High-tech know-how can result in management success. Managers must search for information, evaluate content, and present information. In order to promote understanding, managers need to develop channels of communication. The last few years have seen a shift in consumer behavior, which has driven companies to embrace Web sites, social media, and online videos. (Employees are consumers, too. In fact, we are all consumers.)
Computers support the work of managers. At work, managers are active users of the Internet and email, word processing, spreadsheets and databases, and calendar and scheduling. Comprehensive company Web sites should differentiate the company from the competition, because consumers have access to products and services 24/7 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). The Web is the starting place for many consumers as they shop for products and services. They search for information on the Web, and many begin their search with their mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablet PCs.
Managers can take advantage of technology trends to benefit their companies, as well as their careers. Proper use of communications technology gives managers more control over how the company is perceived by others. Trends in technology include cloud computing, mobile apps, online videos, more data, and social media.
Cloud Computing - In cloud computing, data is stored off-site instead of in on-site computer hard drives. Paperwork can be automated. Managers can create virtual folders that give employees access to documents and information. These folders can be accessed from any computer connected to the Internet.
Mobile Apps - Software applications on smart phones (apps) give employees real-time access to information.
Online Videos - Videos can be used to share information with employees, as well as to train employees. Messages can be conveyed through email, video, or Web chats. Videos are already mobile compatible; they are fun, they add a face to a company's product, and are inexpensive to produce. Plus, viewers can share videos with their friends.
More Data -As more documents are digitized, online data becomes more complete, and managers and employees have access to more information. This should result in better decision making.
Social Media - Social media connects managers with employees. They can create blogs, wikis, Twitter handles, and Facebook pages as ways to pass along information, start conversations, and engage users. Social media should be used as a tool for honest communication. If customers are unhappy, managers can speak directly to customers about how the situation can be corrected. Plus, social media can be shared.
Managers can become influential if they write, take speaking engagements, talk to their audiences, and connect. If not, they become irrelevant. Which technology trends do you think will be the most important to managers and employees? Explain your choice(s).