Technology and Globalization

Technology and Globalization

1. The Impact of Technology on Globalization

The technological advancements of recent decades have much to do with information technology has spread intercontinentally for the past ten years. This technology spread information to many places all over the world making information technology advance global. The major factor with technology is that it creates an awesome amount of data which cannot be processed by humans. We need machines and with a step into artificial intelligence technology has automated business to an extent. From storing data to automated customer support, now all these have moved offshore to save costs. In the case of the IT industry, this has opened gates for more offshore software development and BPO. The impact of technology on international trade is a spillover it has created for other sectors. In economic theory, this is a demand by people for a product with the motive to invest which will create more income. Foreign investors are attracted by technology and they have a picture about developed countries creating technology using highly educated people and complex machinery. This will make them invest in that country. Technology increases the production of a wide variety of goods giving consumers more choices. It reduces the cost of production enabling firms to gain a competitive advantage by price reduction. High-efficiency new machinery and large-scale mass production is the face of today’s industry. What will be tomorrow’s? Well, globalization will ensure that every activity gives a maximum output so the concept of increased efficiency still holds good. Now, in recent years, there has been a large diaspora of workers from developing countries to developed ones in search of a good job. Increased technology creates a global market these workers can search for jobs offshore. The development and spread of technology have a thought-provoking impact on the global labor market.

The information technology has revolutionized the way in which firms do business. It doesn’t matter what language one speaks. In which part of world one lives, the technology will affect all of us. The spread of Internet has been exceptionally great and has spread extensively. Today, you just type a word “business” into any search engine and will return millions of results. This signifies the depth of Internet in today’s world. The other form of technology which aids business is communication technology. Through cell phone, e-mails and PDAs even small businesses are operating globally with clients in remote locations. Now you can also chat or video conference at minimal cost which has made communication easy. The information revolution is a global one. Now all these technologies have crossed our national boundaries opening the way for international trade. This has merged world’s financial markets which had a huge impact on the economy. Technology has changed the way of living. With everyone using the latest technology like iPod, Blackberry, and cell phones one cannot compete with others. This has made a perfect competitive market. Technology has no doubt played a very significant role in globalization. This simply means the movement of people, goods, and ideas from one place to another. All of these technological advancements have had a deep impact on global business and the nature of the global economy.

2. Advantages and Disadvantages of Technological Globalization

One of the major problems with globalization and increased global interdependence is that it often is synonymous with an unequal distribution of wealth. This is not due to global integration itself but to the way in which it has been designed to work. Globalization of world markets has generated enormous profits for many corporations and made shareholders exceedingly wealthy. The idea of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund supported policy of structural adjustment and global integration is focused on the idea of developing open market economy states that adhere to the model of Western countries. This involves the privatization of industry and radical cuts to public services. Developed countries generally have the capital to invest in industry they can make much more money out of in the long run and are able to exist in open market economy states. High-tech industry and consumer electronics are an epitome of a market with global integration. Globalization can be very detrimental to the environment. Excess resources from one country can be sold to another that has a higher demand for it, often meaning manufacturing. The increased awareness of world markets has led to increased competition and often results in the weakening of environmental regulations. Countries with less stringent environmental policies are often chosen as sites for dangerous and polluting industry. The movement of toxic waste between nations is another example of harmful global interdependence. High-tech industry and global technology often are significant causes of the transfer of harmful products between nations. The recent switch to more environmentally sound technology is not an indication that this kind of globalization is decreasing. This is because previous industry has lasting effects on the environment and still has the potential to be moved to a less developed country.

An epitome of globalization supported by global technology is the United States’ dominance of the world market in the promotion of fast food. It is not necessarily the consumption of fast food that is important, but the increased homogeneity of cultures. The consumption of fast food across the globe has increasingly homogenized cultures between Western and Asian cultures. This is not only harmful to the world’s general health but is also eroding cultures worldwide. Fast food has led to huge multinational companies being able to spread their products over international borders, integrating markets on an unprecedented scale. This has led to the movement of a uniform culture and values worldwide.

