Same Sweet, Different Wrapper

My ‘I think about technology Daley’ post was about how far technology has moved on in recent years – yet it’s not just the technology behind the scenes that develops; the way in which we consume it has had a massive impact.

For example, live TV has become less and less of a commodity.  Years ago we had to sit down at a certain time if we wanted to catch the latest episode of Knight Rider – seen as perfectly acceptable at the time (I’m talking about the situation here – I presume there will be a fair few who would argue that watching Knight Rider wouldn’t be acceptable in any circumstance!)

If we were out of the house however, we needed to gear up the VHS recorder and set the timer (which practically required a certificate in electronics), or hit the record button before you went out in the vein hope that the tape lasted long enough.

Often you came home to find one pesky household member had switched channels so you ended up with half an episode of the A Team and half an episode of Noel’s House Party….

Now however, we have choice.  We have the option to pause, rewind and record live TV at the touch of a button….. consuming what we want, when we want it.   We can record an entire series which removes the human factor of forgetting to record an episode  (although if we do, we always have the option to get the box to record it using an app on a mobile device or catch up ‘on demand’).

And I think that because we now have a lot more choice, our expectations have risen dramatically in recent years.

Whilst this is all about consumerism, the shift is also very apparent in business.

Gone are the days when we used to have to store all of our information centrally on premise to make sure it was backed up, and then we could only locate our data when we were in the office.

People began to take information with them, be it on a Floppy Disc, CD, DVD or later on, a USB stick.  Technology moved us on to using smaller and smaller devices, enabling us to become more mobile whilst we worked.

Now we are seeing it come full circle; data is being moved back to a central location in what the industry likes to call ‘the cloud’.  It’s accessible from anywhere (any place, any time) thus making our lives easier.

But we must consider the wider risks that come with this.  Technology helps us in a lot of things, but the way we work with it and consume it will always be a factor.

So, when looking at things like the cloud, make sure you have a strategy for exactly how cloud will help your business.  How will it enhance your offering to your customers?  Is the cloud alone right for you or should you consider a hybrid solution of both cloud and on premise?

It comes back to choice – you have the power to use technology to enhance your business, but make sure you choose what’s right for you.

Once you’ve got that sorted it’s then important to look at user policy – making sure the right things are done to provide a secure environment.

For more on this subject take a look at this video interview I did for a recent event on IT Security: