Category Archives: Technology

Importance of Technology in the Business Field

Technology is generally defined as the practical application of scientific knowledge in the commercial and industrial field. Have you ever tried to imagine how the business world would function without technology? Everybody will agree that technology is indeed essential for all businesses whether they are small or large. Businesses depend on technology in many ways ranging from research, development, production and even in delivery. Small businesses use computers for their Point of Sales systems and information management systems that contain information on the employee, clients and their accounting. Therefore, technology and business cannot be separated since business needs technology to thrive.

Technology has brought with it several advantages to the business world. It has increased the speeds in which we transact our business operations since with technology manual work is considerably reduced. With the help of the Internet, e-mail interactions have greatly substituted the use of phone calls, memos and faxes. In large scale businesses, Workflows and Automated tasking systems are used to stream line operations adding speeds to interactions and therefore increase productivity.

With phones such as Blackberries and smart phones that enable one to connect and monitor one’s business network, one is no longer required to be at the office at all times. This networking helps one respond quickly to matters that need one’s attention but when he is out of the office.

Technology has enabled people in different geographical locations all over the world to virtually meet, communicate and also seal deals using conference calling, video conferencing and Skype all with the help of the Internet. This way the world is reduced to a global village enhancing variety in business view points, talents and capabilities. This also means that cost in transportation get to be seriously cut down. The Internet has also given businesses the opportunity to enjoy a greater amount of customers since all one needs is a click on the business’s website to purchase an item.

With technology, information is stored with ease eliminating the bulkiness of paperwork. Retrieving this information is easier than if stored on paperwork. It also reduces vulnerability of confidential information by use of security passwords. On security, more advances have been made using the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology where microchips which store information are attached to a product. This technology enables companies to track these products. Other businesses also insert these chips into in humans to enhance security whereby access control readers detect them allowing one entry at the door.

Like everything else in this world,technology is not perfect. Concerns of security have been raised since hacking and other malicious activities are brought to life by technology. Privacy issues arise for those whose bodies have the microchips insertions. All in all, the advantages that technology has brought to the business world outweigh the negative allowing us to reach to the conclusion that technology is indeed important to the world of business.

Negotiating Technology Contracts in Health Care

Technology spending for hardware, software and consulting services accounts for a significant portion of most health care providers budgets today, especially since the Obama Stimulus Plan and HITECH Act are incentivizing providers to implement electronic health records. In a perfect world, technology works perfectly, improves efficiency and the quality of care and makes life easier for the provider. However, the real world is not perfect and things can, and do, go wrong with technology products and services after you purchase and/or license them from third party vendors. Technology contracts generally are written by the vendors and consultants. Unfortunately, many technology contracts fall short of giving providers adequate protection and often contain hidden pitfalls and costs. Despite this fact, many providers never give these contracts to experienced health lawyers to help them negotiate better terms and protections for their high-tech investments BEFORE signing. This is a potentially costly practice. Every health care provider should be concerned with at least the following FOUR KEY ISSUES, which should be addressed in any technology contract:

Warranties and Limitations of Liability: Despite elaborate sales presentations, technology contracts typically disclaim most, if not all, warranties and limit the liability of vendors to only refunding all or part of the purchase or license price paid for the technology. Such refunds are inadequate to protect the average provider when problems arise. A technology vendor should be required to give a written warranty in the contract that its product will perform in accordance with documented standards and for a reasonable period of time. At a minimum, this time period should be long enough for the provider to evaluate the technology in its operations. A better solution is to require a warranty for the useful life of the technology, or as long as there is a support and maintenance service agreement in place. A vendor also should not be allowed contractually to limit its liability on default only to return of the purchase price. If a provider suffers actual damages caused by the technology, the vendor should be required, in writing, to stand behind its product and services and reimburse such damages. A reasonable compromise is to require the vendor at least to tender the limits of its insurance coverage, which creates minimal additional risk to the vendor while better protecting the provider.

Payments & Performance: A provider should not agree to pay the full purchase price up front, as is often a contract requirement, leaving the vendor with little incentive to complete its responsibilities. The parties should mutually agree in advance upon a project timetable with milestone targets for delivery and implementation of the technology. Payments should be made in installments conditioned upon reaching the targets. In addition, providers should build in testing rights, in order to evaluate whether the technology is performing as promised. The provider always should have the final say in whether a test provides a successful outcome and whether the final payment should be made to the vendor.

