21st Century: Digital Technology Redefines Business Competition

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1107 Words
Date:  2023-02-06

The turn of 21st Century, competition redefined the business Environment such that, large firms are forced to adapt to the ever-evolving business factors to rapidly grow and hold an upper hand over their competitors. The major cause of this competition is digital technology. Organizations are striving to transform their businesses by applying technology in innovating new ideas and products to open up new opportunities and also to protect themselves from the external threats emerging each day.

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This article will focus on Walmart's transformation of its business operations through information systems in a view to outsmart its competitors. More information about the organization can be accessed through its website address, 'https://corporate.walmart.com'. Walmart is a private multinational business organization operating all forms of retailing via running of hypermarket chains, grocery stores, and discount stores in 27 countries worldwide ("Walmart Corporate," 2019). It has over 11,200 stores in these 27 countries operating under 55 different brand banners ("Walmart Corporate," 2019). Furthermore, customers are afforded the luxury of online retail done through e-commerce websites in 10 of these countries ("Walmart Corporate," 2019). Walmart is the largest retailer in the whole world based on revenue, where Fortune Global 500 reported it to have revenue above $515,000 billion in 2019 fiscal year (O'Connell, 2019). Walmart's US operations contribute most in its revenue accumulation with approximately 65% of the revenues generated from the US market. Its operating annual budget is increasing each year due to operation expansion, where Walmart 2019 annual operating expenses exceeds $492,000 billion, which is a 2.61% increase from that of 2018 (>$479,000 billion) r (O'Connell, 2019). Walmart is the largest private employer having an excess of 2.2 million associates employed globally with over 1.5 million associates being attached in the USA alone ("Walmart Corporate," 2019).

Walmart in a view to ward off competition from other store and online retailers like Amazon is integrating and adopting new technologies through technological innovations that are facilitating the irreproachable shopping experience for the customers both at the stores and via e-commerce websites. Walmart's main Corporate Mission is "to save people money so they can live better" ("Walmart Corporate," 2019). Formulation of technological transformations embraced by the company's organizational structure is facilitating operational efficiency, therefore, enabling Walmart to fulfill its corporate mission. In addition to that, Walmart's recruitment of technology employees is top-notch and gradually expanding. Relevant technology partners are being integrated to provide any needed technology. Moreover, technology adoption is being closely screened by the technology team led by the chief technology officer, Mr. Jeremy King, to ensure that the technology adopted is the viable one and that is sufficiently developed to meet the needs of the company.

Walmart business transformation through technology is an intensive strategy aimed at maintaining growth, sustain competitive advantage, and promote efficient and reliable operation. Technology transformation involves the use of research and development(R & D) to introduce new products and services to the market or to improve the quality needed. Walmart's Centre for R&D is located in Bengaluru and it employs more than 1200 people responsible for technology innovation ("Walmart Corporate," 2019). Walmart's R&D mainly gears on customer convenience, efficiency, and reliability. One of the latest technological transformations introduced by Walmart was the automation of stores operations through the installation of artificially intelligent robots. The robots were introduced in 2017 to help in accuracy and customer affairs improvement (Harwell, 2019). It was also aimed at expenditure management since the wages were swelling at an alarming rate. Also, revenues lost due to human interruptions like rests and day-offs was projected to be eliminated.

Walmart developed several artificial intelligent machines and rolled them into more than 1500 of its stores. The hyper-efficient shelf scanning robot helps in solving the biggest customer complaints that mainly relates to out of stock shelves. The auto-S camera robot collects misplaced products and places them in correct shelves, and ensures that that price tags and shelves tag are accurately labeled, up to date and well-stocked. Fast unloader machines help in freight management and loading. Other robots are the Alphabots that help packing products by bringing items for people to load. Additionally, auto-C robot Zambonis is used at night to clean and polish the floors. (Harwell, 2019)

These artificial intelligent robots introduction resulted in both positive and negative reactions from the general public and the organization workers alike. The negative reactions are being raised by the employees due to the insecurity to their work and also those from the customers on how it will be possible to interact with the robots if need be. Employees are beginning to come in terms with the fear of losing their jobs to the robots. The transition from human tasks to robot tasks is becoming a reality creating even more job uncertainty for the future. Other employees have a negative reaction to the robot because their jobs are taken and only left to babysit the robots or mainly respond to the alerts provided by the robot. On the other hand, some customers are spooked by the creeping and machine programmed robots. Positive reactions have been expressed by Walmart executives and the employees too. Walmart employees have praised how some robots are helpful especially in loading, packaging, and providing alerts if something is amiss. (Harwell, 2019)

On studying these reactions, a fast-approaching man vs. machine conflict is on the offing. Walmart executives are responding to these reactions in the best way possible. They have explained that they are not determined to lay-off workers or make all task robot operated, but have stated that they are providing an opportunity to the workers to avoid drudgery and undertake more-creative customer related jobs. The fast unloaders and the Alphabots also co-work with the humans in making work more efficient and fast. (Harwell, 2019)

In conclusion, technological transformations are aimed at innovations that aid in sustained competitive advantage in business organizations. Walmart's organizational team has embraced innovation to fulfill its core mission of saving people's money via innovation and at the same time maintaining its competitive advantage over its competitors like the Home Depot, Amazon and others. Introduction of artificially intelligent robots have gone a great mile in making the operations of the organization more efficient and solve major customer worries. Walmart has also approached the problematic aspect related to this transformation in the best way possible (making sure the employees are co-working with the machines and not laying them off in favor of the robots).


Harwell, D. (2019, June 6). As Walmart turns to robots, it's the human workers who feel like machines. Retrieved September 14, 2019, from https://beta.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/06/06/walmart-turns-robots-its-human-workers-who-feel-like-machines/?noredirect=on

O'Connell, L. (2019, August 9). Walmart annual revenue 2012-2019. Retrieved September 14, 2019, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/555334/total-revenue-of-walmart-worldwide/

Walmart Corporate. (2019). Retrieved from https://corporate.walmart.com/

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21st Century: Digital Technology Redefines Business Competition. (2023, Feb 06). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/21st-century-digital-technology-redefines-business-competition

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