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Majority sees advantages of information technology

Rochester Business Journal
September 7, 2012

Nearly all respondents to this week's RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll say information technology and the Internet have changed the way they do business, with 84 percent saying it was for the better. However, they have a more divided view of globalization, another trend that has affected the U.S. economy.
 
Computers/automation and global competition were prominent in the New York Times Economix blog's recent list of reasons why median household income has registered its worst 12-year stretch since the Great Depression. This week's poll looked at these two forces from a business perspective.
 
Automation driven by computer technology has spurred productivity, boosting output while reducing employment in manufacturing and other industries. With the Internet, information technology has created new business opportunities while removing barriers to competition.
 
Similarly, globalization has had multiple effects, opening up markets and reducing the prices of many goods while heightening competition.
 
Nearly two-thirds of readers say increasing globalization has changed the way they do business; 29 percent of those say very much. This compares with 23 percent who say it has not changed their businesses very much and 12 percent who say not at all.
 
Overall, 40 percent say increasing globalization has helped their business, compared with 17 percent who say it has hurt them.
 
Nearly 300 readers participated in this week's poll, which was conducted Sept. 4.

How much have information technology and the Internet changed the way you do business?
Very much: 72%
Somewhat: 23%
Not very much: 3%
Not at all: 1%

Overall, have information technology and the Internet helped or hurt your business?
Helped: 84%
Hurt: 9%
Neutral or no impact: 7%
How much has increasing globalization changed the way you do business?
Very much: 29%
Somewhat: 35%
Not very much: 23%
Not at all: 12%

Overall, has increasing globalization helped or hurt your business?
Helped: 40%
Hurt: 17%
Neutral or no impact: 43%

COMMENTS:
The Internet is here to stay, even though someone recently told me that they believe it's not a viable resource. Seven billion people worldwide are online. Facebook alone has topped 900 million users! If you're not online, you're invisible. It's really as simple as that.
  -Rich Calabrese Jr.
 
The Internet has become our best salesperson and rep. As a small custom manufacturer, it allows us to explain to potential customers exactly what we can do to help solve their needs. Globalization has helped and hurt. In the late '90s, the hurt was big as many customers took their work offshore. Today, reshoring seems in vogue as we get calls each week making sure we do all our work in the USA!
  -Peter Short, J.J. Short Associates Inc.
 
Our small business because of the Internet has found global suppliers and clients without seeking them out. It is a connected global economy in which we live today. We must acknowledge it, embrace it and incorporate it into our strategic plans if we are to succeed long-term.
  -Mike Moser, president, MyFleetDept.com
 
As an association of funders who are located throughout Upstate New York, the availability of Internet for distance learning and communication has radically changed the opportunities grant-makers have to share their work.
  -Liz Wilder, executive director, Grantmakers Forum of New York

For more comments, go to rbjdaily.com.  To participate in the weekly RBJ Snap Poll, sign up for the Daily Report at rbj.net/dailyreport.asp.


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