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Technology - Master or Slave


CONTEXT: Exchange goes from hero to zero

WHY IT MATTERS: We have endless tech but less time - Using it effectively matters

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From the outset, technology proponents have made substantial predictions and promises. The prospect of adding time back into our day - through the efficiencies of machines - has lured investors, consumers, and businesses alike since the industrial revolution.

But the benefits of technology are not new. For thousands of years, the desire to gain an advantage over someone or something has been front of mind for any organized group of people. From the Wheel to the Motor Car. From the Printing Press to the Personal Computer. The advancements in technology have had profound effects on our lives. In some cases, they have formed part of the fabric of our existence. Take the smartphone for instance. The only time our phones get a rest is when we are asleep. For much of our waking hours, our phones are seldom out of our hands. Their vast utility has meant it is difficult to live without them. This brings advantages - rapid communication, emotional connection, limitless information, portable entertainment, pocket size education, navigation, and countless other utilities we are reliant on.

But for all the time-saving hacks and benefits, is there a flip side? Most businesses and individuals would agree that we have less time than ever. This is even though we can find any information we want with a single click - no trips to the library required. It’s despite the reality that we can communicate in real time in complex ways. It’s despite the realization that we can search, review and purchase almost anything from our devices - with not so much as a sales assistant, bank teller or vehicle in sight. A few clicks and it arrives on your doorstep. Not weeks, but in some cases - hours or minutes.

So, with all the time saved, why do we have even less time? The answer could lie not in the technology itself but the adaption of our human behavior. It seems that for every minute or hour saved, we almost immediately fill said time with another activity. In our personal lives, often the beneficiary of our newly created time, is an activity we didn’t know we needed - provided by none other than………. TECHNOLOGY. So, for every unit of time added, one is almost certainly subtracted. Human contentment combined with how everyone derives happiness, is key in ensuring technology adds to our lives - not subtracts.

But what does this mean for businesses and organizations? Not being aware of and failing to adopt the right tools and technology for your business, will almost certainly lead to a decline in competitiveness - in some cases an organization’s demise. So, adopting clever technologies is crucial for any organization to maintain a competitive edge. But how can an organization ensure that the value and time added by technology is a net positive? The answers could lie in the self-assessment of these factors:

• Are the tools and technology used by your organization ADDING financial, human, or environmental value?
• Are the outputs of the technology employed, GREATLY outweighing the inputs?
• Is the USE of your organization’s tools closely aligned to the intended PURPOSE of the technology provider?
• Are the users of the technology (staff, organisation members) AWARE of the BENEFITS and reasons for it, or are they just ticking boxes?
• Are your chosen tools easy enough to use that users RELY on them or avoid them?

They can be uncomfortable questions, especially if investments and commitments have already been made. But ensuring your organisation has an edge in the future, is far more important than historical decisions. After all, technology should be a slave – not a master.

Get in touch with us to discuss your organisation and ensure you are positioned to benefit. Ensure your business edge is maintained with tools that add value – not subtract it.

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