Technology Is Not Sexy, Here’s Why
Written by Guest Author: Diego Rico
Technology plays hard to get, but not in a sexy way. It invites us in with promises of convenience but pushes us away with indecipherable options and configurations.
That’s why you bought that fancy laptop from the commercial on T.V. It felt like a good idea until you bought it and realized it’s pretty much like every other machine. But hey! It’s sexy.
That’s not the technology this article is talking about. Yes, a computer is a technology. But! Technology in a business environment doesn’t work independently.
The laptop you bought needs to connect to the printer you have. And the files you need must work across the board, not just your personal computer. Oh! And don’t forget, you have to present your information on a projector. Lo and behold! Your laptop can’t connect- except wirelessly. And you don’t want a wireless world.
You miss your old laptop. Sad. Not sexy. Sexiness eventually leads to nostalgia.
The technology we’re talking about in this article is the technology that needs to communicate with each other. It’s the technology that can capture your clients’ demands and your employee collaboration. This function of technology has to happen in a way that doesn’t risk losing all the work your team has put in so far. We’re not talking about one sexy laptop. We’re talking about the whole package- business technology.
But technology isn’t sexy.
Technology can be complicated and intimidating. Because what on earth would happen if you pressed that button? And how many more buttons would you have to press after that? Seems risky. But not in a good way. More like, I’d-rather-not-ever-know-what’s underneath-that-slick-grey-surface kind of way.
Technology is a tease that gets old pretty quickly.
We want to dress our technology like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. The truth is that in a few business fairytales, the technology inside the business works as simple as wanting it! Technology is not Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. And you’re not Richard Gere.
Business technology, not just your laptop, is perceived to be expensive!
Business managers object to investing in technology because they perceive it as a want and not a need. Unless, of course, it’s about buying a new sexy laptop. But this perception is short-sighted at best.
Your company already has an I.T. expert. They just don’t know it.
A small business owner may not want to hire an expert, such as E.S.E.I. (yeah, that was the plug of the article). But most likely, a business owner is already relying on an S.M.E. (a sexy acronym for subject matter expert). It’s usually the youngest member of the team- we’ll call them the know-it-all kid.
Imagine this scenario- a non-sexy, scary incident occurs. The internet is down, computers disconnect from file sharing, and customer services are offline. Luckily, the know-it-all-tech kid member of the team is in the office. They know how to fix the problem. But it takes them several hours.
The company has saved money on not having an I.T. company heading their technology, but this downtime and expenditure of resources do cost time, money, and mental bandwidth.
Everything is up and running at the office now. But the young, know-it-all kid needs to check on each person’s technology anxiety disorder. He reassures them that it won’t happen again and that everything will be okay because it is going to be okay. Right? Of course, it is. That’s not sexy as much as it is heartwarming. Thanks, know-it-all kid.
Now imagine a worse scenario.
Catastrophe hits! Systems are down, the phones are out, and water is gushing into the office. Rain in December!? Yes, it can happen. And although you’d like to enlist the help from the know-it-all tech kid, guess what? They’re gone! After getting their bonus for saving the day, they headed to Cancun and are now working out of a bungalow on the sandy beaches in Mexico. All hope is lost.
Believe it or not, a business hosts a small technology network (a network is a sexy way of saying a system of interconnected people or things, in this case, we call those things computers.)
This network is considered less sexy than your laptop. Why? Remember, because you can’t dress all your technology like Julia Roberts. It’s perceived to be expensive.
But here’s the kicker. Technology will cost you money, whether or not you decide to plan and invest before disaster strikes. When technology fails, businesses experience Failure Demand costs. If a company doesn’t invest in Value Demand technology, it will experience Failure Demand.
Failure Demand costs include:
1. Incident response downtime
2. Security or compliance breaches (did someone say Russian spies? Dangerous and sexy!
3. User workarounds
4. Higher running/change/replacement costs
Failure demand can be more expensive than investing in Value Demand.
Value Demand costs include:
1. Modernization and upgrades. It seems nearly every time you turn on your computer, laptop, or phone, there’s a software update. An I.T. services company should be upgrading your computers after hours. This practice keeps your machines up-to-date without sacrificing office hours.
2. Security patches. Did someone say James Bond/Jason Bourne/Captain America/Richard Gere? Security patches are the hero that defeats Russian spies or strikingly convinces Julia Roberts to join them in their life as Richard Gere (see Failure Demand list, item #2.)
3. Iterative maintenance means minor workaround, downtime, and frustrated employees/customers. This improvement helps you focus on your business and lets you use technology for your business. Technology has now become an asset.
Taking care of your business and customers by investing in technology, what’s not sexy about that?
Invest beforehand in technology. And you, too, can be Richard Gere and deliver the unexpected to Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.