It’s common to think of tech as an unequivocal good. Doesn’t it save time, increase productivity, and allow us to do tasks we would never be capable of otherwise? While all of these things can be true, a tech solution isn’t always the right one. Anyone who has spent the last several years on endless video conference calls can attest that as convenient as this technology can be, it is not always an adequate substitute for in-person meetings and team building. Below are a few things to take into account when you are considering the pros and cons of any particular piece of tech.
Solving a Problem
One of the most important things to consider is whether the use of tech solves a problem and whether it either does it better than any other solution or provides the only solution. The use of GPS data is an example of this. You certainly don’t need GPS data to map a journey–maps have been around for millennia–but nothing else replicates the real-time tracking element of GPS. If your company includes a fleet, software, and solutions that use GPS to help you monitor your drivers and vehicles can be invaluable. This is a case where the tech solution is the right one because it provides unique benefits.
Introducing a Problem
When you are thinking about the issue of balance, one thing to consider is whether tech introduces new problems. Even when it does, this is not necessarily a reason to reject its use. You could weigh the effects of the new problem created against the advantages it presents. You could also look at using it more sparingly. The example of meeting by video conferencing is a good one. This can be a great way to save on the costs of traveling for business and to avoid everyone having to interrupt their day to gather in one place, particularly if there are additional headaches, such as having to travel across town in heavy traffic. However, some companies have found that when employees don’t get enough in-person time, collaboration, teamwork, and a general sense of cohesion all suffer. A good solution in a case like this is to mix some remote meetings with actual in-person meetings.
Too Much of a Good Thing
Another thing to consider is whether you actually need or can make use of everything that the tech is providing you. One area in which tech advances have really made a difference is in big data, allowing organizations to analyze and use far more information than humans would be able to manage on their own. However, the picture can become muddy if you’re pulling data indiscriminately. A better solution would be to consider specifically what kind of data you need and focus only on that. You could also think of this as the principle of just because you can doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Another thing to look at is who the tech is serving. Without customers or clients, you don’t have a business, so ultimately, their needs should be better served in some way.