The internet has changed the world in more ways than we will ever be able to imagine. For one thing, it reshaped communications and laid the foundations for digital channels that most prefer today. As far as business is concerned, this represents access to better data, a broader market, and a limitless global workforce.
Let us look at each one of them in greater detail.
More Data, Better Information
Regardless of industry or field, one of the best tools all organizations have at their disposal is customer information. The more companies know about potential and existing clients, the better decisions they will make. And the better decisions they make, the higher the revenue for the business.
In the past, collecting consumer data was an arduous process of trial and error, one based on intercept surveys, phone calls, snail-mail, and having people stand in front of a supermarket asking visitors questions. To say the internet has caused a change in these processes is as big an understatement as you could make.
Today, retail businesses of all kinds selling online have access to product experience and content platforms provided by quality vendors. These are systems that enable organizations to gain valuable insight into the quality of their products and benefit from streamlined content syndication. In addition, they can incorporate a digital marketing strategy based on consistency and real-time updates, not to mention prevent content degradation.
As such, they can make the necessary changes to their site and social media accounts, leading to a substantial increase in profit.
To Infinity and Beyond
In part one, we highlighted the importance of quality information as it pertains to corporate strategies. Let us now look at this concept from the dual standpoint of accessibility and competition.
In simple terms, accessibility can be defined as a combination of two things: reach and availability. If you live in the United States and can reach a market of close to 350 million people, that is the number of sales you can make. On the other hand, if you can extend your arm further, for instance, in China and India, this number will balloon up to more than 2.5 billion.
As for availability, once again it is about having a means of entry to where you want to go. If the market is there, but you are unable to penetrate it because of physical, geographical, or other constraints, needless to say, it is useless to you.
A second factor is understanding the competition. Naturally, all companies have trade secrets they use all kinds of mechanisms to protect. Still, the internet has opened the doors for anyone with enough time and diligence to do the relevant research into other organizations. This means that companies can see what others are doing and where their strengths and weaknesses lie. And if they know that, they can focus their advertising and promotional strategies accordingly.
A Global Workforce
Fifty years ago, there was a clear-cut difference between a tertiary education program in the United States or Germany and one in Botswana or Bangladesh. Among other things, students in the former had many more things to work with and acquire hands-on experience in a particular arena. Examples include state-of-the-art laboratories, high-tech computers, and even sporting facilities. Furthermore, to put it bluntly, the teachers were much better.
Fast forward half a century and things are very different. Universities and technical colleges in developing countries are close to par with their developed-nation counterparts. And even if they aren’t, as long as you have a stable internet connection and a computer, you can enroll in all kinds of distance programs at many of the top schools in the world.
From an employment perspective, this represents a global playing field in staff recruitment. No matter where your company is based, you can hire people in any other country and have them work remotely at almost the same quality level but less than half the cost.
It goes without saying that without the internet, this wouldn’t have been possible.
Along with many other things, the internet has changed how we do business in three specific ways. First, companies now have access to a wealth of quality information. This enables them to make the best decisions for their organizations. Second, it has allowed enterprises in all areas to extend their marketing and sales reach. The result is an exponential increase in revenue and corporate growth. Finally, the internet has caused a shift in the global employment paradigm. Simply put, you can employ anyone you need irrespective of location.
As we welcome 5G technologies and hyper-connection speeds into our daily lives, there is virtually no limit to what we will be able to achieve.