Executive Information Technology Consulting & Development Services offered by Steve Diamond

Steve Speaks on How To Avoid Technology Traps

03 July 2009

I recently appeared on Nancy Brown’s Business Guru Show on Blog Talk Radio to speak about “How To Avoid Technology Traps.” You can hear the show (30 minutes) by following the link or you can play it right here:

99 Comments to “Steve Speaks on How To Avoid Technology Traps”

  1. Demetrius says:

    If you are not particularly tech savvy, the prospect of purchasing, maintaining, and securing technology for your business can be really confusing and alarming. Though you may have a pretty good idea of what you should do, what about what you should not do? Everything from not backing up your data, to using social networking tools incorrectly (or not at all), to working with pirated software can affect your bottom line in a bad way.

  2. Demetrius says:

    Thank you for pointing this out Demetrius because you are right this can be a very daunting thing to do when you are in the business world but your technology is less then par. My dad started his construction business in the 70’s so this technology wasn’t an issue yet back then, but now he is trying to incorporate it in so that it works better and that is difficult.

  3. Sarah says:

    Since the talk is about technology traps, allow me to peer not too far into the distant future, when giant corporations like Microsoft begin to see their vision of society come to fruition. This is no fantasy. Microsoft has already built a prototype of the home of the future’. I saw the video of a home with walls that are full scale projection screens that you can run an advanced OS and customize how your walls look. Kind of like a giant desktop. The possible trap is that we become so dependent on this technology that we become consumer slaves to their 24/7 barrage of sales messages.

  4. Robert says:

    Sarah you are right I have seen things like this too and no matter how cool the idea can you imagine the problems you could have with houses like this as well. And your comment about the consumer slaves and the barrage of sales messages was right on the money they are bad now but I can’t imagine how bad they could get.

  5. Ronnie says:

    The global virtual desktop market is projected to reach 49 million units by the end of 2013, up from around 500,000 units in 2009. Revenue is also expected to skyrocket, representing more than 40 percent of the professional PC market. By virtualizing software, organizations can run multiple operating systems and applications on one physical machine and across multiple processors or cores. This allows employees to do more work on fewer machines as well as reduce IT costs and time associated with managing infrastructure. The potential trap for this is the competing mobile revolution.

  6. Timothy says:

    People often assume that BYOD means allowing employees to bring their own personal devices to work, and perhaps receive a stipend to offset their cost — but this can be a trap. In fact, Citrix recommends considering a different model for BYOD in the banking industry: buying the device for the employee instead of providing a stipend. This fulfills the two essential aspects of BYOD — increasing mobility and allowing user choice — but makes it possible to maintain a level of control and management that employees might resent on a personally owned device.

  7. Paul says:

    Steve I think you are right it makes more sense to me to buy the employee the device they need instead of paying them for the use of theirs and trusting that theirs is ok. You can control the situation when you are the one paying for the device so I think as a business owner that would be the way to go. Keep up the good work this was worth it.

  8. Jennifer says:

    From Twitter to iPhones, from Facebook to tablets, we have an endless supply of media and gadgets to hook our interest, snag our wallets, and occupy our time. Think back over the last five years. How much of your time was devoted to online activities? How much of your real life has been gobbled up or googled up in your net life? I read this book, where a counselor and addiction specialist speaks enthusiastically and frankly about the gizmos and gadgets, social media magnets, and Internet sidetracks we have at our fingertips. With real-life examples and biblical applications, he presents a cautionary tale about the negatives IT unleashes.

  9. Scott says:

    I don’t know if someone trying to sell the latest in technology should be teaching people how to avoid the technology traps, but maybe that is the best way to get people to trust you and see that you are putting all the efforts forward to prevent them from being ripped off. Great idea keep up the good work and let us know how this works for you.

  10. Leroy says:

    This naturally combines with building the wrong thing. One of the reasons for building the wrong thing is that the wrong thing was asked to be built in the first place. One particular area this can take place is the failure to conduct sufficient business analysis (not requirements analysis) to understand what the business problems are. If IT does not understand the business problem then they have little chance of building something to help. A typical sign of this occurring is the costly lets throw something at them and see if they like it’ approach! Another common mistake is to ask the business what they want, rather than asking them what their problems are.

