As explained in the Introduction to Communication Science , what is meant by communication is the exchange of facts, ideas, opinions, or emotions between two or more people. When the message is received and understood well by the recipient of the message in accordance with what is desired by the sender of the message then that is what is called effective communication . Communication takes place in various contexts, one of which is business. Communication that occurs between people in an organization that aims to conduct business activities is called business communication. Various forms of business communication is oral communication , written communication, verbal communication, nonverbal communication, and others.
According to Courtland L. Bovee and John V. Thill (2008), one way to improve business communication skills is to use technology effectively. As we have understood together that in the information age as it is now, technology plays a very important role in the communication process including the business communication process and the cross cultural business communication process. Information technology and communication equipment that we use every day such as mobile phones, laptops, computers, tablets, etc. are also used in business communication and cross-cultural business communication .
The purpose of using technology in business communication is to improve performance, stay connected with various interested parties both in the office and other business places, and communicate with each other. In order to communicate effectively through various existing technological devices, we should continue to understand that the use of technology in business communication or cross-cultural business communication is to assist the communication process. In addition, we must also be able to use technology more productively, and stay connected with people even without using technology because the technology used in communication is not necessarily appropriate for every communication situation.
The use of technology in business communication does not always run smoothly. Often found various obstacles that can interfere with the effectiveness of business communication and cross-cultural business communication. Following are some of the barriers to the use of technology in business communication, extracted from various sources, including:
- The mismatch of technology used with the type of business being run
One obstacle to the use of technology in business communication is a mismatch between the technology used and the type of business being run. The results of the study show that some organizations or companies do not use the internet to sell products or services because they think the internet and e-commerce do not match the type of business they are running. They prefer to use the internet as a medium of communication than as a marketing medium.
- Lack of technological literacy owned by managers
In organizations or companies, managers or leaders have a great influence on the use of technology. The results of the study show that managers ‘or leaders’ perceptions influence the way an organization or company views the role of technology. If managers or leaders cannot see the effect of technology in positive business communication , are not familiar with the use of technology such as computers and remain in the belief that technology is only for large-scale organizations or companies then they will not involve technology in their business activities.
- Lack of technological literacy owned by employees
Barriers to the use of technology in business communication are also caused by the lack of technological literacy that employees have. This happens when the manager or leader of the organization or company has been technology literate while the employees below him do not have the skills in running the technology used. The results of the study show that an organization or company that wants to implement technology in business requires at least employees who have the knowledge in operating the technology used.
- The technology used does not meet the required standards
The use of technology in business communication that does not meet standards can also bring its own obstacles. The various technological devices used for communication between buyers and sellers generally require different platforms. Organizations or companies that plan to apply technology in business communication need to carry out the process of sorting and selecting the right technology so that it can truly support and improve the performance of the organization or company.
- Allocation of funds
The use of technology in business communications often requires substantial funds. Especially when considering the need for technology to support the performance of the organization or company. Generally, technology with high specifications requires a lot of funds compared to technology with specifications that are not too high. This presents a particular obstacle for organizations or companies that have limited funds.
- The high cost of developing and maintaining a technology system
Some organizations or companies that have limited funds tend not to apply or use technology in business communications. This is because they feel that the cost to develop and maintain a technology system is very expensive compared to the benefits obtained.
This situation makes the organization or company use simple technology applications such as websites as a medium to provide information related to the products or services offered. However, it should also be understood that various technology applications including websites also require maintenance and improvement which also requires significant costs if employees do not have the skills in technology development and maintenance.
- Slow internet connection
Organizations or companies that do business online by adopting e-commerce or e-business require the availability of broadband such as DSL, fiber , or high capacity broadband . A slow internet connection causes slow transmission of data and makes organizations or companies reluctant to use the internet in running their business. The results of the study indicate that organizations or companies that lack confidence in using technology will have an impact on the lack of confidence to adapt other technologies and compete in e-commerce systems .
