As technology advances, the faces of communication and society have changed. Likewise, technology has significantly served to reshape the business world and competitiveness in multiple ways. Businesses must compete on many levels, including competing for the top talents within a field. Technology has changed the way that organizations compete for their workforce, offering increased options for mobility through cell phones, telecommuting through remote server access, and increased security within the internal and external digital information lines (Reed Business Information, 2004; Hornung, Rousseau & Glaser, 2008). Just as employees expect more digital flexibility and security (Barr, 2008), so too do the consumers served through e-commerce.
“E-commerce changes the characteristics and rules of business competition through electronic flows of information and money” (Shi & Wright, 2003, p. 1). The technology available reshapes the information available to consumers, allowing for greater exchanges of information between people, businesses and consumer organizations (Kato, 2010). Instead of being limited to physical boundaries, competitors may now advertise across geographic locations, shipping to customers worldwide. Businesses have now destroyed the conventional means of competition through creative use of technology (McKenney, Copeland & Mason, 1995). The advances in technology have changed the target market and increased competition in areas that may have previously been dominated by a single firm. IT designs have become competitive necessities in many industries (McKenney et al., 1995). “Firms that do not keep abreast of the technology become stuck in an application that is approaching obsolescence, and their competence begins to erode” (McKenney, et al., 1995, pg x).
Another way that technology is changing the competitive business landscape is through increasing efficiency and reducing costs (Hunger & Wheelen, 2007). Information systems can eliminate employee decision processes, saving time and allowing personnel to work in other areas. The healthcare industry has been significantly impacted by changes and advances in technology. Electronic medical records have changed the availability and access of personal health information. Advanced information systems may monitor vital signs on critical patients over wireless networks; this technology not only improves care and allows for specialization of care but also supports cost-efficiency and competitiveness within the healthcare industry (Gao, Greenspan, Welsh, Juang & Alm, 2005). Similar to other corporate businesses, products and services may be compared online through private and public ratings, consumer websites and government (Austin, 2005). Overall, technology has had a significant impact on the healthcare industry and the competitive landscape of healthcare delivery.