Support and Maintenance: A technology hardware purchase or software license is only as good as the support and maintenance that goes along with it. The vendor should be willing to provide support for at least a defined useful life of the technology. Several questions should be answered in a written support agreement. Are updates or upgrades provided without additional charge? Will the vendor perform on-site or off-site support and maintenance? Will the provider pay a monthly fee plus an hourly charge or is there only an hourly charge? Does the hourly charge differ depending on when or what level of support is needed? Do the charges increase over the term of the support agreement? What is the vendor agreeing to support? Will changes made to the technology by the provider automatically terminate the warranty or support obligations? Unless the contract is specific regarding essential issues, a provider may find itself paying for less or different support and/or maintenance services than needed or expected.

Confidentiality: Confidentiality of patient health information is a critical issue. Federal HIPAA law has a variety of privacy and security rules providers and their business associates must follow. In addition, some states, including Florida, have enacted legislation that requires entities that conduct business in the state and which maintain computerized data that contains personal information to provide notice to any resident if there is a breach of security. A technology contract should specify if the vendor will have access to any of the confidential patient information. A health care provider must require the vendor and its employees to maintain the confidentiality of such information under federal and many state laws. The technology contract also should expressly protect the confidentiality of provider trade secrets and other proprietary information to which a vendor or consultant may have access.

Although technology contracts may appear intimidating, as they frequently are presented by vendors in small print and columned format, leading providers to believe they are non-negotiable forms, this is not the case in most instances. Investing the time and resources to have a health law attorney experienced in technology contracting review and help to negotiate contracts for hardware purchases, software licenses, maintenance and support, as well as technology consulting services, can save providers significant expense, disappointment and damages should the technology products or services not perform as promised.

 

How Technology Creates Wealth

Markets create energy because they are dynamic. They are constantly evolving in response to changes in the economic, political and technological environments. Understanding what causes a market to evolve helps you predict where opportunities will emerge; how fast they will develop, and when and whether mass adoption will occur. If you can capture this energy, you can use it to drive the sales process.

Dynamic systems create energy. If left unchecked, any systemic change tends to grow. A snowball rolling downhill gets bigger. Growth creates momentum. As the snowball grows bigger, it goes faster. Momentum creates energy. The faster the snowball rolls; the bigger it gets; the harder it hits the tree. Energy drives change. (Source The Fifth Discipline)

You can use the energy sources created by an evolving market to motivate prospects to buy your solution. Persuading people to try out a new technology is an uphill battle. You have to invest a lot of your precious energy – sales resources, capital, technical expertise, etc. – into convincing prospects they can benefit from using your technology to support their business. However, if you understand what is driving market change- an increasingly mobile workforce, higher need for personal security, faster access to global markets – then you use the energy created by the market to motivate prospects to buy. Thus, you need to invest less of your own resources and you can sell more productively and efficiently.

Technology markets create abundance.

There are two laws that explain why technology-enabled markets generate extraordinary amounts of energy.
1. Moore’s Law predicts that technology is going to improve in the future and cost less.
2 Metcalf’s Law states that technologies become more useful as more people use them.

The combination of these two laws creates an economy of abundance that is unique to technology markets. As Moore’s Law predicts an endless supply of ever-increasing resources and Metcalf’s Law promises that innovations will be quickly adopted, the nature of the economy changes.

Gordon Moore, the founder of Intel, said, “Every 18 months processing power doubles while the cost holds constant.” The implications of Moore’s Law are that every 18 months technology is going to cost half as much and be twice as powerful. Moore’s Law has held true for over 30 years. Previous economies were based on the laws of scarcity, where you have a limited amount of resources and value is based on how scarce they are – gold, oil, land, etc. The more you use up the resources the less energy you have.

A technology-based economy is based on the laws of abundance. According to Moore’s law, there will always be cheaper resources tomorrow. This ever-increasing pool of resources enables customers to implement new business strategies. If it isn’t possible today, it will be possible tomorrow. Improved technology is constantly fueling the market, creating energy.

Furthermore, thanks to this simple formula technological obsolescence is only a few months away. Customers can never afford to sit still for fear that a competitor will be able to leapfrog ahead of them if they adopt the next generation of technology faster. This anxiety is another powerful source of energy that you can use to drive your sales.

