As I sit here staring at a computer that cannot connect remotely with my work because of a server issue, I am reminded of our dependence on technology in business and in our everyday lives. My I-pad somewhat functions as it can connect to the office internet provider but gives me only limited access as it is a different provider. I can receive emails, but not send. My cell phone can connect to the outside world via LTE but, unfortunately, not to my work.
For me, not a great inconvenience, but for my clients who need to send reports to me, it is a great inconvenience and may delay some important happenings in their lives, like getting paid this week! I can find things to do but it is frustrating. I thought I would print some labels but, MS word is through the server, which is down.
Business is not as lucky. When technology goes down, they suffer. They can lose sales when the card scanners go down and they become a cash only merchant until it is up again. Who carries cash? If their tills go down, many are essentially out of business. Tills may be down with their inventory tracking systems not functioning. It may just be a monitor or computer dying.
If power goes down you may lose security systems and all technology. Even if it is light in the building, sales cannot be made effectively without technology. In some cases, clerks are reliant on the till telling them the change and would be challenged to do so on their own. Many of the phone switchboards only have one phone that is live when there is a loss of power.
So if you are in business, what have you put in place in case you lose the technology you have come to depend on? If it is a monitor or computer, do you have spares you can set up? When the big earthquake hit San Francisco a number of years ago, there were businesses that went broke because just about every monitor was broken falling off the desks and there was not an adequate supply to replace them. Can you devise a back-up system that will give you the ability to operate without the technology?
I would like to say that things will get better, but as we get more and more reliant on the use of technology, we will be more at its mercy!
Be careful with the use of technology in business. Use what makes life easier and is cost effective but do not employ it just because it is new and exciting. Put in place a simple work-around for the essential functions of your business so that you are still able to operate.
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