Back in the early days of print newspapers, publications would use a movable type machine to create newspaper pages. Nowadays, the designers who still work in print news—as opposed to web news—use design programs like Adobe InDesign. In the process, printing a newspaper became less tedious and in some respects, less expensive: Digital PDF files replaced movable type machines.

While this provides a more dramatic example of how business technology shapes business, it’s certainly not the only way this happens. Here are some cutting-edge technologies that may shape your business’s efficiency in the years to come.

Cloud-Based Storage Solutions

Digital cloud solutions like DropBox and Google Drive have changed the storage needs of many businesses. Historically speaking, most businesses had a paper-based filing system. These documents took up plenty of office space and sometimes, even large warehouses.

Cloud-based storage solutions changed that. Aside from allowing businesses to reduce their storage space needs, cloud-based solutions make searching for documents many times faster.

Cloud-Based Software Solutions

On a different but related noted, cloud-based digital tools like Adobe’s Design Suite have also changed how businesses interact with their software. In some respects, there is also a space issue that gets corrected by using a cloud-based program like this. Most programs in the early days of computer software came on a disc. That had to be stored in a box somewhere on a shelf.

Often, the only time the program would be brought back out is when the computer needed a reboot, and the program had to be reinstalled. That isn’t the case anymore. Users get notifications of automatic updates, which they download straight from the cloud. As for a system reinstall, it’s really now a matter of signing into the software company’s website and downloading the replacement.

According to Microsoft, these types of cloud-based solutions offer business owners the latest versions of this software, without requiring much of the old upfront costs that used to be associated with them.

Analytics and Efficiency Software

Tools like Google Analytics makes tracking data from your website faster and easier. In a similar vein, enterprise resource planning helps you make strategic decisions with data from inventory tracking and a host of other sectors.

In the case of the SEO analytics technologies, you may learn which of your search engine optimization attempts are working and which aren’t. You also see which of your website’s pages are getting more traffic and where your site’s visitors go after they leave their landing page. All of this data makes it easier to streamline your marketing and web design efforts, which saves time (and potentially makes you more money).

Technologies like ERP construction software allow business leaders to trim off the excess in their businesses by analyzing areas of inefficiency. They also create software that replaces some of the human element, meaning that a business’s most valuable people aren’t stuck doing tasks that could be automated, including some related to project management, inventory tracking, and project billing. This frees these employees up to work on tasks that will more directly affect the business’s bottom line in a positive way, without being slowed down by routine tasks.

Modern business technologies will cut down on the time your employees spend searching for files, dealing with correspondence, or reinstalling software. They also give you some extra physical space by allowing you to store your documents on the cloud. In terms of efficiency, you’ll spend less time looking for documents or cleaning up the physical copies and more time encouraging employees to contribute to the office culture by using their talents for maximum benefit.

A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here .