Metcalf’s Law also has a powerful effect on developing markets. Robert Metcalf, the founder of 3Com, said “New technologies are valuable only if many people use them… the utility of a network equates the square of the number of users. ” This means that the more people use a technology, the more useful it becomes. If there was only one fax machine in the world, it wouldn’t be useful. With two fax machines you can send mail back and forth faster and cheaper than if you send it through the post office. With 2,000,000 fax machines, you never have to wait in line at the post office again.

According to Metcalf a technology’s usefulness equals the number of users squared. If two people use a fax it is four times easier than using the postal system. If 20 people use the fax machine, it is 400 times easier. This creates a geometric increase in the technology’s utility, which is just another way of saying why customers would want to buy it. So if 2 people want to buy a fax machine today; 4 people will want to buy it tomorrow; 16 people will want to buy it the day after tomorrow; 256 people will want to buy it next week, and 2,147,483,648 will want to buy it by the end of the month. That is a lot of potential customers lining up to buy your product, which is what market energy is all about.

Abundance creates demand for your technology. Since technology markets create abundance they are not subject to the constraints of scarcity. They have unlimited growth potential and consequently unlimited potential to create wealth.

Environmental Technology

During this century, technology has its top place since people always try to seek for better technology support for their lives. Technology has been used to make the life of people become simpler and easier. Time, money and efforts have been devoted to invent new and higher level of technology. This technology enables people to do lots of outstanding achievement such as flying to the moon and discovering new star on the sky. However, there are two different opinions about technology. One side says that technology is the best tool to create simpler and easier lives while another side says that technology is harmful for the environment. In fact, those two different opinions are just to be true. Technology can be helpful but harmful at the other side.

As an answer of these two different opinions, there is a huge need of green technology or environmental technology. Green technology here means technology which is able to conserve natural environment and resources. Green technology makes people’s lives simpler and easier without providing harmful effect to the people and their surrounding environment. Green technology helps to reduce the effect of prior technology that has made the environment damaged or destructed. This technology repairs the damaged part of nature. Green technology also helps people to maintain and preserve the environment such as purifying water needed in rural areas. Moreover, green technology is also meaningful to absorb the chemical toxic in the air which results in better air for people.

Knowing the facts that green technology is very helpful for people’s life, individuals and companies have sought many ways to use this technology wisely. The problem about energy which is limited has always become the problem of every person in every year. Therefore, people now think that green technology [http://www.letmegreen.com/category/green-office] will help people reducing the consumption of energy itself so that they can be economical on energy consumption. Most companies seek for this kind of technology in order to minimize the budget spent for technology and also to provide better working environment for the workers. This will help the company a lot to be sustainable in this global financial crisis. That is why the companies and individuals try to find best application that can reduce the energy consumption. The use of green technology is believed as the best and only way to overcome energy crisis lately. It is also provides simpler application. Now, it is your own choice whether you want to take the complex and difficult technology or green technology which is proven to be less energy consumption.

Business & Technology Crack

Many people say that the business drives the technology whereas some people say that the technology drives the business. It is really unknown that which is really responsible for what and I must say that the emergence of the information technology has really made it even more complex. All the people who are involved in the business as well as the technology are really in dilemma that which theory is correct. However I have different ideas. I feel that sometimes the technology drives the business and sometimes the business drives the technology. In fact it is right to say that the business and technology are interdependent. I would like to prove the same with the help of this article.

Just think that when it was decided that each company should have a board of directors. I must say that this is really a very old practice. Even the ancient Romans too had this in their administration. I really feel that this indicate that the technology came afterwards and hence business need lead to the evolution of the technology. For example the telegraph became famous because of the Reuters. In deed it was the biggest news agency in the world which first used the telegraph for their work. There are many more examples.

The industrial revolution which brought about the great change in the field of the business was ignited due to the invention of the steam engine. This really made the world of business grow fore fold throughout the world. This gives us the indication that the technology played an important role for business to become global. In fact the technology is responsible for the globalization of the business.

But this does not mean that the technology drives the business. Yes, you can say that the technology increases the speed at which the business activities are performed. But saying that the business is driven by the technology is still not correct.

Let me explain you another side of this topic. You know why the telegraph was discovered. Yes this happened because the world of business needed this. The Reuters were the first to use the telegraph and they become the best in the world. Hence can we say that the technology works as the cutting edge so that one business leads over the other? Yes this is really the truth and this time we are absolutely right. This is really the main thing about the relationship between the technology and the business.

One can only say that with the help of technology you can win the race which is on among the rivalry businessmen. Let’s think about the issue of the first paragraph and I am quiet confident to say that sometimes the business is driven by the technology and sometimes the technology comes into vicinity because of the business needs.

