Business and Technology


About Technology

Every engineering design operates within constraints: the physical laws of conservation of energy, physical properties like limits of flexibility and electrical conductivity, economic (only so much money is available), political, social, ecological, ethical (disadvantages to some people or risk to subsequent generations). An optimum design strikes some reasonable compromise among them.

Technological progress happens mainly when we identify some new need and combine existing technologies to meet it. For example, a jet engine is made up of technologies like a compressor, turbine, and an anti-stall system, each of which is itself built from other technologies.

The emergence of technological devices also creates a dynamic tension between competing values and needs. The new pathways that they offer tend to prioritize certain ends and deprioritize others. For instance, as digital cameras became popular, they shifted the pathway to photographs away from analogue cameras and darkrooms, which were inefficient but gratifying.

However, there are also costs to using technology. Most technologies require energy sources for construction and operation, and they often cause pollution. Furthermore, they require human resources for maintenance and repair. These costs may be difficult to quantify, but they should not be ignored. Nonetheless, technology is a tool that can help businesses operate effectively. For example, it allows businesses to organize information and communicate with customers and employees. It also helps businesses save time and money by automating processes. Moreover, it allows businesses to make decisions more quickly and accurately.