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The Use of Technology in Business

Watch this to explore the use of tech for Higher Business (and why the tech revolution has changed everything)

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The cars we drive today are largely put together by robotic arms. They have built in sat nav systems that drivers can speak to directly and the sat nav speaks back telling us where to turn. We have touchscreens for many things. You can pay for your Costa coffee in store by tapping your smartphone. The smartphone itself isn’t just a telephone; it’s a web browser, a games console, it can be synced to your smartwatch and provide information from your daily step count to your blood oxygen level and heart rate. It’s not entirely unrealistic that your next Amazon parcel could be delivered to your garden by an aerial drone.

All these innovations are thanks to advancements in modern technology, and it’s a big money business. So let’s get into the technicalities of tackling exam style questions on the use of technology.

This is ThinkFour.

The use of technology is a theme that stretches across several units of the Higher Business Management course. There are two very common pitfalls that candidates often fall into when tackling exam questions on the use of tech. Let’s say you have a question like this [on screen text 1] Describe ways in which modern technology can be used in the finance department. This could be fairly high tariff; worth around six marks or so.

A bad start to an answer here would look something like this [on screen text 2] Technology is good because... The issue is that you need to name specific items of technology, for example email, EPOS or websites, rather than just using the word technology in a general sense.

If we continue this example of a bad answer, our candidate goes on to say [on screen text 3] Email is useful because it allows messages to be sent with file attachments at any time of day. While naming email specifically is a step in the right direction and the point about email isn’t wrong, the question asks you to link your answer to the finance department and there’s no evidence of that here. This failure to make a connection to a particular area of the business, if required, is common pitfall number two.

Bearing in mind this topic stretches across the marketing, operations, finance and management of people Higher units, it’s important to know the significance of certain technologies as they relate to each area.

So, how do we cash in and convert our bad answer example into marks in the bank? Let's stick with email and say this [on screen text 4] “Email allows for financial documents, such as income statements, to be attached and sent to several colleagues at once.” Now we can very clearly see the benefit of email in using attachments plus the reference to a specific financial document.

. Let’s use the internet this time to frame an answer like this [on screen text 5] Websites may be accessed to find out the share price performance of rival firms. Online banking also allows businesses to receive payments and make payments to suppliers very quickly. Here we can see one mark for the reference to rival share prices and then a further mark for online banking.

Questions on the use of tech aren’t limited to applying your knowledge to the various departments of a business. They can also be very specific and focus on the use of one item of tech only.

For examples, check out the 2019 SQA past paper, question 1e. Also go to the 2018 paper questions 2c and 3c, and lastly the 2017 paper question 1c for a real curveball example. What you’ll find here are very focused questions on virtual learning environments, robotics, spreadsheets and WiFi.

You’ll need access to technology to follow the recommendations mentioned here. The very fact you’re even watching this now is due to advancements in tech which have made many aspects of our lives simpler, faster, and more enjoyable.

When it comes to final exam preparation though for those Higher qualifications, good old fashioned hard work and study does the job.

Thanks for watching, this was ThinkFour.