As Information Technology becomes more convenient, enables productivity, and increasingly critical; it is also becoming more complex, faster paced, and more challenging for the average user to understand. We all believe our computers should “just work.” We see “Suzy SitsNextToUs” doing some amazing thing with her computer, so we should be able to that also, right? Computers are not magic though and pixie dust does not flow through the cables at the back.
When we don’t understand something, we tend to shy away from it. The problem is that technology is only going to expand and continue to change. If we aren’t learning as much as we can and incorporating useful tools, we will be left behind. In our personal lives we can sometimes afford to be behind the tech times, but in business it can spell disaster. Take my parents for instance, granted they are older and their generation was not the PC generation, however I can remember as a kid my mother having one of the first home computers. Just to be clear, at that time home computer was a relative term. It took up a 6-foot spot in their bedroom, but we were “high-tech!” You would think ground breaking techies that they were; my parents would have transitioned nicely into the tech age. Not so! The Internet was uncharted territory for them, and fear of the unknown kept them from enjoying the many amazing things it has to offer. My mom was an officer for a non-profit and eventually had to turn over the reins to someone younger and yes, more technically savvy. The days of waiting on standard mail to communicate with other people in the organization was long gone. Accessing critical data from the web was a must and she just couldn’t keep up. My mother, who in her younger days had been a pioneer, had become a technology dinosaur.
Fast forward 10 years and today people are using technology in even more advanced ways. Social Networking sites like FaceBook, MySpace, Google+, and Twitter, not to mention industry specific networks like Ozmosis or LinkedIn, are becoming more critical not just in the private sector; but in business as well. The Healthcare Industry is facing serious IT upgrades as President Obama pushes for electronic health records. Research shows that only 20% of physicians are effectively using this time and error saving technology. Voice over IP Phone Systems are no longer only for the big corporations. People at all levels are discovering how truly effective a phone system can be. Unless you want to be a Walmart greeter, you are required to use technology (even then you will use a computer to clock in). A good IT firm managing your technology is a critical business decision to ensure you are using current technologies effectively and productively.
Technology is here to stay whether you like it or not, so why not embrace it? You might need assistance, but it is OK to ask for help. I was with a non-profit organization years ago and we were given a $10,000 business class computer by a computer vendor. We were so excited! We were going to do the books on it, desktop publishing, and maintain employee files. Three months later it had never been turned on. Everyone was scared to death of the thing. I called the vendor rep and explained our situation and he asked me to stop by his office. He had the same system in his office and went through the steps to turn the computer on; this was before the days of one simple power button. He then told me something that has stuck with me for years. “Diana, just do it. Play around with it. Try different things. The computer does not hate you and it will not do anything you do not tell it to do. Just remember to save often.” I went back to the office and mastered the beast, discovering that it was not going to eat me alive. Now I don’t know EXACTLY how the Internet works, and I am still learning new programs all the time. When my computer locks up and a simple restart doesn’t work, I am just like you. I am lost. I do know what to do though.
STEP 1: Do not just aimlessly click. Resist the urge. I must resist the urge.
STEP 2: Stare blankly at the screen for 2 minutes to make sure I didn’t miss something (also known as the deer in the headlights look).
STEP 3: Pick up my handy dandy VoIP phone and call someone who knows more than I do!
Technology can make your life easier and more productive, but don’t mistake easier for the EASY BUTTON. It is something you have to constantly learn and you must have the proper software and tools installed. It’s not magic and it doesn’t take a wizard to operate it, just someone willing to stretch and keep on learning- and a good IT company on speed dial doesn’t hurt either!
Give the technology experts at Wood Networks a call- 903-581-0922. You can also change that to #1 on speed dial.