Is Technology Making Modern Business Operations Too Complex?
Technology was invented to make our lives simpler, our work easier to do, our problems easier to solve. It seems however, that we’ve taken it so far that we’re literally going in the reverse direction. So much time is spent developing strategies to maintain all of the proverbial pots we are stirring; even more spent learning about the latest changes and finding ways to accommodate them into our lives. Shouldn’t this be the other way around?
With the increasing reign of mobile devices, we no longer leave work at the desk at 5PM. It comes home with you and sleeps in your bed. At this point, we feel almost guilty whenever we don’t succumb to its call. From ‘so-called’ productivity applications such as TeuxDeux or Clear that force you to plan every detail of your day to the aggregators like Google Reader and Flipboard that give you a serious case of information overload, you can get severely overwhelmed. Furthermore, with each developer trying to build their own versions of these, the confusion starts before even using the application. So not only are you taking time to plan your time, you are taking even more time picking a time-planner to plan your time. Thus, we continue down the rabbit hole…
Now, social media adds the most complicated layer to an already complex cake. You have to operate on your customer’s time. This means early morning updates at 6 AM and live Twitter discussions until 9 PM. Also, if you are really using social media effectively, you know that a significant amount of planning has to go into it to make it successful.
Is this really helping us? Are we building our business the best way when we have to dedicate half a day just to learn about the latest news or is it sufficient to know the headlines and details of a story or two – like we get from our morning paper? Is work made easier when we have to learn to navigate all the new software applications rather than just writing some information down with pen and paper? Is this overdose of technology creating more problems than it solves?
These are all questions business owners and managers need to ask whenever they are introducing new technology. If the device or application you’re introducing isn’t necessary for development and it’s difficult to understand, you should probably consider not implementing it at all. Don’t let the latest innovations capture your attention so much that it detracts from your main business goals. Plus, you don’t need to know everything, so there’s no need to read all the stories – seek more headlines and summaries and less detailed articles. And you’d be surprised how much disconnecting from the constantly-going online world will help your productivity. Trust us, it will all still be there when you get back.
Share with us how you cope with the massive amounts of technology available to businesses. Are you going slightly insane with all the options available or have you found a perfect balance? Leave a comment below and let us know.
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