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Technology is Great – But We Need Plan B

Today I was at the library and I was informed that all computers were down because their servers were being updated. This meant that nobody could check out any items. I thought it strange that this was occurring in the middle of the day but who am I to question anyone’s business practices? This same sort of thing happened to me about a week ago at the grocery store. All of their computers were down meaning that nobody could check out and pay for their groceries. So people abandoned their carts and left the store. This got me thinking about our dependence on technology and how crippled we become if our systems don’t cooperate, to the point of being unable to carry out even the most basic transactions like ring up a sale.

Now I’m no Luddite. Quite the opposite, actually. I love technology and there is no arguing that it makes our lives so much easier. But to totally get rid of manual processes so that we are 100% dependent on technology may not be the best idea. I personally like to have a “Plan B”. If one of my customers calls me and wishes to place an order, I like to know that I can process the transaction even if my Internet connection is down. Now I may not be able to process the charge immediately (although I now can now do so via my smart phone) but I can at least take down the information (yes, with pen and paper) and run it through later on, once the system comes back online.

Likewise, I have never been comfortable with the idea of moving ALL of my information to “The Cloud.”  I am aware of people who no longer store any of their information locally on their computer but rather everything is saved to someone else’s servers – such as Google or MobileMe. I do use the cloud to store my important files but only as a backup solution – my only copy is never stored on the cloud. In fact, I use several different online backup solutions, in addition to storing my information on my computer’s hard drive. I also perform regular backups to an external drive that I store away from my computer. I do not see the cloud as a suitable replacement for local storage.

So while I definitely embrace technology, I believe it should not be our only solution and recommend having a Plan B – and even a Plan C and D – especially if it could result in the loss of a sale. This reminds me of a blog comment that I recently read where the reader stated, “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket, especially if it’s someone else’s basket.”

Photo by landofnodstudios

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