The world of business has changed dramatically in the last 30 years. With the mass availability of computer technology, office work has become more productive and streamlined. In the early years of computers in a business context, workers would sit at low-resolution screens typing in information and producing rudimentary reports and statistics that could help to drive business decision-making. Today, the rapid pace of technological innovation has led to cloud computing solutions, business intelligence platforms and increased connectivity. This has resulted in substantial increases in efficiency whilst using far higher quantities of information to drive all forms of a business’s operations. The office environment has changed, and now, the very concept of what constitutes the working world has changed significantly. In this article, some of the key recent trends in modern commerce will be discussed. Each has helped to transform working methods and allow businesses to gain improved productivity and profitability.
Outsourcing IT development
Many firms rely on teams of highly skilled IT professionals to undertake development work on key IT systems or to be responsible for producing new business applications. However, it is recognized that the salaries of senior IT professionals can be extremely high. For example, a senior software developer can expect to make around $152k per year, depending on their sector of work. For businesses that rely on many different forms of tech development, this can lead to having extremely high wage costs for their specialist teams. In recent years, the outsourcing of senior IT roles and development teams has become commonplace in commerce. Hiring a remote developer benefits the company as there are fixed project costs depending on what is needed to be created. Once the project or application is completed, there is no need to continue paying the outsourced staff member or teams. In short, this practice can help businesses keep their staff costs low whilst gaining access to a highly skilled team of IT professionals as and when required.
Hybrid and remote working
Hybrid and remote models of work became a necessity during the height of the recent covid-19 pandemic. Government movement restrictions led to companies needing to give their staff remote access to corporate systems at a scale that had not been previously witnessed. Today in 2023, business analysts and commentators have recognized that these models of working (especially hybrid models of work) can result in productivity and efficiency gains. Remote workers find that they have an improved work-life balance and can often work more efficiently from home offices whilst saving travel time. Provided that collaboration and communication can still take place effectively (by using video conferencing and task collaboration platforms such as Trello), this new form of working can benefit both the business and the individual.
Less than two decades ago, most businesses did not have an online presence and trading online was only undertaken by a small number of organizations. Today, the dramatic growth of e-commerce has led to corporate websites and secure online payment facilities becoming almost mandatory for any business that seeks to generate online sales. Put simply, the expanding e-commerce environment facilitates international trade for business without needing to have a physical presence in multiple countries. Small businesses can achieve higher growth levels and reach a far larger global marketplace simply by creating professionally designed websites and promoting their goods and services online effectively.