Using Old Technology to Win Product Battles

Newer, faster, shinier – these are all things that every product manager wants their product to be. Our hearts are filled with product lust when we see other products, in our space or not, that have the latest & greatest bells and whistles. Oh if only our product could have that cool new technology also. Hang on a minute, it turns out that our products might actually be more successful if they don’t have that cool new technology…

Life Support For Products
If we can get over that new technology lust thing, then perhaps we can talk rationally about this. It turns out that if you really want to help your company’s bottom line, then what your product might really need is incremental innovation, not revolutionary innovation.

I’m not a dreamer – I know that VHS tapes, typewriters, and CRT televisions are not going to be making a sudden comeback anytime soon. The harsh, cold reality is that the technology that your product is based on is eventually going to up and die one day. A product manager’s job is to realize this and to attempt to push that day off into the future as far as he / she possibly can.

Harvard’s Dr. Mary Tripsas has looked into just how this can be done. She believes that product managers can work to proactively manage the innovation endgame.

What this means for your product is that continuing improvements to extend the life of its technology, particularly once you realize just how attractive the profit margins on the old technology are, can be a wise business decision – and not necessarily a reflection of narrow-mindedness of a product manager who is unwilling to see the future.

Making The Technology Jump – Or Not
Ultimately a product manger is responsible for the success of his / her product. When it comes to the technology that the product is build using, the product manager’s #1 goal has to be to find ways to extend the life of the product while still continuing to make the maximum amount of profit.

As a new technology arrives on the scene, the product manager needs to keep the old product alive long enough that the company can design, develop, and launch new products that contain the new technologies. The key is to finding out HOW to go about doing this.

Customers Come First
The secret to knowing how best to time your jump to a new technology is to watch your customers. Our customers come in all shapes and sizes and they all have different levels of tolerance for dealing with the risk that new technologies can bring to the table.

What you need to realize as a product manager is that your customers are all going to be moving at different speeds. Sure, some will start asking about a new technology the first time that they read about it in a trade rag; however, the vast majority of your customers are more focused on running their business than what technology your product is built on.

Generally, adopting a product that is built using new technology will require a little or a lot of investment on your customer’s part in order to be able to support the new technology. The larger the investment, the longer most of your customers will want to put off making it.

How Product Mangers Can Balance Both Worlds
It is the responsibility of the product manager to come up with ways that your customers can gradually move into the future using new technologies on their own schedule.

One way to do this is to borrow ideas from the new technology and start to incorporate them into the existing old technology product in order to extend its life. An example of this would be the Toyota Prius. It’s really a gasoline car that has a battery that it can use some of the time. The world is not quite ready for an all electric car and so by adding new technology to the type of car that we already have we will be able to get a little closer to the future.

Old products can also be used to create a bridge that will allow customers to travel to the future. These types of products combine elements of both old and new technologies. I own a great example of this type of product: a hybrid VCR / DVD player. As DVD players started to take over the market, I was hesitant to get one because of the enormous investment in children’s movies on VHS tape that I had made. However, the VHS / DVD combo player was the perfect solution for me – I could continue to play my VHS tapes while at the same time I could start to buy DVDs.

Final Thoughts
Product Managers don’t have to rush to incorporate every new technology into their products. Instead, understand your customer and learn when THEY need new technologies to be made available to them.

In the end, a product manager needs to keep a careful balance between the technologies that his / her product currently uses and the new technologies that are arriving on the scene. Your career and the ultimate success of your company depends on the success of new products, but they have to be funded by making keeping your current products successful.

Don’t think of your older products as being so-called “cash cows” that exist to be milked of their profits until they can be discarded. Instead, view them as stepping stones to future products that should be maintained and upgraded for as long as is reasonable in order to maximize profits while at the same time buying the firm time to get products that use the new technology right.

Product managers who can balance the arrive of new technology with extending the life of products that use older technology will have have found yet another way that great product managers make their product(s) fantastically successful.