  11. Clyde says:

    What Leroy wrote makes a lot of sense. It is sometimes said that if you are not getting the proper answers, you are likely not asking the right questions. You can find out what your needs are by asking well thought out questions, rather than using the helter – skelter strategy and throwing a bunch of darts just so some ideas stick. This can wind up costing someone or some company a lot of time and money.

  12. Georgia says:

    Mistakes are part of human nature. It’s a story as old as time. But this is not something to be scorned. Theie Research into one topic has led to accidental discoveries that have changed history. Penicillin, X-Rays, the electron and the Bakewell Pudding were all discoveries that came about through mistakes. have been many glorious mistakes that have advanced human knowledge immensely. Now that we’re in the information age, the conversation naturally shifts towards cautionary tales within the IT world.

  13. Susan says:

    If you use your laptop on your lap, or leave it plugged in all the time, you may well be cruising for what some experts call Picnic (Problem in Chair Not in Computer) or ID-10t (idiot) errors computer problems caused by clueless users. Technical support professionals say these errors are responsible for at least half of all computer repairs. So you could say that technology traps can also be likened to user (or idiot) error.

  14. Bradford says:

    I echo what Susan mentions. I can cite one example in my own world. My friend is a proficient computer user, but she’s no tech ore even a savvy surfer because recently, she ruined her operating system by falling for a common Flash plugin update’ which is a pop-up window that beguiles you into updating your browser’s plugin but if you accept, you get an update, alright – a nasty virus that prevents you from booting up. The best way to updated your Flash plugin is by manually going to the Adobe website.

  15. Debra says:

    There’s an article which proposes that the effort to increase the use of technology in education “is beginning to do to our educational system what the transformation to industrial agriculture has done to our food system over the past half century: efficiently produce a deluge of cheap, empty calories. I have said this before, and apparently I need to say it again: Technology neither improves nor diminishes learning. It’s the instructional design choices made and instructional practices used by individual teachers with individual students that do this.

  16. James says:

    I love technology. I just can’t get enough of it sometimes- I want the latest gadget, app, hardware or software program. I love that it’s made doing business across the world with colleagues a joy, and I love staying in touch with all my family and friends that are scattered far and wide. I can’t imagine life without it. However, with all the advances in technology to help us communicate faster, cheaper and clearer, I continue to read how many people are more lonely and isolated than ever before.

  17. Gary says:

    One trap people fall into is to get enamored by a specific technology or a flashy web design. Web technology is changing at a blinding rate. It would be a myopic approach, for instance, to limit your choices to Microsoft-only solutions or, alternatively, only those that are compatible with Oracle databases. A smarter approach is to document the key website content, features, and user scenarios, and then get one or more website experts to provide you with alternative solutions.

  18. Seth says:

    The general idea that I came to when reading this article is that technology is not an end in itself but a means to an outcome. When using technology with students, for instance, teachers should be able to have clear plans as to the purposes and whys of using such technology in the class and whether the same tasks could be used without the technology. You don’t want kids watching video and never reading, thus, degrading their reading and comprehension skills.

  19. Jose says:

    It’s hard to think that Google could fall into a trap, but it did. Dodgeball was a popular check-in app before check-ins were popular. Google bought it. Google shut it down. Foursquare’s founder Dennis Crowley left Google to start Foursquare, which is basically Dodgeball 2.0. Foursquare is reportedly raising money at a $500 million valuation. So Google is probably going to have to spend twice that to get Foursquare back into its fold.

  20. Matthew says:

    It’s hard to think that Google could fall into a trap, but it did. Dodgeball was a popular check-in app before check-ins were popular. Google bought it. Google shut it down. Foursquare’s founder Dennis Crowley left Google to start Foursquare, which is basically Dodgeball 2.0. Foursquare is reportedly raising money at a $500 million valuation. So Google is probably going to have to spend twice that to get Foursquare back into its fold.

  21. Jennifer says:

    Some educators are tentative about how to go about integrating technology in their classroom. Some are already doing it, but want to make sure they’re doing the right thing by their students. Teaching with technology can be fun and engaging, but it’s easy to make a few errors in your approach that can lead to unfortunate consequences for your students, or discourage them from fully participating. Teachers would do well to avoid when assigning technology based work to your students.

  22. Ronnie says:

    Gary you are so right the rate at which technology changes and the web changes is phenomenal. I work at a Church and the web site there changes so much it is hard to find things from one month to the next so I can only imagine the changes taking place at other business that are in the web business period. Thank you for your post it’s comments are very informative as well.

