An Internet-connected world has given birth to a new global economy. While certain sectors and aspects of the former regime have consolidated or faded away, a globally-connected universe of buyers and sellers bears witness to a new way of doing business. This evolutionary process can be accurately characterized by explosive growth, a reliance on telecommunications technology, and changing perceptions of how trade should be conducted.
What follows is a summarization of just a few of today’s critical business processes that can be safely and profitably migrated to the Internet.
Sales and Marketing
The management of customer relationships was one of the very first business processes to be moved onto the Internet. This advancement actually triggered an important change in the culture of business in Western economies. There are perhaps no Fortune 500 organizations that do not presently use some form of mobile-technology-enabled customer relationship management (CRM) tool today.
The rapid rise of CRM came about because organizations learned that sales and marketing people still need access to their critical data while far away from the home office. By securely linking internal corporate networks to employee wireless devices, enterprises can keep their sales professionals connected to all the information they need.
Leveraging Human Capital
Organizations can better realize their strategic objectives when they effectively manage human capital (“manpower”). Gains in employee performance come about when organizations organize and centralize employee information. For this specific purpose, the Internet is the ideal venue. One good working example of this comes to us from the folks at BambooHR.com, the developers of a proprietary online Human Resources Information System, also known as HRIS systems.
With this system, enterprises can consolidate all of their employee information from every location and department wherever it may be. The processed data can be displayed using a single application that can be accessed from anywhere. When critical Human Resources tasks are broken down and analyzed, it only makes sense to concede that organizations are best able to leverage HR data when it is migrated from the spreadsheet to some useful and intuitive cloud applications.
Cloud-Based Accounting and Finance
Everyone in business knows that modern accounting software enables easy synchronization of accounting records with the organization’s CPA firm. Prior to the Internet, businesses relied upon standard phone lines to upload their data to their accountant. Today, even the smallest of businesses need not purchase expensive software to manage basic accounting tasks or transmit their data to their CPA.
When looking at Internet-based accounting options, firms of every size can find solutions that meet both their needs and their budget. Today’s typical office or small enterprise expects to accomplish all or most of their accounting and finance functions and responsibilities using Internet-enabled software solutions.
Considerations for Policy Makers
As companies seek to become more competitive in the global marketplace, they look to identify opportunities to cut costs and become more efficient. To this end, deciding which business functions to move onto the Internet becomes a critical part of corporate strategy. Currently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is studying business functions to determine if changes in how business processes and functions are performed have any influence on mass layoff events.
Although the restructuring and outsourcing of business processes has always been with us, policy makers need to know if a massive level of cloud migrations can trigger a wave of outsourcing events. So far, collected data shows that large layoff events are driven more by domestic relocations than anything else.
As organizations grow larger, we can expect them to add several more layers of sub-processes to their existing catalog of business functions and processes. There are perhaps hundreds of possible sub-processes that we can expect organizations to invent in the near future. All of this newly created work will require more and better ways of effectively completing it. The Internet or what comes after it is what a growing global economy will likely rely upon for this important function.