Social Technological Landscape

Technological advances are no longer terms that prompt confused facial responses and infantile explanations. The presence of these advances and a host of recreational gadgets transform mediocrity into fame. These projections are witnessed through television documentaries, motion pictures, and supportive media. The issues raised by technological advances guide the process of social gentrification. This is revealed by the attention paid to the definition of “technology”. There is variety of newly constructed social settings juxtaposed to an already delineated environment. This produces and articulates an enticing arrangement of social interaction. The appearance of acceptability and stability presented by these various mediums is void of theoretical development as a course of change agency. The social fabric of human interaction is achieved by re materializing loyalties of a new milieu toward immaterial cultural practices and fixation on the politics of identity. The immense influence of this societal and cultural movement towards technology, substitutes our attention from social principals and relations to behavior that taints social acceptance. The number of individuals who appear to be outwardly secure in the world of cell phones, game boys, and iPods is emergent. This conduct has displaced human elements of decision making based on firsthand experience and social contacts that would naturally materialize. Modern youth are not involved in social activities benefiting from the differences that various cultures have afforded. Ones proclivities are such that these isolated and collective social contacts produce the understanding possible to make connections that transcend the idiomatic behaviors of classes, consequential relationships, and acquaintances. Within this framework the complex manner assists in expounding everyday social life through the embodiment of meanings, values, and symbolism.

The internet enjoys marked advances adding to the extent of global reach with worldwide web and wireless communications. Themes of debate emerge citing concerns of privacy, commerce, and security as an irreversible effect on the landscape of business and personal communication, as empirical proof to the state 21st century privacy is a direct result of our technological advances. When examining the impact of technology on the application of old laws and new technologies we find that there is a ‘wild west” style of social networking such as Facebook and MySpace yielding differentiated values and colloquial identity amalgamated under the technological umbrella. Considering the liberal humanism in which our young and their colleagues are engaged, the peopling of gadgets amidst a human landscape has led to a more insensitive incorporation of technology and human agency. Very few of the individuals engaged in the peopling of technology actually represent their theory in practice.

The media, which serve as another stimulant in the lives of today’s youth and adult information, are in part responsible for communicating, “poor communication.” While lower standards are set by cutting edge media stars spoon feeding the illicit while sustaining these representations in the context of technology alluding to its affects as a social difference. Technological disadvantages and the isolation it creates, is a global phenomenon with local expressions. As the technological disadvantaged are labeled as unskilled labor, rural and urban America attempt to reveal the impetus behind the behaviors of anti social fears presented by its backlash

Within the clinical settings, beauty parlors, corner stores, and restaurants individuals share information and tell stories conveying verbal preservation of folklore with patrons engrossed in purveying stories to substantiate declamatory accolades. We find ourselves in a new form of discrimination through technology. This affection for privacy may not be exclusive, but the desire to escape the routine occurs without creating new ways to affix it in a subjective manner. For some the rejection of technology is a rejection of western values. The individualism and lack of communal effort can be realized within both, individuals who arrive from the suburbs, and the ever present factions in the city who feel you should be privy to their young families, foul language, and dirty laundry. The separable variables, iPods, make it easy to be individually and silently plugged into various modes of pacification while trenched in dominant ideals of suburban life, and the expression for new conditions of experience by a consolidation of new technological socialization initiated by an emerging influence of those who turn toward gangs, and those who adhere to a resurgence of separatist behaviors.

We would be coaxed into believing this a natural order of progression in the human condition to exist positively affected by technological toys. Individuals exercise their right in taking back their privacy and peace of mind through escapism. The “let’s not be here now” approach to problems posed in the urban environment is dealt with through the personal head set. In the populist language of the future, “get away from it all” are attempts to hide the erosion of family values and neighborhood security. Technology has acquired many American jobs and ushered them overseas as off shoring accounts simplified through use of technology fueling revanchist behavior by the ever increasing manifestation of cheap labor. An entity technology can bring to your door step.

Amidst another technological renaissance, consequent social behavior justifies a critique of the development and political contributions of the largest market comprising our private, leisure, and employment milieu. The dissociative and apathetic behavior of a transparent human social contract is sensitive to circumstances that promote the distancing of our next door neighbor, friends, and colleagues through technological mediums. Significant growth of the technological phenomenon since its inception is illustrated by the creators of Buck Rodgers and Dick Tracy to public agencies who tend to the aftermath these two forces generate. The difficulty of procuring a format to study technological continentalism, its cause and effect, and potential to impact the behavior of society through technology is a difficult one.

Importance of Technology in Health Care Industry

The advent of technology has revolutionized the health care industry, as the changes have certainly improved medicine, science, and life. This article talks about the importance of technology in health care, so read on to know what changes transpired that makes modern technology essential.

