What Is Technology?

Technology is the application of scientific knowledge to change and manipulate the world around us. It is a broad and diverse term that covers tools and machines from the humble crowbar to space shuttles. It also encompasses information, such as computer software and business methods.

Many people associate the word with gadgets like mobile phones, computers, tablets and big TVs or more recent innovations such as drones and robotic grass cutters. In fact, the word is more than a collection of devices; it’s a way of life. Technology touches all aspects of human life from personal to work, and the impact is ever-growing.

Technology shapes our world – the good, the bad and the ugly. It helps us survive, progress and thrive and is responsible for many of the changes we see in our lives today. It has enabled medical breakthroughs, including personalized medicine, robotic surgery and wearable health monitoring. Renewable energy technologies have helped address climate change, and space exploration has led to amazing discoveries that have pushed the boundaries of what humans can do.

It is also responsible for the digital revolution – changing how we live, work and communicate. It has facilitated more people than ever to run their own businesses, travel and interact with each other globally, find their soul mates through online dating apps or even learn in their own home.

Whether it is a small, one-person sole proprietorship or large, complex corporation, it is almost impossible for businesses to operate in today’s global economy without sophisticated IT equipment and systems. This enables them to stay competitive and meet the needs of customers.

While we use the term broadly to describe what is man-made, it is important to note that not all technology is created equal. Some is designed to help society and some is used for destructive purposes – from clubs to nuclear weapons, the technological advancements in weaponry have been rapid.

A common misconception is that science, engineering and technology are distinct from each other. However, they are closely related. Science is the reasoned investigation of phenomena and aims to uncover enduring principles of nature. Engineering uses the results of science to design and make physical objects for practical purposes, while technology combines the skills of science, engineering, mathematical, linguistic and historical knowledge to achieve some practical result.

Incorporating new technology into existing products is an example of incremental innovation, which makes smaller improvements to a product but add up to a significant improvement over time. Examples include upgrading versions of operating systems, releasing security patches and making modifications to existing services. It is also possible for companies to use technology as a key point of differentiation from their competition. They can use it to attract new customers and build their brand by demonstrating their ability to keep up with trends in the industry. In addition, technology can provide a platform for companies to improve efficiency and reduce costs while still delivering expected output.