Technology is the application of scientific knowledge and engineering principles to create tools that improve our environment, increase productivity and make life easier. It’s a broad concept that can be divided into various sub-categories, depending on their methods of application, problems they solve and purposes they serve.
It is rare that a single discovery in science or engineer’s idea can be directly translated into a practical technology, however most technological development is a step-by-step process. Each stage validates the underlying ideas, gains a greater understanding of the challenges involved and tests them against reality. The development of technology is often a painstaking journey with many apparently promising early technologies stalling or even failing midway through their development.
The term ‘technology’ derives from the Greek word techne, which originally meant skills of working with wood but later came to be applied more broadly to any kind of specialized expertise or ‘know how’. The term was used in the late 19th century by William Barton Rogers for his turgid compendium, The Useful Arts (later renamed The Art of Technology) and eventually merged with the existing term Information Technology to become the term we now know as Technology.
When most people think of technology, they envision the latest gadgets – phones, TV’s, computers, cars and even robot grass cutters! However, in a business or workplace context, technology is a much broader concept that encompasses all the processes and applications that enable businesses to function effectively. This includes IT systems, e-commerce technologies and customer sales processes.