There is no doubt that the introduction of modern technology into science and medicine has helped improved the quality of medications, treatment and increase the chance of people surviving from the different diseases that afflict man. Come to think of it! The use of modern equipment has certainly helped prolonged life and most importantly give people hope.

In terms of communication, modern technology has unquestionably breakdown the barriers as now the massive use of electronic recording or encoding of patients data into computer has made things easier for nurses or doctors who are trying to access the health patients data. Electronic health record has created a much stronger network in the health care industry, especially in almost all hospital that have taken advantage of the benefits offered by modern technology and recognized the importance of technology.
Getting information is a lot easier and faster now, as the records now updated when new information becomes available, and this is vital for patients transferring to another facilities and units. Aside from communication the way people are diagnosed and treated has also improved considerably, which even allows diseases to be treated before a patient shows any symptoms.

The use of highly advanced equipment has helped a lot of doctors discover health problems before they occur and treat a health condition painlessly and less hassle. People can get surgery in the morning and go home in the afternoon or right after the operation, without any complication and this change has further boost the importance of technology in the medical field.

Without modern equipment or technology, some of the treatment would still be painful, uncomfortable, dangerous, and impossible to achieve. It is even safe to say that patient safety and comfort are the foremost consideration in the incorporation of technology in the health care industry, as most modern treatments considered people friendly. In other words, the arrival of technology in the industry has made a lot of people comfortable in dealing with their health problem.

Technology has bring a lot of positive and negative things in the health care industry, but one thing for sure despite all the negative impact of using modern equipment in almost all aspect of health care, people seeking medical attention now has a bigger chance to get treated. The fact that you can get quality health care solution further highlights the importance of technology in health care.

Technology of Nations

In 1776, Scottish economist and philosopher, Adam Smith wrote the masterpiece, ‘The Wealth of Nations’- actually ‘An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations”. By coincidence, the United States Declaration of Independence was adopted the same year, making the American colonies independent and thus no longer a part of the British Empire.

America has since evolved to dominate the old British Empire in virtually every aspect of human endeavors, except perhaps, social welfare. The Yankees figuratively were discipled by Dr. Smith who believed in free market and made his argument that ‘capitalism’ will benefit mankind than any other economic structure. He laid this foundation at the onset of industrial revolution and provided the basics for modern economics.

Smith made his case about the ‘invisible hand’ and why monopoly and undue and unfettered government regulations or interference in market and industry must be discouraged. He was of the opinion that prudent allocation of resources cannot happen when states dominate and over interfere.

In that old time, America farmers could grow cotton, but would not process it. It has to be sent to England where it would later be imported into U.S as a finished product. Understanding that this decision was not due to lack of processing ability, you will appreciate Smith’s argument that market must be free.

His theses were clear and were very influential; they provided the same level of fulcrum to Economics as Isaac Newton’s Mathematica Prinicipia to Physics. Or in modern times, Bill Gates’ Windows to the information economy.

While reading Smith’s book and understanding the time frame it was written, one cannot but appreciate the intellectual rigor in that piece. Before technology was penetrated in en mass across the regions of the world, he noted that all nations could compete at par in agricultural productivity. The reason was absence of division of labor in any subsistence farming system in the world. A farmer does everything in the farm and is not an expert in most.

Discounting fertile land, rain and other factors that could help farmers, all the farmers, from Africa to plantations in Alabama, the level of productivity was similar. Why? No specialization was employed in farming business at the time.

Fast track forward when the industrial revolution set forth. The British Empire became an engine of wealth creation through automation. It was a quintessential period of unrivalled human productivity which resulted to enormous wealth created in the empire. Technology not only helped speed process execution, it helped in division of labor.

Interestingly, Dr Smith had noted that except agriculture where productivity was flat because of lack of division of labor, other industries were doing just fine. And in those industries, there were organized structures which enabled division of labor. For instance in the construction industry, there were bricklayers, carpenters, painters, and so on; but a farmer was a farmer.

As you read through Wealth of Nations and observe the 21st century, it becomes evident that technology was so influential in the last few centuries. It has changed our structures and created a new business adaptation rules like outsourcing which is indeed a new breed of division of labor.

From accumulation of stock and pricing, as explained by Dr. Smith, we see today a world where technology is shaping everything in very fundamental ways for wealth creation. In this era, it has become technology as technology translates to wealth. So, nations that focus on creating, diffusing and penetrating technology will do well.

