenue therefore making many people to lose their jobs. Studies have suggested that Organizations that are not to keep up with emerging new technologies will find themselves fighting for their survival because organizations that are better placed in embracing new technology will have the upper hand and gain a better perspective of the future (Bharadwaj, 2009). Although new technology can be useful, it has also created a lot of confusion in most organization. For instance new technologies with complex systems are being invented at a very high rate resulting to confusion. This means that if a company wants to adopt new technology, it will be compelled not only to restrain its employees but also its customers. Employees will also have to go through training on the use of new technology. This often creates confusion and can negatively affect the performance of an organization (Jolfsson, 2006).Studies suggest that as more technologies come into place also the possibility of crimes increases. For instance a tech-savvy employee can misuse or steal funds and make it difficult for the company to trace him. Businesses which complete their transactions online have been forced to spend more in trying ensuring security of these transactions. This is because with the current technology hackers can easily access personal and financial data of customers which they can then use to carry out frauds thus negatively affecting the image of the company and even threatening its survival (Hitt, 2005).The fact that technology is easily available to everyone can also create problems to businesses. Competitors of all sizes can learn and use new technology easily thus making it difficult for businesses to keep up with technological transformations. This also greatly increases the number of competitors in a given market because small businesses can also employ technology to offer value to a wide range of consumers. This leads to unhealthy competition which can negatively affect the performance of an organization (Barua and Kriebel, 2005).New technologies have played a very significant role in improving performance of organizations. Despite this, there are still some negative impacts that are associated with new technologies. But on the whole, the positive effects of new technology outweigh the negative effects. Therefore it clearly comes out that the impact of technology to an organization is what it chooses to make out of it. Therefore it is required that before any company or organization invests in new technology, it should prudently look for ways in which it will make the technology to effectively work for the company so as to realize a distinct advantage over its competitors and to make the investment worthwhile.