The Changing Face of Business Environment
The last decade has shown rapid development in information technology and its application. This has helped changed the way we look at the world, as well as the way business, is conducted. Both business and trade have gained under the wave of information technology with improvement in efficiency, productivity, and bottom line. Productivity improvement has facilitated speedy and accurate production in large volumes. Indian financial sector has also benefited from advancements in information technology.
Business and Information Technology
The current global and competitive business environment constantly asks for innovation, an existing knowledge base is getting obsolete, continuously thriving for advancement in process improvement. The learning curve is always put to test, and every company is striving to remain ahead of the curve. Due to this shift in the way business is getting conducted has thrown out a new reality of ever-shortening product and service life cycle. More and more companies are coming out with customized products and finding ways to differentiate from the competition.
A recent survey conducted has highlighted that the change in the business environment can be summarized with the following:
- Globalization and the opening up of markets have not only increased competition but also have allowed companies to operate in markets previously considered forbidden.
- Inclusion of information technology as an integral part of the business environment has ensured that companies are able to process, store and retrieve the huge amount of data at ever-dwindling costs.
- Globalization has encouraged free movement of capital, goods, and services across countries.
Characteristics of Business Environment
To understand the business environment and drivers of change, it is first important to study its characteristics. They are as follows.
- Business environments are complex in nature as well as dynamic because they are dependent upon factors like political, economic, legal, technological, social, etc. for sustenance.
- The business environment affects companies in different industries in its own unique way. For example, importers may favor a lower exchange rate while exporters may favor a higher exchange rate.
- With a change in the business environment, some fundamental effects are short-term in nature while some are felt over a period of time.
Business Process Outsourcing
Business Process Outsourcing involves contracting one or many front ends (customer-related) or back end (finance, HR, accounting, etc.) Activities within a company to a third-party service provider. The number of jobs within the BPO industry has increased exponentially in the last decade. BPO is one of the new faces in a business environment.
Outsourcing has help companies reduce their overhead expenses, improve productivity, shorten innovation cycles, encourage new market penetration, and also improving customer experience. India has seen tremendous growth in BPO industry within functions like customer care, finance/accounts, payroll, high-end financial services, human resource, etc.
The recent explosion of information technology has seen few but significant emerging trends, for example, a mobile platforms for doing business, cloud computing, technology to handle a large volume of data, etc.
These fresh technologies and platforms are offering numerous opportunities for companies to drive strategic business advantage and stay ahead of the competition. Companies need to work on new plans to maintain flexibility and deliver customer-satisfying products and services.