Businesses in the “click” era
The web has radically changed the way we consider business. The velocity of information, telecommuting and digital marketing are realities that are here to stay. To mark the Day of the Internet, Alex Konanykhin analyzes the challenges of a scene in constant transformation.
A typical businessman of 30 years ago had a daily routine that is so different from the one his modern-day colleagues have that is worth describing here to take note of the magnitude of the changes that have taken place. This businessman was subscribed to many printed publications related to his field; he had a secretary who wrote his communications and brought them to the post office; he read the curriculums of potential employees while scheduling personal interviews with them; and finally, he carried out his financial transactions in a bureaucratic rhythm and on a local scale.
These activities (and many others) have been completely reconfigured since the arrival of Internet. The velocity with which information circulates not only rendered many procedures obsolete, it also accelerated the entire process, including the key deciding moments.
Five essential changes
The change that is most evident is the speed with which information circulates. For businessmen and women, this means that the majority of commercial relations take place in a virtual environment. The goal here is to be efficient. Processing large amounts of information on a daily basis means much more than reading dozens of emails; it means taking a number of small decisions to make business run smoothly and strengthen useful connections.
The Internet has also profoundly impacted the way in which we market products and services of all types. The web is not merely a large virtual shop window. According to a study done by the Pew Research Center, the web is the first source of information that consumers turn to when it comes to making decisions about their purchases. Consequently, it has become unavoidable to accurately manage brand image in the digital world. In turn, the growing influence of social networks and the experiences of viral marketing oblige us to redesign commercial strategies with eye towards more and more informed users.
Moreover, the velocity with which information circulates has been growing in conjunction with the agility with which virtual transactions are completed. Nowadays, not only is it possible to generate and sustain a commercial activity exclusively on the Internet, but it is actually often more profitable and convenient. The mission to create an online business through a simple website is no longer the impossible goal it once seemed to be at the end of the 90s.
A fourth aspect of the revolutionary impact of the web on the business world has to do with the huge availability of information. The data necessary to make appropriate business decisions are not on the pages of specialized publications, as they once were two or three decades ago. Today, subscriptions to highly segmented digital media allow us to count on relevant information in real time and configured according to specific interests in a determined area of business, even on the development of competitors.
Finally, it would be impossible to not take into consideration the fundamental changes that Internet has brought to the workplace. Telecommuting is not only growing quantitatively all over the planet, it is also growing in quality and efficiency every day thanks to software tools adapted to its needs. This creates a double advantage: on the one side, more and more jobs can be done virtually, and on the other side, those who contract freelance professionals benefit from management tools to optimize their results, avoiding overbilling and guaranteeing high-quality, coordinated projects.
Innovation and Adaptation
In this outlook that is dominated by key words such as “velocity”, “information” and “change”, doing business requires a high capacity for adaptation and a good dose of innovation. The opportunities which come from technology are irreplaceable resources when it comes to conquering markets and refining strategies; therefore, the goal for business leaders is to take advantage of them to generate dynamic businesses that are no longer held back by their structure and can adapt to the constant changes.
Thus, the Day of the Internet is the perfect occasion to celebrate the many advantages that technology brings to us, as well as to rethink the economy of the 21st century under the light of its two greatest assets: knowledge and the capacity to manage efficiently and with ease.