  23. Justin says:

    There are far to many traps out there to post them all but you have done a great job at making this video to try and get the biggest and most dangerous traps out there out of the game. Thank you for making this post you have done a great job and I look forward to following you and seeing what else you come up with, great job.

  24. Horace says:

    Avoiding technology traps should be a course they teach a class on because there are so many and they grow exponentially every day because of the new stuff coming out or the updates to the stuff already out there. This has got to be the biggest thing going right now and the biggest thing at catching people in those so called traps you are referring to.

  25. Thomas says:

    I have fallen prey to a few technology traps before and I have to admit I didn’t like it when I realized what had happened. One was switching to a smart phone, I didn’t need it my flip phone was working fine but I wanted the ease of having my emails at hand when I needed them, then you fall into the data plan trap, great post.

  26. Daniel says:

    Electric lights, including those which illuminate laptop computers, smartphones and tablets, often play a key role in causing people to sleep badly, a leading expert has warned. Artificial lights disrupt the body’s natural rhythm, affect chemicals in the brain and drive people to use stimulants like caffeine to stay awake longer. So I guess there is a price we are paying for always staying connected to the information grid and to one another. Come bedtime, we just need to disconnect.

  27. Leroy says:

    It’s hard to get a good job in IT these days, but it’s all too easy to lose one. There are lots of reasons for instant termination. Failure to fulfill your obligation to protect your employer’s digital assets is a sure ways to end up on the unemployment line. You could be fired for opening your mouth at the wrong time or not opening your mouth at the right one. Or you can get canned by being directly responsible for the loss of millions of dollars in downtime through your own negligence.

  28. Fonda says:

    Some educators are tentative about how to go about integrating technology in their classroom. Some teachers are already doing it, but want to make sure they are doing the right thing by their students. Teaching with technology can be fun and engaging, but it’s easy to make a few errors in your approach that can lead to unfortunate consequences for their students, or discourage them from fully participating. This can be a trap for teachers and the students are the ones who get cheated.

  29. Vincent says:

    It is not just those who are in charge of buying a company’s software that mess up. App developers often struggle with marketing and monetizing their apps. Unfortunately, too many app developers are taking a passive “build it and they will come approach to app monetization. I remember how this used to be a trap that I would fall into after I developed a website. It took me a long time before I ceased to be so stubborn.

  30. Jonathan says:

    It is not just those who are in charge of buying a company’s software that mess up. App developers often struggle with marketing and monetizing their apps. Unfortunately, too many app developers are taking a passive “build it and they will come approach to app monetization. I remember how this used to be a trap that I would fall into after I developed a website. It took me a long time before I ceased to be so stubborn.

  31. Steven says:

    I consider technology related traps to mean the same as common or classic mistakes. These can take place when buying or developing software. The Classic mistakes I am thinking of are ineffective software development practices that have been chosen so often, by so many projects, with such predictable results that they deserve to be called classic mistakes. However, they can be avoided if you as a buyer or developer are determined to break such a cycle.

  32. Allen says:

    Software companies often make decisions about what and how to outsource too quickly without detailed expert assessment of their current state, desired future and required path on how to get there. It’s obvious, even to them, that it is critical to plan an outsourcing strategy, for instance, by considering a company’s current software engineering process maturity and in house team size. You think it would also be helpful to get familiar with any project documentation, but many people ignore these things anyway.

  33. Quincy says:

    YouTube has always been a site full of great ways to gain quick SEO value by using Tags, Descriptions, Titles and Closed Captions. Therefore many users had hoped Annotations would only add to the SEO value YouTube offers, but unfortunately Annotations never carried any SEO value at all. This proved to be a trap that video marketers fell into when it made viewers want to run as far away from their videos.

  34. Robert says:

    The mistakes made related to technology aren’t always what you may think. In my friends’ first high school coding job I guess that made him a tech intern he burned down the entire office due to a cabling mistake. It was a total loss, displaced 100+ people, and destroyed lots of files, records, artwork, and a lot of the CEO’s memorabilia. Hey, it was caused by computer hardware.

  35. Debra says:

    Mistakes we’ve all made a few but some are much harder to fix than others. A handful of the most disastrous errors could cost you your job. Because computers are a part of nearly every single office environment these days, many of the most terrible workplace gaffes seem to relate to technology, and they occur most frequently when people are starting out in a junior role. I’ve seen people get reprimanded because there was no orientation and nobody told them of certain company prohibitions.

