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How technology is transforming the way we do business

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Just a lifetime ago, banks closed on weekends, VCRs were technological pinnacles, and public phones were commonplace. Now, 70% of South Africans use the internet, banking can be done from your bedroom, and starting a business only requires a dream and some data.

From small startups to global enterprises, digitization has completely disrupted the way we do business, connecting companies with audiences they could have never imagined and propelling us into a future that was once the stuff of fiction.

A notable outcome of this transformative change is how it has lowered barriers to entry for many businesses and made information much more accessible. Connectivity has become the great equalizer, enabling small businesses to compete on a more level playing field – a positive development for our economy.

Moving from analog to digital:

During the analog age, communication moved at the speed of a postman, or if you were lucky, a fax machine. Meetings with international partners were cumbersome and often required high travel budgets. Most importantly, the banking industry was dictated by teller work schedules.

The digital era has changed all of that. A recent study investigating trends disrupting business travel revealed that nearly 33% of respondents said their companies had changed their business travel policies by cutting back on the number of business trips (60%) or by sending fewer employees on trips (56%). While the cost of travel is one reason for this, another is that nowadays, it does not make much sense to spend big money on flights and accommodation when all you need is a fiber connection.

The digitization of the banking industry also means that businesses can manage their accounts anywhere and at any time. Going digital has made organizational communication so simple that some countries have enacted laws around when employees can and cannot be contacted. These changes have culminated in more efficient organizations.

With the shift from analog to digital, organizations are now adopting new technical systems and machines that streamline business operations. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly changing how people do business. While concerns have been raised, some of these AI tools now boast more than 100 million active users every week. Technology like this helps businesses improve their internal processes, increase efficiency, and foster flexibility.

In South Africa, the transition from analog to digital has pushed us to look for a better work/life balance, and possibly even work/life integration. A recent study found that 44% of South African employees wanted more flexible working arrangements.

The benefits of going digital:

The Internet has become the lifeblood of modern businesses. A fast, reliable connection links businesses to customers, partners, and markets worldwide, benefiting not only large enterprises but also small businesses. Going digital allows them to showcase their products and services to a broader audience, leveling the playing field with larger competitors. As the world becomes even more connected, going digital will give companies a chance to innovate in ways we have never seen.

As connectivity continues to spread, driven by the power of AI, the future of business threatens to become less about your connections and more about the problems your ideas can solve. If you can get those solutions to anyone, anywhere, anytime, you’ll be successful. With digitization, it’s never been easier to be everywhere all at once.

By: Lianne Williams, Marketing Director at Vuma

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