Technology has strongly influenced the course of history and human society, from the prehistoric discovery of fire to today’s global communications networks. It can increase productivity and make processes easier to manage. It also allows organizations to remain competitive by making innovation possible. It is important to understand the impact of technology on businesses and individuals.
The emergence of technologies is the result of a complex process that involves many stakeholders. For example, scientific advancements require sophisticated equipment for measurement, data collection, analysis, computation, transportation to remote research sites (such as Antarctica or the ocean floor), sample collection and protection from hazardous materials, communication, and other functions. In addition, the design and production of most technological devices requires extensive research and development, training and expertise.
Moreover, some technology has unintended side effects. The emergence of new technologies can lead to a breakdown in traditional social hierarchies, cause pollution or harm individuals or groups. The impact of even ordinary, everyday technologies can be considerable, for example, a refrigerator’s leakage of a harmless gas can have an effect on food distribution systems and the atmosphere.