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Business Operations and Ethics: 11 Technologies to Watch

Tech Use, Business Ethics
Scott Gerber
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Scott Gerber

Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members rep… (show all) Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.

YEC

The capabilities of modern technology have made our world more connected, personalized and efficient than ever. With this unprecedented power and access comes the ability to operate in a more transparent, ethical manner—and consumers expect businesses to do so.

Fortunately, both businesses and consumers have a lot of systems available—and more in development—to ensure that businesses act responsibly and meet the market’s growing demand for transparency, privacy and fairness. To find out more, we asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council the following:

What technologies or systems do you see on the horizon that will have a strong impact on how ethically businesses operate?

Here are some systems they said to watch, as well as why:

1. Voice Search

There’s a sharp increase in people using their smart home devices to voice search for things online. The customer is putting a ton of trust into the companies creating these devices. As voice search expands in the coming years, these tech companies need to set a privacy standard to ensure that customers are not being recorded beyond their search query. – Syed BalkhiWPBeginner

2. Dynamic Pricing Tools

We can already see the impact of dynamic pricing in certain industries, like in Uber or Lyft. I think dynamic pricing will start to be used in more and more industries to eliminate unnecessary expenses, an overabundance of resources and things like food waste. – Rachel BeiderPRESS Modern Massage

3. Customer Communication Platforms

In the last few years, AI has infiltrated customer service interactions. Data has always informed how a customer service agent would support you. For example, if you were a longtime customer you might be read a different script. Now, over messenger or even the phone, you might be only interacting with a machine. Businesses must ensure everyone is treated fairly and set their tech up accordingly. – Aaron SchwartzPassport

4. Online Review Platforms

Today, we have Google Reviews, Glassdoor, Yelp, BBB, ZoomInfo, company databases and so many other portals which can provide amazing insight into how companies operate. We can find customer reviews, complaints, article of organization, the status of the company, owners and so much crucial data, which keeps companies more disciplined and ethical. One step wrong can create bad news. – Piyush JainSIMpalm

5. Blockchain

It is still early days, but distributed ledger technology like blockchain and smart contracts are primed for making supply chains more transparent and decentralized. This can potentially have a big impact on players in the supply chain who don’t follow through or pay on time. Right now there’s ambiguity and big players can boss around smaller ones. Technology is set to disrupt this dynamic. – Tony ScherbaYeti

6. Social Media

Social media is the new word of mouth. Instead of simply talking about how unethical someone thinks a company is, someone can put a company on blast with a simple tweet. In many ways, this is good as those companies that operate ethically will float to the top. I think we’ll see social media continue to play an active role in holding companies responsible in the future. – Jared AtchisonWPForms

7. 5G

5G is intended to provide speeds up to one gigabyte per second, but with faster wireless technology comes a number of ethical issues, including the amount of energy it will take to run, increasing the amount of e-waste we produce, and leaving people in communities with slow Wi-Fi even farther behind. – Stephanie WellsFormidable Forms

8. Applicant Tracking Systems

Using artificial intelligence in the recruitment process has the potential to eliminate human bias in hiring and make talent management in business more ethical. Using machine learning and deep learning algorithms in ATS to eliminate bias against a certain race, age or gender can level the playing field when it comes to recruiting talent and make the process transparent and fair for all applicants. – Rahul VarshneyaBenchpoint

9. Employee Monitoring

You should see advancements in employee monitoring, a key component of any ethical business. There are already new tools that are having an impact. Additionally, it is also likely that there will be more advanced tools to do a better job of protecting customer data, such as more rigid encryption services. – Andrew SchrageMoney Crashers Personal Finance

10. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence can become a good moral compass for what businesses do and say, revealing their ethical practices and environmental friendliness. It can also track for any questionable practices that break with current regulations and compliance codes. – Angela RuthCalendar

11. Automated Personalization Tools

Technology is available today that can track the behavior of a customer on your website and any data they enter upon signing up for our mailing list. As technology grows and we continue using it to improve our marketing, it’s important that business owners continue to remain ethical and use all the information they gather about their customers responsibly. – Blair WilliamsMemberPress

This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.

Published May 10, 2019 — 09:00 UTC