Over the past two decades technology has advanced rapidly, bringing substantial change in how people communicate in business. While traditional methods of communications such as formal letters and business meetings still take place, even these types of communications have changes dramatically. With the rise of personal computers and the internet in the early 1990’s, nearly every form of communication in business today would be largely unrecognizable to businesspersons from previous decades. The development of these business communication methods are one of the biggest reasons for movement toward an increasingly global economy today.
In today’s business environment, typed letters are seldom used. In the times when they are used, they are used as more of a formality than as an everyday form of communication. From personal business experience, they are mainly used to personalize a relationship with clients and most often times are reinforced with electronic communications. Even the way letters are written in today’s business environment is drastically different from years past. Electronic methods for producing and personalizing the letters have been greatly enhanced by the software available today. As for non-formal written communications such as memos, from personal experience they are almost never received in hardcopy. They are all disseminated via e-mail.
E-mail is the communications forum that has most affected business communications. Whether formal or informal, it provides for immediate transmittal and reply. A common issue with e-mail communications is that they may become too burdensome, however. The ease of mass dissemination and the prevalence of its use can often lead to large volume of relatively unimportant e-mails. There have been methods developed to lessen this burden, however, including the ability to identify relatively important e-mails such as flagging them.
While e-mail has provided a much more fluent and easier method of communication among co-workers and clients, there have been advances that allow businesspersons to accomplish many tasks with less communication with people than was necessary in the past. In today’s business environment, almost all successful companies have interactive websites for customers to research information or to directly communicate with customer support. Data research is constantly required for customer inquiries or for data mining in almost every position within a company. The development of networked databases and cloud computing has allowed employees to conduct almost all necessary research without even speaking to a customer or another employee.
The advancement of cloud computing in recent years allows businesses to store and access data remotely, rather than maintaining their own infrastructure. It allows you to access data using any device with a network connection as well as to work on documents with other businesspeople in multiple locations. Cloud computing also allows unlimited storage space and through subscription to the software, allowing businesses to only use what they need.
Telecommunications has also been developed into something drastically different than from just a few years ago. While almost all conferences and meetings took place in person not too long ago. More frequent meetings that include all personnel are now increasingly possible with advances in teleconferencing and on-line meetings. In my current position, meetings are held several times a week from offices all around the country on-line. Training is also being conducted in this manner with live training sessions on-line where you can interact with the instructor through instant messaging and telephone. Because of these methods, business can be conducted from almost anywhere a networked computer is available.
Another trend that is being allowed by business communication is that employees are increasingly working from remote locations. Devices such as wikis, PDAs, and much more powerful networks and transportable computers have made many of these advances in business communication much easier. In a previous position, our director often worked from remote locations while away on either vacation or business trips almost seamlessly. In my current position, I frequently interact with employees who work from home.
The continually advancing technology of recent years has brought about dramatic changes in business communication. In the years to come, it will allow companies to become increasingly paperless will likely provide even greater changes to the way that businesses communicate. Rapidly advances in mobile devices and the software available for them will make what today is viewed as extraordinary the norm.
In all, the developments of the last few years have greatly enhanced business communication, improving productivity and generally lowering costs while enabling a company to increase revenues. Effective communications play a critical role in all relationships within a business from management to employee to client. slide 1 of 10 The efficiency and overall profitability of businesses who have quickly adapted to the new communication methods has greatly improved, leaving all other companies no choice but to try and keep up. Communication is probably the most critical factor in the business world of today and companies who can more quickly to develop more effective communication will almost certainly have a substantial advantage on their competition.