Tag Archives: digesting technology

The hidden pitfalls of adopting technology – part 1

We all know the bright and shiny face of skillfully crafted consumer technology and for the most part as consumers, we enjoy a relatively painless relationship with a wide range of exotic new technology.

Our cell phones connect us to faraway places while we careen madly about on the highway. We zap our toast or pop tarts and they come up just like we want almost all of the time. We receive music and news from satellites, our cars tell us more about our environment than we can safely absorb, and voices from our dashboards tell us to turn left in 200 feet.

When it comes to automating a business however, technology is a two-edged sword. It takes a high degree of skill to master the technology sufficiently to actually make money using it. It also displaces long-established manual procedures which are part of the DNA of the organization and have never been fully documented because they are understandings, not procedures.

When technology works for me as in the image shown here, life is fine and my days are productive. I am happy and make the people around me happy. When technology eludes my grasp, my days are filled with frustration and suppressed rage, mostly at myself for falling into a self-made trap.

I have been an early adopter for many years, but that was because I was one of the people who were creating and selling technical solutions. I had very little real understanding of the needs of the business owner who has to keep things running for years on end and absolutely HATES upgrades and new models of anything!

Now that I am a business owner myself, I find myself caught on the horns of a dilemma.

As a newcomer to the field of custom picture framing, I was able to embrace the latest computer technology for designing framing solutions and cutting mats because I didn’t have anything to unlearn. I could go for whatever solution made the most sense today without having to regret the loss of traditional skills.

On the other hand, I wrote my own software for a simple Point of Sale system that was based on how I was doing business. Since I crafted it to handle my business model exactly, there was nothing extra and nothing that had to be "worked around". It worked fine, but it had a major limitation, a hand-built supplier database.

Now I am trying to upgrade to a one-size-fits-all retail Management System with all sorts of bells and whistles and I am struggling!

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