Technology- friend or foe?

Is technology making our lives easier? Better?

In our always-connected world, we have come to reply on our devices and applications to keep our work and life running smoothly. Yet the road of technology is a bumpy one with dead ends , stop lights and forks in the road.

As Nicholas Carr wrote:

Doctors use computers to make diagnoses and to perform surgery. Wall Street bankers use them to assemble and trade financial instruments. Architects use them to design buildings. Attorneys use them in document discovery. And it’s not only professional work that’s being computerized. Thanks to smartphones and other small, affordable computers, we depend on software to carry out many of our everyday routines. We launch apps to aid us in shopping, cooking, socializing, even raising our kids. We follow turn-by-turn GPS instructions. We seek advice from recommendation engines on what to watch, read, and listen to. We call on Google, or Siri, to answer our questions and solve our problems. More and more, at work and at leisure, we’re living our lives inside glass cockpits.

This is an excerpt from All Can Be Lost: The Risk of Putting Our Knowledge in the Hands of Machines

We rely on technology and often place trust in its results based on assumptions. We trust it will perform as expected and always be reliable. Most of us don’t know how our laptop works, but we keep switching it on every day without any fear of explosions. We trust that our data is safe and technology will protect our information and privacy. However, are your accounts secure? Do you have strong passwords? Should your information be encrypted? Anything that you have online could be shared and may remain online forever.

Technology offers ever increasing opportunities to maximise efficiencies within your business operations. There are many processes that can be made more efficient by technology including contact and customer relationship management, accounting, project and time management. Technology is a tool to assist with these processes.

However, mistakes are part of life and force us to stop and rethink our actions and direction. Generally speaking, technology is brilliant. But, like the people who make it, it is not infallible. The recent news of the leak of revealing pictures of female celebrities due to work of hackers who successfully breached Apple’s iCloud service makes you question whether people should really be leaving these digital windows into their lives wide open. People get into the tiny cracks and loopholes left by our gadgets one way or another, and more often than not it’s via the internet. You must trust your instincts, use common sense and caution.

Technology don’t make our lives perfect. However, it does provide great tools to assist in so many ways. It is important to make a list of what you need and as well as what is available and keep checking these lists as they are constantly changing. Never be complacent. Remember, you are the boss who operates the tools. Hopefully your tools are working well for you. If not, shop around. One can only imagine what the next fifty years holds with the exponential growth of technology.

 

I wrote this article after my week without email and my website being down due to hosting and domain issues. I have reflected on my reliance and trust in technology and recognise the importance of having appropriate risk management policies in place.

Caroline Siassios

About Caroline Siassios

Leave a Reply