In technology, it’s not about the last 10 years. It’s about the last 3 years. In the past 3 years, the rate of change in regards to technology has increased drastically. Businesses processes have changed and made organizations more efficient. At the same time, technology has opened lines of communication, allowing businesses to communicate and collaborate beyond borders with ease. Collaboration is the future of business competitiveness as companies become more innovative, connect to people better, and overall act faster in the “flattened” marketplace of today’s global, internet economy.

1. Technology has made business faster
It is undeniable that technology has made business move much faster than before. Personal computers and the Internet have revolutionized the way we work. E-mail interactions have replaced memos, phone calls, and faxes. Smartphones can connect you with your entire business network while you are out of the office, allowing you to respond quickly. Workflows and automated tasking systems have cut down on organizational bureaucracy, streamlining operations. Speed, matched with technology, adds flexibility and responsiveness to interactions.

2. Technology has allowed for far-reaching collaboration
The Internet has allowed geographically dispersed teams to virtually meet from anywhere in the world. Conference calling, video conferencing, e-mail, cloud computing, Skype, and instant messaging have flattened the world. Additionally, with social networking sites like LinkedIn, businesses can connect to an even larger business network. The result is greater productivity and a wider blend of talents, abilities, and viewpoints.

3. Technology has flattened the marketplace
In the same way that technology has allowed for collaboration beyond geographical borders, technology has also reduced the barriers to entering markets around the world. This allows buyers and sellers from around the world to connect and do business. Skype, video conferencing, and online translation services help people to communicate and close deals.

4. Technology in business encourages innovation
Don’t like the way something works? Do you notice that customers have a certain need that is not being met? Do something about it. An example is Zillow, a website created by two former Microsoft employees that helps people get through the maze of real estate transactions. When they launched the site, real estate agents were initially against the idea, but now they collaborate with buyers through the website. The two noticed a need for transparency in the market. With the site, they have created a way for buyers and sellers to share information on houses for sale.

As technology advances, the prices are dropping and it becomes more user-friendly. Many people have the tools to design new and innovative software to solve common problems and improve efficiency. Additionally, technology is becoming more accessible to users all around the world, including users in developing countries. The next big thing could be in development at this moment in Rwanda.

5. Technology has changed how we connect and sell to clients
Perhaps the most important change, technology has allowed businesses to connect and sell to clients in new ways, including mass e-mails, blogs, and recently, Twitter. These tools allow businesses to stay relevant in a customer’s mind, and they help prospective customers to find new companies to do business with.

When a prospect learns of your business, the first thing they will do is Google your name. Next, they click on the link to your website to learn about you. The prospect comes to you informed about what you do and who you are. Do you have a plan to capture the business?