  36. Darryl says:

    When you think of potential technology traps, you tend to think of software glitches and even the effect that devices or inventions can have on our everyday life. But you hardly, if ever, think about fashion, right? Well, consider the trap that technology has made for those who are consumed by it, namely, those who dedicate themselves to developing the technology. Consider Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who can get away with wearing a hoodie on stage in public but other tech entrepreneurs can’t.

  37. Quincy says:

    People err. That is a fact of life. People are not precision machinery designed for accuracy. So we fall into a trap of over relying on computers. We humans are a different kind of device entirely. Creativity, adaptability, and flexibility are our strengths. Continual alertness and precision in action or memory are our weaknesses. We are amazingly error tolerant, even when physically damaged. We are extremely flexible, robust, and creative, superb at finding explanations and meanings from partial and noisy evidence.

  38. Paul says:

    Imagine waking up in a world without any media. No internet. No texting. No iPods, iPads, or iPhones. Not one television show. No media whatsoever. Although a world where we had no media could possibly be a more peaceable and beneficial world, most of us would start freaking out if we couldn’t check our Facebook or upload a selfie to Instagram or indulge our impulse with a cathartic Tweet. I know I would. The potential traps of technology are par for the course.

  39. Marcus says:

    Every day we make a few seemingly small mistakes when using technology, but they can cost us big in time, money and even health. A certain technology magazine put together a few things we may be doing or not doing, that we think are no big deal but actually are. First, removing your virus protector. You see the pop-up that a virus scanner is going, and you disable it. Experts said it’s very risky to skip over this tool and hurts the health of your computer.

  40. Gerald says:

    Digital technologies have transformed the way people learn, work, and interact with each another. But with these new tools come responsibilities and consequences, all of which should be explored – and they are in at least one conference that I know of. It’s called: “Decoding the Digital: Media, Technology and a Culture Consumed?” Like this interview that Steve did, having a discussion with IT persons can bring to light the pitfalls that should be avoided by everyone.

  41. Edward says:

    There were plenty of tech advancements this year that might have made you want to rush out and do an office-wide upgrade. But there were lots of others that only resulted in companies with egg on their faces. In some cases, we don’t know what the true fall-out will be yet–the technology either died suddenly or is still going through a slow death. But one thing is clear: you can learn plenty about marketing and innovation from the potential traps.

  42. Paul says:

    This reminds me of one of the oldest jokes on the Internet; maybe you got it in your e-mailbox. A software mogul-usually Bill Gates, but sometimes another-makes a speech. “If the automobile industry had developed like the software industry, the mogul proclaims, “we would all be driving $25 cars that get 1,000 miles to the gallon. To which an automobile executive retorts, “Yeah, and if cars were like software, they would crash twice a day for no reason, and when you called for service, they’d tell you to reinstall the engine.

  43. Shawn says:

    An amazing growing area in healthcare is the increase in the development of technology that is designed to augment human functioning and decrease an individual’s dependence on others to provide personal care. Yet, what does it mean to extend a person’s life through technology? These ethical issues are grounded within the context of the possibilities and the pitfalls of technology’. When providing care to patients and families, nurses must recognize and understand the significant ways in which quality of life, personhood, accessibility, and cost may be challenged by the promises of new technologies.

  44. Roberto says:

    First, a disclaimer: I am a huge fan of technology and a true believer in its potential to fundamentally change how schools are run. Emerging technologies, often called social media,’ are changing how many young people communicate and learn, how they approach learning, and how they process information. But I think there are reasons to worry. For one thing, the technology will be unevenly distributed, meaning that the gap between rich and poor will actually widen.

  45. Jon says:

    Mistakes are part and parcel of human nature. We are human, ergo we make mistakes. It’s a story as old as time. But this is not something to be scorned. There have been many glorious mistakes that have advanced human knowledge immensely. Maybe it is our reliance on computers for automation that makes us vulnerable to the abuse of misuse of software. I think we need to strike a balance and not look for the easier way.

  46. Shawn says:

    Technology traps are everywhere and if you have not been schooled in them or don’t know what you are looking for then you are most likely in danger of falling into a technology trap very easily. There are courses you can take to teach you about this kind of thing and I would recommend it highly over just reading some articles and thinking you’ve got it.

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