Thursday, October 11, 2012

Why Don't Computers Get Any Respect?!

Why do so many business owners treat their computers like Rodney Dangerfield... they just don't get any respect!  They are an after thought, an annoyance, or unfathomable gadget that is here today and gone tomorrow.  The truth is that we have become so dependent on computers to perform some of the most basic business tasks we could never imagine being without them.  And, frankly our businesses couldn't function with out them. Why does it take a crisis or major disruption before computers get any respect?!

Anita Campbell wrote an article "5 Success Tips You Never Learn in School" for the online magazine Small Business Trends that echos my sentiment above.  The fourth tip in her article is "Treat Your Computer Systems Like a Factory Production Line".

Anita Campbell explains, "For millions of business owners like me, our computers are the biggest set of business equipment we have — and they’re crucial. Without a computer system, I cannot operate my business.Yet, why do so many of us still treat our computer systems as if they’re discretionary gadgets? That’s one of the mysteries of the universe. It’s the Rodney Dangerfield syndrome — they “get no respect.” We don’t back up our data regularly. We don’t do maintenance (such as de-fragging or critical updates) the way we should. Our electronic files are a disorganized mess. We practically ignore our computer systems until a problem happens. Then the problem turns into a full-blown crisis."

So, why do so many business owners ignore their computer systems until there is a full blown crisis?  And, that crisis is often a major disruption that can be very expensive due to not only repair costs, but also lost productivity or business.  As the industry saying goes, "There are those that backup their data, and then there are those that WILL backup  their data!"   Why does it take a crisis or major disruption before computers get any respect?! 

I agree with Anita Campbell that the aforementioned seems to be one of the mysteries of the universe, but I believe the essential answer to that mystery is as follows:  If you don't want your business to come to a grinding halt, because your computer systems aren't functioning, then your goal should be to find ways to prevent problems from occurring or at least minimize the impact of computer disruptions.  It seems to me that most business owners would like to accomplish the aforementioned goal, but don't know the "how" of attaining that goal.  Then they turn to their computer technician whom they only pay when the computer breaks down.  Since, that computer technician only gets paid when the computer is NOT functioning, there is no financial incentive for him to prevent problems from occurring.  So, where can a business owner turn to for advice on preventing computer problems and mitigating disruptions?

In the next series of blog posts entitled "The Five Pillars of Computer Reliability and Stability" I'll detail the steps you can take to prevent computer problems and mitigate disruptions in non-technical language.  I'll present the "Five Pillars of Computer Reliability and Stability" in a management framework that you can use to manage your computer disruptions more effectively as well as either get you current technician on-board with preventing or mitigating computers disruptions or find a computer technician that will work with you toward that goal.