By Gil Artmoore
It’s no secret that, for the last several decades, technology has proven itself to be a revolutionary force in the business world. The ability of computers to process data at blinding speeds makes it possible for companies to do more work, more efficiently, and with less potential for error than ever before.
Not surprisingly, the specific aspects of technology that have driven that revolution have changed over the years.

A Quick Glance at Computers in Business

In years gone by, all the focus was on the computer itself. The power of the hardware, the speed at which it was able to process calculations, and the seemingly breakneck pace of advancements allowed companies across countless industries to provide their customers and employees with services that just weren’t possible before.
In the last 15 years, however, the hardware used for networking, storage, and data throughput started to flatten out in terms of the actual ROI they offered to businesses.
We now live in a world where cloud vendors like Amazon AWS, Google, Microsoft Azure, and others can provide a global enterprise’s worth of computing power to a startup customer within minutes.

How Cloud Computing Helps Businesses

Unlike the old days where companies would have to budget for, purchase, configure, install, and maintain servers at a high cost, the birth of cloud computing allows companies to scale instantly, as needed, at a minimal cost compared to what used to be necessary. Because of this, we’ve hit a sort of plateau in terms of the hardware resources any company could ever actually need.
The action has shifted to software applications as the new driver of tech-related innovation taking a business to the next level. What now makes one system (or cloud platform) better than another isn’t the RAM, CPUs, storage, or networking capacity (though those are all critical elements), but rather the software running on it.

Why Software is Helping Businesses Break New Ground

With hardware resources becoming such a cheaply available commodity, businesses that focus on developing apps have an opportunity like never before to break new and exciting ground in their industries.
There are many ways this can be accomplished: automating business processes, making data management more efficient, increasing collaboration and innovation, and reaching new customers are just a handful of the possibilities.
And make no mistake, businesses of all shapes and sizes are more than prepared to drop some serious money on the software they expect to streamline their process, make their workforce more productive, and increase their bottom line.
In fact, Gartner estimates that global spending on business software will reach as much as $431 billion this year, an absolutely mind-blowing figure that demonstrates the value business software indeed provides.

Software and Mobile Helps Businesses Stay Relevant

The rise of mobile devices like phones and tablets has also created a need for new and innovative software applications. Why? Businesses are always trying to streamline monotonous and time-consuming hands-on tasks so employees’ time is better spent. Software applications and mobile solutions offer these systematic approaches to just that.
For example, Bright Bean is a Denver based software company that specializes in solving problems for companies. Intrepid is a mobile app that the company developed for a medical company that needed on job support in a hospital setting. The app logs users credentials and then users can access the information for the on-site staff.
Billtrust is another innovative developer who has created software to handle payment cycle functions. It manages payments, automates invoicing, handles accounts receivable, and other payment-related needs. On the other hand, FareHarbor developed a platform for online booking of tourism and related travel activities. Four Winds Interactive is another great developer who has made significant inroads in developing digital signage applications for businesses like hotels, restaurants, airports, sports arenas, and more.
It’s impossible not to be impressed by the effect these companies and their apps have had on the business world and makes you wonder what new innovations could be just around the corner.

Bottom line: we’re living in a digital world, and it’s just not possible to allow your business to stay complacent with new technology and expect to be able to survive and thrive. The various productivity, data management, and communication tools play a critical role in the potential of their businesses, and it will do the same for yours.
Gil Artmoore spent the past decade working various roles in IT departments for many businesses, small and large. Recently, he started writing out the things he’s learned, experienced and witnessed in the small business/tech world during my career in hopes of sharing his insights with the broader business world.