At last night’s Mobile Monday one of the attendees asked if wireless/mobile technology adoption was increasing the digital divide. My answer to him was absolutely. It’s not just wireless but in ALL areas of technology.
There are those small businesses who KNOW they need to use technology as a tool to grow and are leveraging technology. Others are more afraid of technology and are very slow adopters.
These are the ones who don’t yet have a web site or have a very limited funcionality web site that looks like crap – for example.
Technology is moving so fast and so many economical, easy to use technologies are launching that small businesses who don’t have someone keeping their eye and using these technologies will lose out.
Their “tech point person” does not have to be a full time staff member, it could be their local IT consultant. But I think a full time staff member who’s dual role is to to go small business focused tech events should be considered as well.
I was recently reading something that David Berlind of ZD Net wrote about the power of Google, which I was not aware of. He explained that those who hosted their email domains on Google receive a lot more functionality and power than those who use Google without the email domain hosting features.
He writes But wait, it gets better. While sharing documents or spreadsheets between two ordinary users of Google is very pure oxygen-esque in the way it works, sharing documents amongst users of a private business domain within Google Apps is even cooler because Google sets aside a single URL that all users can use ó one that’s invisible to the outside world ó to find the company’s shared documents. Not all documents belonging to all users appear there. Only the documents to which you have been authorized to edit or view (including your own) are visible. Users must deliberately make their documents and/or spreadsheets editable/viewable (two different access rights) to others through a Google dialog that is both special in the the private partition context, but also needs improvement.
(images David Berlind posted below)
I know technology can be prohibitive and you might not have the time to keep up with all the technology available to you. However, in the areas of mobile, wireless, collaboration, hosted applications, security and a few vertical applications – relevant to your business, you have to keep up. Appoint a tech point person and/or ensure your local IT consultant is doing this for you.
As we discussed last night the best way to adopt technology is to focus on your business pain points. Don’t think – “we need a blog”. Think “we need to enhance our communication to customers”.
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