Fair or not, WikiLeaks, "fake news" on social media, government by tweet ... these are byproducts of the computer-driven information age (a brave new technology world) that's widely associated with our incoming president. As a lesson to us all, however, the hacking of emails from Hillary Clinton-campaign workers and supporters (by whomever) should drive home the importance of securing our networks and data files.
But what exactly is the broader state of union as it relates to information technology as we stand on the cusp of Donald J. Trump's inauguration as our 45th president? The good news is that technology continues to make our lives easier in many ways -- some of which were pure science fiction only a generation ago. Drones, robotic workers (not just in factories but doing things like vacuuming our floors), and self-driving cars are on the verge of being commonplace. Today's technology enables instantaneous global commerce among the world's biggest corporations ... and it also tells us personally how many calories we just burned on our morning jog. Alexa and Siri have become our ever-present personal assistants, scheduling office meetings or ordering flowers for someone special. We can now immerse ourselves in 3D virtual realities, not just for fun but for important work as well.
Information technology is also proving to be the free market's best friend, making possible companies like Uber and Airbnb. As consumers, we have more choices than ever; in fact, we can find and order practically anything online and usually have it rushed to our front doors the next day. And because the communication power of the Internet is practically infinite, no company ... no matter how big ... can prevent a tiny startup with a strong competing product from going directly to consumers to achieve remarkable success.
Those are some of IT's headline developments. Meanwhile, our systems continually improve in their ability to support our interests with ever faster processors, more functional software, and friendlier interfaces ... all at lower and lower costs. We've come to take such improvements for granted, but their cumulative effect is tremendously positive.
Yet every rose has its thorns. Especially when it comes to technology.
With more productive and cheaper robotics, low- and no-skilled laborers will lose jobs. A drone can deliver a pizza, or it can become a Peeping Tom. Social media allows us to bypass biased gatekeepers of information, but in this free-wheeling, brave new world it can be hard to separate fact from fiction, especially with so many parties ready to tell us exactly what we want to hear. (Meanwhile, trolling and public incivility is epidemic on ALL sides.) Connectivity enables our gadgets to serve us at any time, wherever we are, but it also lets clever hackers hi-jack our tools and toys to disrupt our businesses, spy on us, steal our data, or possibly cause physical harm. Even mundane advancements come with drawbacks, as we cede basic business skills to technological aids, leaving us ill-prepared to handle a network outage, or able to work with those using different systems.
Taking the good from technology and avoiding the bad won't be a new challenge during the time of the Trump Administration, but the risks and rewards are going be greater than ever. The best news, political leanings aside, is that you can take heart that SynchroNet's services, support and advice are always on call to help you minimize associated risks and maximize return on your IT investments. That's The SynchroNet Way, and we're glad to have your vote of confidence in 2017.