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Are We Too Connected?

Posted by Henry Cheang | March 28, 2014 4:00 PM

Disconnect to connect to others

In his famous 1965 essay, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, Marshall McLuhan described technology as extensions of our limbs, senses, and nervous systems. For example, the simple hammer is an extension of the fist that makes it stronger and tougher. The car extends the legs and increases their speed. The telephone increases hearing and speaking ability. However, technology is not static – technologies improve, advance, and – inevitably, invariably – become defunct. It was in that spirit that McLuhan predicted print media’s demise at the hands of rapidly-evolving audiovisual technologies.

Disconnect to connectWe have not arrived at that point just as yet. Print media certainly still has its place in our society. One might argue that this holds true only in jurisdictions where communication technology has not yet reached first-world standards. Is that really true though? Is it merely a logistical issue? We would argue that it is not. There may just be worthwhile reasons to stem the total encroachment of technology into our lives.

For example, we have to ask ourselves: Is communication technology an extension of our interpersonal relationships? Or is it an impediment? While technology can certainly enable important discussions between parties separated by a wide physical gulf, it can also blind us to the important discussions that we need to have with people who are literally standing right next to us. The Disconnect to connect commercial from Thai mobile network DTAC perfectly illustrates this particular bit of modern-age communicative disruption.

Effectively, the perception that technology bridges gaps is an accurate observation, but it deflects attention away from the fact that excessive use of technology throws up barriers as well. And as true as this may be for our interpersonal relationships, this notion also applies to companies as well.

Define the real value of connectivity

Believe it or not, technology is not the answer to all your problems. You can automate your business processes, but you can’t automate your humanity (at least, not yet). Social media, cloud computing, and the like are indeed real assets to your company. But if you yourself don’t develop and enact the strategy optimizes their use, then you won’t obtain the full benefit of their value. Kevan Hall, CEO of Global Integration, believes that poorly-optimized but hyper-connected businesses actually increase their difficulties. They become more complex to lead, resulting in:

  • Slowdowns in company development
  • Increase in costs!
  • Demoralized employees

Technology has real value for businesses, but only as a complement to human endeavor, not as its replacement. The relationship between man and technology needs to be that of a partnership, and a balanced one at that. For example, increased capacity for connectivity enables more meetings, but having too many meetings just because you can (rather than simply being more productive) will cost you time and, most importantly, money. Too much of this – meetings, emails, conference calls – can be termed hyper-connectivity, and it’s not good. There’s a middle path that you need to follow.

Get leaner to go further

During her speech at Inbound 2013, Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post spoke at length on the necessity of modern leaders and CIOs to find efficient technological solutions to reach objectives.  It requires a better use of your budget to increase productivity rather than simply throwing money at new technological solutions or become hyper-connected.
Some areas that I suggest you can look into would include:

  • Eliminate unnecessary connections: unused services, expired software…
  • Use a technology expense management solution
  • Use  a bill of IT to determine your budget and expenses
  • Create a cost transparency culture
  • Learn to disconnect

As with anything else, there is nothing inherently beneficial or harmful with technology, especially connectivity. The issue lies with how you use it. Better management of your assets will have beneficial downstream effects – your employees will use devices with better judgment if you yourself set a better example.  Setting transparent, easily-understood and easily-communicated policies with respect to your company’s fleet of IT assets can greatly stress, paving the way for you and your employees to increase performance and collaboration.

Connect with Cimpl to get real value from your connections. Cimpl – simply the best asset management software – will help you get better ROI on your IT assets quickly and painlessly. Cimpl conciliates invoice, inventory, and usage with its unique all-in-one customizable dashboard. Track the devices and services your employees use, stress-free, and enjoy the full power of the connections your telecom and IT. Connect to clarify all your information and control it all!

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Topics: Value, Connectivity, Technologies

Written by Henry Cheang

Henry has a lifelong passion for science and technology. This enthusiasm is put to good use in a cutting-edge software company like Cimpl. As product marketer, Henry researches market and user needs to develop user and buyer personas, contributes to product design, and helps coordinate product messaging. Henry also writes nearly the entirety of all documentation for Cimpl’s many successful platforms. In his spare time, Henry devotes much energy to family, friends, and martial arts. Henry recently completed his Master’s in Business and Administration from Concordia University, where he specialized in the study of marketing, organizational behavior, and corporate governance. He has authored academic papers on the latter two subjects; these papers form part of his bibliography of over 20 professional research publications.

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