Why? It is about national technology DNA. The more passionate and innovative nations are triumphing at the global business scene. Give me Japan and I will give you electronics. Talk about United States, I will share biotechnology and pharmaceutical technologies, and indeed every major technology. Give me China, and I will give you green technologies.

So, as nations continue to compete on the technology paradigm, we see at the highest level of success measurement an embodiment captured by technology capability. When nations are understood from the lens of their Technology Readiness Index, Knowledge Economic Index, we see that countries have become technology competing nodes. In some really poor countries with no (effectual) technology, they do not have a node and are unplugged in the sphere of global wealth creation.

Simply, it will be difficult to separate the health of any modern economy from its technology. It goes beyond the wealth of that nation to its survivability. The most advanced nations are the technology juggernauts while the least developing economics barely record any technology penetration impact. For the latter, it is like still living in the pre-industrial age Dr. Smith discussed on agriculture and division of labor where processes were inefficient.

Perhaps, this explains the efficiency in developed world in both the public and private arenas. The more technologies they diffuse, the more productive they become. In other words, show me the technology and I will tell you where the nation stands in the league of countries. Interestingly, the invention of steam engine changed the world and powered the industrial revolution. The invention of transistor transformed the 20th century and is fuelling the new innovation century.

It seems that major scientific breakthroughs bring major great countries. Let me emphasize here that some old kingdoms that ruled the world such as the old Babylon, Roman Empire, and Pharaoh’s Egypt; there have been associated knowledge base that put them ahead. You cannot disassociate good crop production in River Nile to the mastery of Egyptians in inventing some sections of geometry for farming. Some of the old wars had been won by developing constructs that enabled efficient transportation of soldiers to battleground. There was science and nations were winning by using that knowledge.

In conclusion, the world has been living on technology and it is indeed defining our competitive space. As nations compete, it is technology that shapes the world with wealth as the major byproducts, in some cases. I make this case because some of the best technologies had been invented for non-wealth reasons (yes, directly). Examples include Internet and radar technologies which have created wealth and spurred commercial innovations but have military origins.

There could not be any more powerful way of examining national competitiveness than understanding the technology of nations. Yes, wealth has since morphed to technology and all competitions and wealth creation could as well be seen from technology viewpoint. And in this piece, I aptly replace Dr. Smith’s ‘wealth’ with ‘technology’ to have The Technology of Nations.

March of the Green Technology

Technology has been defined in several ways. The simplest is the knowledge of using tools and techniques to improve the working condition, organizational management and artistic perspective in order to improve the efficiency of product, machine or human efforts. The primitive man is known for intelligent use of stone to convert it into weapon and shelter houses. The use of animal skin and bark of trees for covering body was a step towards fabric technology. The knowledge of technology to control the fire radically changed the status of man learning to add new items in his food menu and getting warmth in a cold climate. The wheel has brought us to the present state of global conveyance Flinging of leg bones into the space after a good and hefty meal inspired space odyssey. Information technology spear headed by internet has its origin in smoke signals and more recently to printing presses. Now we have industrial, educational, information, medical, visual, micro, nano, and domestic technology to name a few.

Technology is not singularly applied by human kind to give impetus to his objectives. The animals and birds have also excelled in carving out technological wonders comparable and sometimes better than us. The nest of the weaving birds, signals from dolphins, breaking of coconut shells by monkeys, domestic technology of ants, technology of descent from an acute slope by elephants, migration of birds to places akin to their need and requirements, waiting for air to become hot before taking to a flight by kites and other heavy size birds and dropping of stone pallets to raise the water level in a narrow necked pitcher by crows are some to refresh the memory. Look towards the sky in the evening. You shall find ducks flying in inverted V formation, giving others the advantage of vacuum and stream line motion.

There is a difference in how the primates of yester years behaved, how animals and birds around us make use of the technology and how we are using it. The difference is great. Their efforts were and are always in improving their living condition compatible to the environment. Our efforts are diversified in many ways. Some are good, some are bad and some are ugly. Lately, with the onset of industrial revolution, we have mostly added to pollution load of the environment or developed weapons of mass destruction. Technology which used to improve machine efficiency has focused its attention to human efficiency. We call it productivity. We pretend to exploit it as outsourcing. Green technology had no option but to introduce it and take charge of the entire state of affairs created by the human kind.

