Forgive the homage to the 1964 movie "Dr. Strangelove," but we all seem to have a love/hate relationship with information. For years knowledge was power, information was king and data on its own was dumb.
It’s a nice sound bite and I’ve used it many times over the years, mostly when I am talking with friends about technology, saying if they think what’s happening now is amazing, "just wait." But I was never certain what it was based on. Now, with the incredible leaps in computer speed and capacity, you have to wonder: Can this growth just go on forever?
You can imagine that when we bought our first digital camera and no longer needed to deal with film, I was very happy. I thought of all the money I would save. Little did I know that I was just swapping just one kind of vice for another.
Then Apple introduced the consumer to iCloud, and suddenly everyone wanted his or her piece of the cloud. With the growth in mobile technology and the development of mobile apps and social media, storage and speed of access to data reached new heights. Leading the charge, Apple invested more than $1 billion in data center servers and networks to support the development of new apps on top of the more than 500,000 apps already in existence, to provide cloud-based services to its users. And you can bet the other companies are not far behind Apple in taking similar steps.
So how do you cope? First, independent agents have an advantage over many small businesses because most agency management systems help manage the data in a structure that supports effective data mining. But you shouldn’t rely solely on your system to do all the work or you might lose sight of what’s actually in there.