Recently, there has been some debate about changes in the way our brains process information, due to the ease with which we use search engines such as Google. The debate is interesting in itself, since it brings up historical comparisons such as the written word versus the spoken word. Changes in technology inevitably bring about changes in the way we process information, largely to our operational benefit. For example:
For speed/efficiency: We used to type a document – on a typewriter – and take scissors to it, along with tape, to literally cut and paste for editing. When was the last time you did that?
In prioritizing: By allowing us to focus our capabilities in other areas. In the past, we had to actually memorize telephone numbers! Now, many people have to look at their phone to reiterate their own numbers.
A greater understanding of concepts: Instead of memorizing details, we can use brain power to analyze the ideas instead of the definitions. Rather than asking, “What was our gross revenue last year?” we can ask, “What market trends sync with our engineering capabilities?” For example, software development for mobile devices was only a concept a decade ago!
In the realm of information management, including data processing, technology and services, “keeping up” is imperative. It’s no longer an option to “stay put” (although there is always resistance from some quarter) in the “comfort zone.” Thankfully, agile business information systems, such as the EnterpriseIQ manufacturing ERP software, keep us efficient and profitable, bring myriad benefits and are always delivering more. Motivated business owners “keep up” and plan for the future.
Computer hardware such as PCs and servers can generally be figured to have a 5-year life, in accordance with tax depreciation schedules. This is a practical method for replacement or upgrade planning. IQMS generates a new set of hardware recommendations every few years, depending on the scope of the configuration. Generally, if the standards are met initially, there’s no need to update hardware again within that five year window. Software versions, yes, hardware, no. Keeping up with hardware updates: required, but not so often.
Like hardware, software versions are dependent on available technology, but software can be deployed much more efficiently, as long as the hardware is capable. There is always a learning curve associated with new features and functionality, but the benefits are further improvements to efficiency and therefore profitability. Keeping up on software updates: high in value.
We may be losing the ability to memorize phone numbers, but we can access every customer’s order for the history of the relationship within seconds along with the lot numbers of every product shipped. Our brains have adapted to know where to look for information, as opposed to memorizing the information, providing far greater capability for data processing (inside our heads and out). We can rely on our information systems to answer the data-intensive questions and we can better spend our time evaluating process improvements – or tomorrow’s technology culture.