Not long ago, trade was at the core of business: The exchange of value between the buyer and the seller, physically. People used to travel, on horseback, carrying their homeland goods, to distant territories. They would trade the goods they have with what the other country had to offer.
Nowadays, billions of dollars get exchanged everyday, across the globe, without anything physical being “traded”. The wonders of technology!
Millions go online to trade commodities they never own, or to bet on price movements of stocks, indices, currencies or commodities. What is being exchanged? Where is the value transferred from the seller to the buyer?
Has technology added an inherent value to business dealings?
Has it made making money easier or losing it faster?
A merchant in ancient times wouldn’t lose his shirt overnight. Today, a business may go down in days, due, in part, to a blind reliance on technology.
Technology is a tool, a means to an end. When a business adopts any new technology, it must “serve” the mission of that business. Failing to do so, is a sign of either picking the wrong technology, or not having the right expertise to correctly utilize it.
The other concern when it comes to entirely relying on the instantaneous availability of technology is the probability of the opposite! What would a business do in case of a power failure, a major software crash, a loss of connection to the intranet (the business’s own internet, sometimes called Virtual Private Network (VPN); a tunneled network that securely rides over the public Internet)?
Here are some guidelines concerning the “marriage” between business and technology:
- What is the business about, regardless of “how” it’s going to reach its objectives?
- Who are the “people”, human beings, whom will run that business?
- Does this business need to rely “critically” on any technology? what is the percentage?
- What is the technology strategy? One that is “derived” from the overall business strategy, not the other way around, even if the business is all about “making” technology. In other words, a hi-tech enterprise
- Do we have, in-house, the expertise to select, procure, install, configure, test and run the technology we need, or do we need to outsource it?
- Risk management: Document, in details, a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to follow in case of a technical malfunction, no matter how small. The overarching objective is to keep the business running, at its best, and keep customers happy
- Have we considered implementing five nines High Availability (99.999 % HA)? There is no such thing as 100% availability, but five nines is close, yet not enough, alone
The list could go on. Add to it what’s relevant and specific to your business.
This article is an invitation to be aware of the wonders of technology, its limitations, and the best approaches to utilizing it for the good of a business.
The author loves technology and comes from a scientific/technology background, yet the misuse of a wonderful tool turns it from being an ally to becoming and adversary…
The Wealth Maker