- Problems of technology integration
Related to the development and maintenance of technology systems, new technologies applied in the business world need to be evaluated based on the perspective of the existence of processes and affected technological heritage. Technology integration also requires a lot of money. Organizations or companies with limited funds tend to be reluctant to integrate technology.
- Lack of consumer confidence in products or services sold online
Small scale organizations or companies tend to encounter much bigger obstacles in selling products or services online compared to large scale organizations or companies that already have names and are known to the wider community. Online consumers tend to look for products or services that are well-known because they are seen as highly credible compared to products or services that don’t have a name or are unknown.
Based on one of the functions of business communication that is as an image instrument, a website expert will try to display a positive image through an attractive, elegant and professional website appearance to support an organization or company to conduct business-to-business transactions. In addition, various information related to the profile of the organization or company is displayed as well as the products or services being sold. Website displayattractive, elegant, and professional can attract the attention of consumers and increase the level of consumer confidence so that consumers are encouraged to buy the products or services offered. The results of the study show that organizations or companies that lack trust from consumers are caused by inappropriate use of technology.
- Lack of security in onlinetransactions
In the context of business to consumers, organizations or companies generally offer various facilities in conducting transactions online, for example by using a credit card. This raises concerns in the minds of consumers related to the security system that is owned by the website of the organization or company concerned. Generally, organizations or companies that work with other parties, they need to maintain or improve the level of security of data and information during the collaboration. This level of data and information security is also one of the barriers to the use of technology in business communications.
- Legal uncertainty
Most transactions made via the internet and e-commerce tend to be international. In a sense, organizations or companies need to be aware of and be careful of various problems such as differences in terms of the rule of law, regulations, communication ethics , business communication ethics, and others. This problem can have an impact on the organization or company in conducting its business, especially its relationship with consumers because of the absence of legal standards that cause legal uncertainty in conducting cross-border transactions. For this reason, the organization or company must have its own legal division to handle and overcome this. These legal uncertainties include employment contracts, shipping rules and guarantees.
- The use of technology that is rapidly changing
Another obstacle to the use of technology in business communication is the use of technology which often changes due to the rapid development of information and communication technology. For organizations or companies that have used e-commerce may not experience significant obstacles. However, when faced with changes in organizational and management structure and business process restructuring to make better use of technology, this is a challenge for early adopters of technology.
Some information technology experts feel uncomfortable when they have to ask or convince superiors related to technology needs for organizations or businesses. If the manager or leader does not feel the need for new technology then the renewal of new technology will not be done.
- Limited resources
The next obstacle to using technology in business communication is the limited resources needed to implement and maintain technology. An organization or company needs a sufficient number of staff, qualified, and has enough time to implement, maintain, support, and update technology.
Organizations or companies that are new to using technology need to provide funds to conduct training for their employees. Organizations or companies with limited funds will certainly find it difficult to conduct training in the use of technology for their employees which results in impeded use of technology in business communications.
- Low quality and / or quantity of telecommunications infrastructure
The poor quality and quantity of telecommunications infrastructure is also a cause of impeded use of technology in business communications. This is generally due to the lack of funding allocation in the telecommunications infrastructure sector carried out by the government. As a result, available technologies such as the internet cannot support business communication.
Language as a communication tool is one of the barriers to business communication . For those who do not or do not master English it is difficult to use technology in business communication. This is due to Western countries controlling the world market and using English as a universal language so that various information presented through websites uses English.
Benefits of Studying the Barriers to Using Technology in Business Communication
Studying barriers to the use of technology in business communication can provide several benefits, including:
- We can know and understand the meaning of business communication
- We can know and understand the purpose of using technology in business communication
- We can know and understand various obstacles in the use of technology in business communication
Thus a brief review of the barriers to the use of technology in business communication. Hopefully it can add to our insights and knowledge about business communication in general and various obstacles in the use of technology in business communication in particular.