We might be living in the information age, but our supposedly âhighly advancedâ civilization still requires many of the classical industries that make it possible for humanity to thrive. Take for instance the agriculture and construction industries. While they take advantage of the many innovations that were made possible by computers and our advanced understanding of science, they are essentially still doing the same things (planting seedlings, erecting buildings with cement and steel, etc.).
One of our roles as information technologists is to use what we know for the benefit of humanity, and bringing the traditional industries to speed is indeed a noble cause. You do not have to be looking into grand schemes to make this a reality.
For instance, my dad has construction as one of his businesses; he is a contractor that takes on small projects such as houses and low-rise buildings. To make things easier and more efficient for him, I have outlined several ways that his business could benefit from the Internet and the technologies that work on it:
The internet allows fast and long-reaching communications not only between the business and the customer, but between businesses as well. With the assistance of sites like Rock&Dirt, I helped my dadâs business in acquiring some fairly-priced surplus construction equipment.
Getting the word out on your companyâs products and services has become even more efficient with Internet access. Traditionally, you really had to physically send salesmen everywhere and cast a really wide marketing net to get your company the right attention, and it really costs a lot of money. With Internet-based advertising, ads can be fine tuned to reach the target market, saving on costs and getting the message to the right people and companies.
Operations/Data Keeping/Project Management
Even the humble electronic mail has streamlined a lot of the operations procedures of companies large and small, and more specialized databases, tracking, and project management software take it to another level entirely. It used to be that these technologies were available only to very large corporations. With open source software and community-supported applications, this has become available even to the smallest entrepreneur.
Suffice to say, the Internet is a huge boon to all existing industries; all we need to do is help them integrate it into their traditional operations.
Stacey Thompson is a professional writer, marketer, entrepreneur, and a lover of weird little animals. She is based in San Diego, California, and is still helping her father with the âinternetizationâ of his businesses. Stacey and her friends keep a blog, Word Baristas.