Contributed article in our entrepreneurial series. Enjoy! – Kimberly
The emergences of the web and email have smoothed the path for international entrepreneurs since the 90s. As technology made instant international communication child’s play and the web developed to become a global marketplace, opportunities have multiplied further. Now there are several ways organisations of all sizes can connect with foreign markets and employ international teams — and advanced technology is also facilitating the development of products that have worldwide applications. Here are just three ways tech makes international business easy.
If having a large number of customer-facing workers together in the same building isn’t necessary for your service provision, it’s probably possible for you to cut down on the overheads of leasing offices in different territories by employing teams of international remote workers. Email and instant messaging makes close communication and coordination on projects simple — and videoconferencing can replace physical meetings with clients for the most part. There’s also some evidence that home workers are more productive because they’re more comfortable in their own environments. This model has proven particularly effective for teams of web developers and digital marketers. It’s likely that this flexible and adaptable approach will be adopted by more companies in order to streamline operations without compromising service quality.
Education is one area where technology may never entirely replicate the experience of attending a physical campus. But distance learning allows students from across the globe to study for accredited online degrees with classmates from the four corners of the Earth. As well as earning qualifications that can enhance career opportunities in specific sectors, virtual learning enables students to build global networks of contacts that they might collaborate with before or after graduation. Business degrees such as MBAs are sought-after by international students, but digital skills subjects are also in demand. Online learning also makes education more accessible for students with work and family commitments as well as those in different nations — allowing education to break barriers and cross borders.
One area where technology is really making a difference is in the healthcare sector. Although the US accounts for 75 per cent of the global health deal share, funding to non-US digital health companies rose by 146 per cent from the last quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017. International startups are involved in many diverse niches — from wearables to senior healthcare and optometry. Some of the largest recent rounds of investments involve health tech firms in China, Canada and India offering services such as remote consultations and automated hospital admin and management services. Health is obviously a lucrative sector — but hopefully advances in technology can be used for widespread enhancements in quality of life as well as creating profit. These three ways tech makes international business easy are only the tip of the iceberg — it’s transforming almost every aspect of modern life.
Which tech innovations have transformed the ways you do business? Share your thoughts in the comments section.by