What is Technology?

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Technology is the application of scientific knowledge to practical aims like increasing prosperity, improving comfort and quality of life, providing medical advances, and changing the world around us. Generally, technologies spread and disappear on the basis of free-market forces, but some are met with public opposition and even become subject to formal regulations — as in the case of contour plowing, nuclear power plants, vaccines, and genetic engineering.

Modern technology has strongly shaped the course of history and the nature of human society. It has dramatically changed the way people farm, travel, run businesses, and communicate with one another. The most significant changes were the great revolutions in agricultural technology, and more recently the dramatic growth of cities as a result of improvements in water supply, sanitation, electricity, and communications.

Every technological design operates within constraints that must be taken into account: financial (only so much money is available), social (public opposition), ecological (likely disruption of the natural environment), and ethical (disadvantages to some people, risk to future generations). Reaching optimum designs requires striking reasonable compromises among these factors.

Technology is also a topic that encompasses a vast range of products and services, including the hardware that runs our devices, the software used to manage data, and the platforms we use to collaborate with others. From telemedicine to virtual meetings, many of these solutions offer valuable information on productivity and team performance that can help organisations improve their bottom lines.