When Something Goes Wrong

By Bob Larrivee posted 11-12-2010 09:41


I think Australian Author Clive James said it best when he said, “It is only when they go wrong that machines remind you how powerful they are. “ Think about this for a second. OK time’s up. When I first read this I thought how true and how dependent we have become on our technologies. Less than 20 years ago, most people did not know what a cell phone was and only those who could afford the services could own one. Now, it is rapidly becoming the staple of communications with many people opting to forego landlines in favor of cell only. When a call drops or signal is weak, frustration runs high not to mention that the new expectation is all calls need to be answered immediately. Time was you could return a call within 24 hours and it was acceptable but today…

This is not only true of cell phones, I have seen people get frustrated when the remote for a TV does not change a channel or the remote for the car door does not open the car. People will stand in front of the TV or car aiming the remote and continuously pushing the button to make it work while it still does not. How quickly technology has lessened our ability to use the alternative methods of pushing a button on the TV or using the car key to open the door and start the car. The same is becoming true of office technology. I cannot count the number of times I have heard someone say I cannot contact this person because email is down or how can we support our clients when the system goes down. Use the cloud for my applications? Not me because if the cloud goes away or I cannot get to it…

In my view, what all of this means is that you need to have an alternate means of doing business and prepare for the inevitable time when something does go wrong. You need develop a plan that addresses alternate ways of doing business that may not be as efficient but are still effective in supporting your clients. As an example, a store front insurance agency in Florida that is impacted by a tropical storm faced with no power or internet connection now uses a generator for power and has back up media that is searchable so the client files can be accessed and claims forms completed for the client. While it is not the best of situations, it at least provides a means of doing business and servicing the client. Look at your options and plan for the inevitable. If you have to figure it out when it happens, it is too late. If you are not sure how to go about moving in that direction, seek professional assistance and/or training to get you started.

What say you? Do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? What is on your mind? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know.

Bob Larrivee, Director and Industry Advisor – AIIM

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