Has Your Technology Mastery Made You A Smartphone Slave?If you’re like many small business owners, your technological proficiency helps you better manage your operations, but threatens to encroach upon your personal life. In one sense, cloud technologies could be seen as contributing to an “always on” lifestyle. Cloud services make smartphones easier to use and more effective as tools, so business people are using them more. But from another perspective, cloud services can help by freeing up working hours and personal time by lessening trivial tasks.
A recent small-business survey suggests that 89 percent of respondents exhibit technological proficiency, but at a price. They’re slaves to smartphones, leading technology blog and aggregator Technorati Small Business reports. In fact, 38 percent reported difficulty “switching off” outside of work and 37 percent find working “off-duty” hours an intrusion on personal time, according to the 2012 survey by business insurer Hiscox.
You do need the ability to access data critical to your business no matter where you are, especially when you’re on the road. Many people rely on their smartphones, but these often aren’t the tools you need to actually do your work. A tablet, Ultrabook or laptop might be a more effective way to access important data stored in the cloud, through a convenient web portal.
Smartphones and other mobile devices pose additional access and security challenges for SMBs. In most small businesses, these are not standard tools owned and maintained by the business, but a varied array of devices that belong to individuals. This means companies must provide data access across a variety of platforms, which complicates support and security.
For many small businesses, “the option to clock off at 5 p.m. is fast diminishing and being ‘switched on’ is becoming a normal way of life,” Hiscox small business expert Alan Thomas says in the Technorati article. The risk lies in becoming “masters of technology but slaves to their work,” Thomas says. In one sense, perhaps cloud technologies are adding to this problem by making smartphones more powerful and easier to use.
At the same time, cloud services can help business owners rescue time and energy from mundane tasks. For example, automatic online data backup offers substantial peace of mind whether at work or at home. It’s running behind the scenes for you, so you can spend your working hours growing your business, and spend your personal time not worrying about work.
What are your thoughts about technology? Are you able to switch it off and separate your personal life from your business life?
Source: Technorati Small Business, February 2013
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