The influence of Globalization in Information Technology

Category: Global Economy Sub-category: World Economy
Document type: article

Today, the influence of globalization on technology is felt in the ease with which different technologies can be easily adapted to serve consumers in different cultures and languages. ‘The World is Flat’ by Thomas Friedman, conveys the impression that the world is indeed a very small place. The setting up of increasing number of shift work centers by multinational corporations, in India and other developing countries shows how information and communication technologies play a vital part in globalization. Therefore, a customer in UK, facing problems with his credit card can call up the customer service, only to be assisted by a call center operator in India. For example, in the software industry, new businesses are often found trying to spread beyond the immediate English-speaking market to a worldwide one. As the corporations grow larger, they begin to modify their products and services, catering to the needs of a larger and transnational market. This means that geographical boundaries are no longer strong enough to restrict the progress and flow of technology.

The most effective way of transmitting technologies is by trade. By purchasing and selling products and services, individuals and corporations disseminate their technologies across the world. Another method for globalizing one’s technologies is to opt for foreign direct investment. Investments can be in the form of capital equipments and related services by which a foreign corporation chooses to invest in production facilities in a different country. Technology also travels through the relationships between buyers and suppliers.

Often countries or corporations, who lack the latest facilities or technologies, pay close attention to those who are technologically better developed. A careful and intricate examination of the business models, products and services of the pioneers, might help the under-developed companies to improve and update their technologies. Such exchanges often take the form of technology licensing wherein a multinational corporation or technology vendor, lets others use its technology know-how, and processes in exchange for compensation.

Technical education and training are some other ways to globalize technologies. Scientists and engineers learn about products and technologies from the innovators, and thereby can reproduce or improve on it. This education takes place in the form of corporate training, academic education and joint research projects. Technical knowledge can also be distributed in the form of books, research papers, both in print and over the Internet.

The geographical spread of the activities of transnational corporations, contribute significantly to globalization. It also brings opportunities and challenges to the corporations, their home countries and those countries hosting some of their operations. Transnational or multinational companies may choose to place their central, regional and local headquarters, or their production, research and development centers, in a variety of locations depending on the conditions of market, raw materials, tax incentives, labor conditions, environmental regulations and other economic incentives.

Owing to the advantages arising out of investments made by transnational corporations, governments often engage in cut throat competitions to persuade foreign companies to invest in their territories. The governments often use tax breaks, land deals, infrastructure commitments and employment opportunities as incentives to entice some of the companies to invest. As of today, the United Nations recognizes 192 countries. To succeed in the current economy, one must be a part of the globalization trend. This internationalization of trade, business, and technology, as a global phenomenon, seems to be a trend, which is here to stay. One of its most palpable effects is visible in the sphere of global information technology.


  • Transnational corporations are main agents in the global dissemination of technology.
  • In general, it is advantageous for a country to host as many transnational corporation activities as possible.
  • To succeed in the current economy, one must be global.