Green technology targets for an appropriate, equitable and sustainable environment by interlacing all known technologies and human involvement with environmental science to conserve and upgrade the environment and bringing it back to the quality available some 300 years back. Green technology could be termed as a refinement in the available technology in as much as, it helps in managing pollution of all kinds in such a way that these turn out to be ecological and economically friendly.

Technologies that are green are rated by their carbon footprints. A competitive and successful green technology has a low set of greenhouse gas emissions from persons, product, process, event or organization. There are two ways to achieve the objective. The first which may be termed as green acts, is to recycle the waste, reuse through reconditioning and other alternatives, reduce resource consumption and to conserve available natural resources. The second which is creating a green conditions, is to evolve technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions thus reducing carbon footprint. These measures have proven effect on global warming reduction.

The first category of green technology is to encourage and redefine the conventional ways of keeping carbon footprints at a low level. These are recycling and its extension to water and air purification, solid waste treatment including sewage treatment.

Recycling defines environment by conservation at its best. Used materials generally thrown as waste is recycled into new products. Composting is an age old concept of recycling green waste into manure. Recycling plastic waste into new plastic products is most prevalent now. Recycling reduces fresh raw material consumption by utilizing middling and scraps. It reduces wastage of energy that is required to convert fresh raw material into end products It reduces air pollution as waste is now recycled instead of incineration. It reduces water pollution as there is less land filling thus reducing leachate reaching water bodies.

Waste water is purified by chemical, mechanical and biological processes to convert it into drinking and other usage. Air is purified both in industries as well as places of human habitation in closed spaces. Industrial air pollutant such as Sulfur oxides gives back Sulfuric acid, particulates such as fire ash is converted into cement and bricks. Solid waste generation from human habitat is segregated into bio-degradable and non-bio-degradable waste. Bio-degradable waste is composted into manure and bio-fuel. Non-bio-degradable waste is further separated into metal, glass, plastic etc. The first three are used as intermediate raw material and recycled into the production pipeline to get useful products. Hazardous waste materials are suitably treated to non-hazardous entity and then most of these are also recycled. Sewage treatment has acquired a state of the art technology. It is treated to make it free from parasites, bacteria, fungi, algae and viruses. Treated solid waste is used as manure and the treated waste water is either used for irrigation or further treated to make it fit for domestic use.

Green technology that creates and sustains green condition has focused its attention primarily on renewable energy resources. Renewable energy such as solar, wind, tidal, nuclear and geothermal have been identified as having minimum greenhouse gas emission and has tremendous potential to replace the conventional energy providers such as fossil fuel and petroleum. The latter are non renewable energy resources that are major pollutants and major reasons for greenhouse gas emissions.

Green products are a category in itself as it has both the properties of reducing greenhouse gases and replacing highly polluting non-renewable energy resources. Fuel cells are one example. It eliminates air pollution from automobiles and it replaces hydrocarbon fuel. Plastic cement manufactured from waste plastic bottles is another example. This product takes less energy for its preparation than the conventional cement manufactured from iron slag, lime and sand. Moreover, this plastic cement has more permeability and hence can breathe better. Rain water can filter through surfaces prepared from it and hence enrich the water table beneath.

These days, market is getting flooded with toxic plastic toys which are highly injurious to the delicate and tender toddlers. These are being replaced by toys made from recycled plastic bottles. The latest innovation in this segment is fabric made from used plastic bottles material. Dress material for Cricket India members are made from this fabric.

Green technology is catching fast the computer software segment too. Now there is software which shall alarm you from wastage of electricity while you are in your home or at the other side of the globe.

There has been a lame excuse floating around that shifting to green technology requires too much research and development and the cost of implementation is very high. It may be appropriate for some such endeavors such as technology for geothermal energy usage. It is also argued that it takes lot of time to break even. Here, people fail to compare such logic with technologies that are in use and later revised to green technology. An instance in case is the steam engine which saw transition to diesel engine and now almost replaced by electric engines and in near future with electromagnetic induction forces and magnetic forces. A time cycle would show that invention and commissioning of coal driven steam engine took a far longer maturing time than electric engine or the future versions. All such transformations are far too profit friendly. Break-even time has also been quite low.

You may expect wonders in the future with the advent of nano technology. Imagine a chip grafted in your brain to replace computers which are one of the major consumers of electric energy and are generating huge electronic waste. You should start dreaming of recharging your space vehicle with universally available solar energy replacing high cost, highly pollutant and heavy weight, cryogenic fuel. You may have the pleasure of travelling in identified flying objects to several light year distant part of the universe.