Is There Really Such a Thing as Low-Tech?
As a small company, keeping up with evolving technology and whether or not you need it for growth and sustainability may seem a bit overwhelming. What is high tech, anyway? Techopedia.com says this: “High tech is an abbreviation of “high technology,” which is a generic term referring to a broad range of industrial classifications and innovation. A study funded by the Workforce Information Council identified the high-tech sector to be that which includes a high concentration of workers in what is referred to as STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).”
High Tech or Low Tech
While high-tech for most companies generally refers to the most advanced information technology (IT) practices and systems for the benefit of computer operations, it is not always a relevant solution for every small business. A company’s level of technical advancement depends on the nature of the goods or services provided along with growth expectations. For some small companies, there’s a new term now: low tech.
Low tech has a number of definitions depending on its application. Merriam-Webster defines low tech as, “technologically simple or unsophisticated.” For many small-scale businesses, low tech is an acceptable, simple format for meeting company technology needs. Not every business needs complex technology to sustain. Many contractors and freelance providers, for example, may need very little technology. An Internet connection and VoIP calling may be all some workers need to do their jobs, make money, and support their customers.
Low Tech Solutions
Low tech solutions can be easily managed internally or via remote, third-party managed IT service providers, or MSPs. Small companies find high tech solutions over their budgets and frankly more than they need. Keep in mind a high-tech environment is not necessarily better than a low-tech environment to suit company needs. The higher the technology companies invest in, the more problems, expense and risks they take on.
Take today’s smart phone as an example. According to Statista.com, out of the 260+ million users in the US alone, “Mobile apps are one of the most popular features on smartphones. According to a recent survey of smartphone users in the United States, the most popular types of smartphone apps which are used on a daily basis reside in the social and communication category, followed by gaming and entertainment apps.”
How many of the mobile apps and features do you use on your smartphone? A number of statistics indicate that half of the users only use a small percentage of the apps and features on their phones. For some people, this is an example of a high-tech device for a low-tech need. On the other hand, there are many technical people that rely heavily on high tech in their business and personal lives. Likewise, many consumers and small businesses see low technology as a simple and positive solution for their IT requirements.
Consider Low Tech Environments
While younger generations grew up on technology and will count on it, there is a population of late-stage baby boomers that may have very little need for high tech, from the kitchen to online banking and manual note taking. Landlines are still in place, and there is no need for VoIP or Skype in their home office.
Also consider the availability of (or lack of) high tech in a number of slowly emerging countries. High tech may not be available, and low tech is a suitable solution for everyday personal and business needs. There are many homegrown industries and local workers that require very little technology. Artists, crafters, woodworkers, musicians, farmers, foodies, and so many others may have unique technology needs, or no technology needs, to perform their work. Many cultures and religions as well actually refuse to engage with new technology for their survival.
Embrace Low Tech for Your Workplace
There really is such a thing as low tech, and it may be the perfect home or business scenario for you. It may be time to relax and embrace low tech for your workplace. Forget the pressure in signing up for costly high tech gadgets and solutions when you don’t need them. Find a balance to meet your technology needs, outsource when you need to, and let low tech be the answer to your small business needs. For help with your technical environment, give RackCo a call and let them provide the services you need at a cost-efficient low tech solution.