Technology in recent years has completely changed the way businesses are run, bringing about significant productivity gains. It can simplify processes and make them more efficient, help workers communicate and network better, save time and money and even protect sensitive data.
For all its benefits, though, the issues that come along with technology adoption are often overlooked.
Data security is a big financial risk
We often read in the news where companies and CEOs were charged and fined significant amounts from computer and privacy related negliences. With cyber criminals getting more and more sophisticated each day, even having the best data security systems in place is not enough.
The dynamic nature of computer technology makes it extremely difficult for companies to predict how often or to what extent attacks will occur, making risk planning a big challenge.
Weakened relationships and human touch
A successful business is as much about making and maintaining interpersonal connections as it is making money. In fact, it is the interpersonal connections the business has with its workers, shareholders and customers that helps it grow and thrive. When you rely primarily on emails, live chats or automated systems to connect with people, relationships inevitably suffer.
While technology can help your sales team save time and costs, it’s also easier for deals to fall apart, clients to walk away and nuances to get missed in the absence of strong relationships. Internally, companies risk disconnecting with the real needs of employees, leading to decreased morale and productivity.
Distractions and poor focus
Technology is the key enabler of today’s multi-tasking work culture. In fact, multitasking capability is a primary consideration in building IT systems for the office.
Subsequently, it’s not all that unusual for a person to have his attention torn in many different directions – a new email coming in every 5 mins, constant smartphone push notifications and calendar reminders, live chat requests from colleagues needing help, and more. It can be extremely hard to concentrate and maintain focus in all these frenzy. As a result, mistakes increases, work quality and creativity decreases, and employees burn out more quickly.
Miscommunications are common
Interpersonal connections are the heartbeat of every company. In many ways, though, technology makes communicating meaningfully with others more difficult.
For instance, if you have been overly reliant on email and text messages, you might not be able to effectively read body cues or pick up subtle signals when faced with an in-person meeting. Miscommunications happen as a result, slowing progress at best or destroying opportunities at worst.
Although technology has clear advantages for business, we must not forget that people and relationships will always be the lifeblood of any company. Being mindful of the drawbacks of technology can help managers and planners create happier work places and customers.