Two articles this week take apparently opposite views on this – although on reflection both probably just say that there are factors that can prevent technology from helping. I think the save us viewpoint wins out in the end.
Chris Anderson of Wired wrote an article in Newsweek entitled Why Technology Hasn’t Saved Us From Inflation (but still can). It essentially says that technology could have prevented our current problems with energy, the environment, and the economy – but political issues got in the way.
Shelly Palmer wrote a post entitled How Technology Is Costing Companies Millions . . . Maybe Billions . It chronicles an experience with a call centre over a customer loyalty program where a seemingly simple request was met with unthinking humans who could only read canned answers off a script, and a system that apparently could not do a simple task. The experience undid years of goodwill.
Both articles are worth a read. I’ve always been a believer in technology – but also that poorly applied technology can do more harm than good. Too often it is designed and implemented with an inward, rather than customer or user centric focus. The call centre story is a perfect example of that.