Global technology and globalization provide increased entrepreneurial connectivity through the usage of the World Wide Web and advancing telecommunications. Global technology increases awareness of world markets, enabling the growth of cross-border activities, integration of trade, and conditions of globalization. Global technology also supports globalization by easing migration and the flow of people, providing better access to developed countries.

3. Globalization of Information Technology

The spread of IT and ITES industries has empowered the educated workforce in developing countries like India and China, providing them with jobs that they can be proud of and a lifestyle they can only dream of. With this, the brain drain that has been a bane for developing countries has slowed to a stop. In the case of India, the maximum emigration is of the IT staff and with them finding the same job opportunities at home, there is no need to go abroad and earn money. This brain gain has resulted in higher literacy rates and better living conditions, particularly in urban India. Globalization of IT has not only allowed data entry jobs to be taken abroad but also higher-end work like software development, engineering design, and IT-enabled services. There has been a rapid growth in the software and services exports to the USA, Europe, and Japan, with flow-on effects to the telecommunications and ITES industries. This is evident due to the fact that India’s IT industry’s fiscal revenue for the year 2006 is US$ 23.5 billion, an increase by 24% than that of the previous fiscal.

4. Technological Innovations Driving Globalization

Nike, Inc., a US company, has become the poster child for globalization and the effect of technological innovation. Nike has been attacked by activists at home and abroad for its use of sweatshops to produce its line of athletic shoes. The sheer size and rapid growth of the shoe industry has globalized the market for shoes in countries with widely varying wage rates and working conditions.

Nowhere is the function of technology in globalization more hotly debated in society. Novel technologies that facilitate travel, trade, and communications have undoubtedly played a crucial role in globalizing various industries, but this has also spurred cultural and political resistance. Critics debate whether globalization of culture will inevitably lead to westernization.

Globalization has transformed the way nations interact. Globalization has been driven by information technology. What is clear is that the scope and impact of globalization is closely related to changes in engineering and technology. Telecommunications technology has increased the ability of nations to conduct trade in services, and the internet has increased the ability of SMEs and individual entrepreneurs to engage in international trade.

The role of technology in globalization is to enable companies to do things more quickly and to communicate effectively across vast distances. Globalization has revolutionized trade, and technological innovations have played a vital role in the growth of international trade and investments. Enhanced telecommunications has been the most important innovation in this context.

5. Future Trends in Technology and Globalization

Proponents of the globalization process state that the global economy is becoming exceedingly unified, and as such national borders are becoming less important. Future trends in technology are seen as leading to even more interconnectedness, also referred to as the “death of distance.” Many have seen the developments in information and communication technology as critical in this globalization process. The internet has served as a critical tool in the exchange of information and ideas, and has greatly facilitated increased interconnectedness among individuals and businesses. In the future, it is suggested that a larger global network of individuals will be working in telecommuting arrangements. With the current trends in outsourcing and offshoring, it is apparent that firms are always looking for areas to cut costs, and with the continual development of technology, this will likely be a viable option for many more jobs. Future trends in technology will also lower the cost and increase the quality of transportation and logistics. Increased fuel efficiency or alternative fuel engines for cars and trucks will reduce costs of transportation. Improved tracking systems for containers and shipping methods such as air freight and drone delivery will reduce product shipping times across countries or regions. These advances in ICT will serve to further link the global economy.

Scholars and political economists have offered a variety of theories and perspectives on the current trends and future outcomes of globalization. As definitive as many of these theories aim to be, the sheer complexity of the international economy and the many forces that drive it ensure that it is highly unlikely that a complete understanding of the processes at work can be discerned. As technology plays an increasingly crucial role in the development of globalization, there is a heated debate over how future changes in technology will impact the global economy, and whether these changes will serve to further the interconnectedness of the current global economy.

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