Sometimes, even a bad situation can cast a positive light on just how far technology has helped us simplify our daily lives.
Technology gets a bad reputation at times with the constant connection to the Internet with smart phones, tablets and other devices. Some argue that technology has taken away the “personal touch” of communication. Since I am in the technology industry, I feel that I have to defend all these new technologies in the face of older, sometimes more trusted methods of communicating.
I recently had a fender bender in the parking lot of a local restaurant. Fortunately, it was a very minor incident as we were both backing out of our diagonal parking places at the same time. Once we hit, we both stopped immediately and jumped out of our cars to inspect the damage.
It has been many years since I have had any kind of accident like this and we discussed exchanging contact and insurance information. I grabbed my insurance card out of my car (as your insurance agents instructs you to have a current card in the car) and was thinking about writing the information down. Old school thinking on my part, as the other party quickly brought up her information electronically on her phone and emailed it to me with her contact information. I quickly caught on and just took a photo of my insurance card and emailed it to her with my contact information. We then each took photos of each of our car’s damage and that was it! I subsequently forwarded her email and the photos to my insurance agent.
That process literally took five to seven minutes and we had both documented the accident and sent it off to our respective agents! Additionally, the other party was in a rental car which also gave me the idea of having my family all scan the insurance cards into their phone just in case you are traveling—that’s a lot more efficient and reliable than just having the insurance card in your car’s glove box!
Technology helped make the best of a bad situation—handling the situation was so simple that I didn't even get upset with getting in the accident. Of course, I would rather have not backed into her but the technology sure made it less painful.
This “accidental epiphany” of technology’s place in simplifying our everyday tasks and challenges also reminded me of why I got into the business of software back in the early 1980s when we formed Dexter + Chaney, the goal was to bring efficient accounting software and processes to the construction industry. Today, more than 34 years later, I am proud that our company is on the leading edge of new technologies that are continuing to streamline complicated construction projects and demanding accounting and financial management practices. Modern technology advancements like cloud computing, mobile computing devices, automated workflows and more have guided the creation of software systems and tools that are simple to use and understand, despite handling very complex tasks on the back end.
Just like with many technology advancements in a wide array of industries over the years, we don’t always stop to think how they work, what they really do, or why they’re needed—but when we find ourselves in a situation where we really need them or benefit from them, we tend to understand and appreciate their value.
When have you been surprised by technology lately?