Technology is an important resource that empowers businesses and helps them keep up with their competition. It’s also useful in making the operations easier for both the employees and customers. This is why a lot of companies upgrade their technology to stay competitive.
Technology encompasses a wide range of tools and machines that may be used to solve real-world problems. It may also refer to virtual technologies, such as computer software and the Internet. In the broadest sense, technology includes any tool or machine that has been created through the application of human skill and knowledge.
The evolution of technology has significantly impacted the course of history and the nature of human society. It has enabled people to overcome the limitations of their environment and interact with one another on a global scale. Examples of technological breakthroughs include the inventions of fire and wheel, which increased available food; advances in sanitation and preventive medicine, which improved health; bows and arrows, gunpowder and nuclear weapons, which changed how wars are waged; and the microprocessor, which has revolutionized writing, banking, business management, research, education and communication.
A lot of new technology comes from science and engineering, but it can also be developed independently from these fields. In some cases, scientists and engineers develop new technology to aid in their research work. Other times, a new technology evolves from the need for efficient use of existing tools or materials.
Typically, the development of technology is a step-by-step process. A promising initial idea must be refined, reworked and tested before it can be put into practice. This is often why apparently promising early technologies stall midway through their development, although many do eventually succeed.
Some technological developments generate controversy and criticism, which may be expressed in a variety of ways. For example, dystopian literary classics such as Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four present visions of technological dystopia. Other critics of technology are more subtle, focusing on what they see as the negative effects of industrialization and the increasing interdependence of communities worldwide.
Most technological innovations spread or die on the basis of free-market forces, but sometimes the use of a particular technology becomes a subject of public debate and possibly regulation. This has happened with contour plowing, vaccination and genetic engineering. The use of a specific technology also becomes an issue when it appears to have the potential to disproportionately affect certain groups in society, as has been the case with nuclear power and weapons of mass destruction. Individual citizens seldom have the power to directly influence large-scale policy decisions about technology, but their collective actions can exert pressure on private enterprises and government officials to address such issues. For example, consumers can choose to buy energy-efficient appliances or avoid products that contribute to environmental pollution. This type of pressure can encourage businesses to improve their technological offerings or even change their policies. It can also prompt individuals to ask questions about their own use of technology.