HelpSystems Blog

Technology Changes our Lives but Don’t Forget the Human Touch

When I was very young my father wanted to make a big difference to the amount of work my mother had to do and he bought her an “automatic” washing machine.

My father had a firm belief in labour saving devices as the answer to making life easier. Now by today’s standards this doesn’t seem like a big deal – but when you realise that I am talking about the sixties and my mother was the first housewife in the street to own such a newfangled device it seemed revolutionary and extremely modern at the time.

Before then clothes were boiled in a big vessel called a “copper” often housed in a small separate building outside the home called a “wash house”. Detergent was added and something called “Reckitt’s Blue” a chemical , magical ingredient which promised you that your washing would be “whiter than white”.

The clothes were then agitated by hand in the copper with a wooden baton called a “pogstick” to thrash out the dirt. Then they were put through a mangle to literally squeeze all the water out before being hung on the line.

It was extremely steamy and hot work and very labour intensive. It was quite usual for housewives to set aside a whole day (and pray it didn’t rain) to do all the washing.

In fact, just thinking about it and how it must have felt the day the big white monolith of a machine finally arrived with the famous red “Hotpoint” logo, I am sure my mother must have thought that her life was about to change for the better.

Fast forward a few decades and I can relate to how IT Managers up and down the country must have felt when they received delivery of their first computer.

The excitement and the brave new world feeling that this must have created and the belief that this was the answer to the smooth running of an efficient modern business. The hope, the training courses (if you were lucky) , the pioneering spirit , the camaraderie, the mistakes, (the investigations) but above all the sheer will power of the IT professionals to make things run better, smarter and faster has transformed the world, changed the way things were done previously and had a dramatic effect on our lives.

Back then we all needed each other as IT pioneers and attendance at user conferences was huge because that was the only way to learn stuff through mixing with your peer group. The Internet was yet to be invented.

Nowadays a lot of research is all done on-line before any engagement or human interaction happens. I’m not knocking the enablement the Internet has given us all – it’s a fantastic and most amazing invention and historians say that it has given us the “Information Age” in terms of human progression.

But often if we have a problem to solve, it is part of our natural drive and our human survival mechanism for the brain to figure out the answer for ourselves. So having got some idea of what the answer might be to the problem and armed with the mighty power of Google we shortlist the possible solutions from our surfing travels.

This is great – but because we feel we know what the solution might be we confine and limit our internet search on that basis.

Sometimes there is no substitute to talking to an expert to get the low down on what is not easy to find on the Internet; the main players, the cost, the competitive analysis and a diagnostic approach to finding the right solution to solve your actual business problem. As often in life you have a number of options and its well worth canvassing the views of experts in the field to find the most cost effective answer to suit your particular circumstances.

If you would like help, a conversation, and a refreshing and professional approach to solving operational issues you face as an IT professional, you can get access to respected IT industry experts by requesting an online meeting.