Technology relates to the ways in which knowledge is creatively applied to organised tasks involving people and machines that meet sustainable objectives.
While assessing the whole extent of the impact of technology on human life is practically impossible, it’s clear that technological advancements have made it possible for humans to do more, achieve more, and enjoy their lives in more ways than were ever thought possible before. But technology is not without its weaknesses; when abused or created carelessly, it can have unintended consequences that are far from beneficial.
Whether it’s the latest mobile phone, computer or television, or even a car that can drive itself, technology is present everywhere in our daily lives. In the business world, it often refers to what’s known as “IT” – Information Technology – which covers everything from computers and servers, through to networks and software.
But in a broader sense, technology is any material means of manipulating the environment. This includes the tools and methods we use to shape the world around us, and it can be as simple as a hammer or as complex as an aircraft engine. Technology is intrinsic to every culture – shaping it in turn, and it’s also the means by which we can understand the universe.
Every technology works within certain constraints, some of which are absolute (physical laws, or the limitations of materials). Other constraints may be economic (only so much money can be spent), social, ecological, ethical (like disruption to natural environments) or political (disadvantages to some groups of people). Technology is the process by which we attempt to identify and balance these constraints.
Modern technology is a complex web of inventions that has evolved to the point where it’s become almost impossible to live without it. The development of new technologies has led to the creation of whole industries dedicated to their manufacture and maintenance. Many of these technologies are so advanced that they require sophisticated, specialized training to design, build, maintain and operate.
Technology is also the medium through which we communicate with each other, both within our own societies and across national borders. It’s through the use of technology that we can share information, ideas and knowledge in a way that wasn’t even dreamed of before.
Modern technology has also helped businesses to increase their productivity, allowing them to produce more goods at a quicker rate than was ever previously possible. This has resulted in greater global trade, bringing with it more opportunity for both nations and companies to stay competitive.