With the “Great Recession” more than six years old and corporate hiring still not picking up substantially, many experts are suggesting that the current unemployment situation has become the new normal. When the economic crisis hit, companies and their employees had to learn to do more with less, and in most cases this meant working more efficiently. Leading the way was information technology (IT), which has been a key driver of productivity increases since the 1990s.
To reduce expenses, Corporate America not only expected existing employees to make better use of the technology that was available to them, but it also leveraged IT to perform certain tasks that previously had been handled by humans. Effectively, technology enabled companies to become leaner and more competitive, and it’s now evident that they intend to stay that way. As a result, most of these firms simply do not need the same number of employees that they had before the recession began.
This shift had a positive effect on the bottom lines of these tech-savvy firms, but not all businesses reaped such gains. In some cases, companies that were not attuned to technology before the Great Recession tried to cut expenses by trimming technology spending, and in doing so they missed out on one of the greatest periods of productivity growth in the world’s history.
The good news is that it’s not too late to put technology to work as a productivity driver. Such advances as remote IT management and software as a service (where companies lease the right to use software that is hosted in the cloud) make it very affordable for even the least technically oriented firm to catch up with the IT leaders.
If your company isn’t leveraging the full potential of technology, I urge you to explore some of these solutions, soon. Proactive adoption of technology is the new paradigm, and your competitors may already be a step ahead of you.