Monday, June 28, 2010

It's A Self-Service World

Everywhere you go you are seeing more and more examples of the self-service world.

Sixty years ago there was an army of attendants that filled your gas tank, wiped your windows and checked your tire pressure. Now you have to do all that yourself and count yourself lucky if you can find a squeegee.

Deny it all you like. It's happening everywhere. Slowly but surely everything that can be self-service, will be. And just like the gas station attendants of the 1950's, all those jobs will vanish too. Deny it all you won't change a thing.

From do-it-yourself tax software to ATMs, there are countless applications and tools available. If it doesn't exist now, don't worry. There will probably be an app for that soon. Maybe you'll invent it.

It's all about dirty sexy money. Self-service technology benefits consumers, businesses and the economy as whole. It could add $130 billion to annual GDP (that's about $1,100 per household) according to a report released April 14 by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF).

This report was a survey of the internet, kiosks, smartphones, mobile devices and those plain old telephone automated payment systems. They explored the role of touch screen displays, card readers, wireless networks and broadband Internet. What they found is that these systems are saving everyone lots of money by eliminating the need for a worker. There are fewer mistakes (you know how to spell your name!) and it is much faster.

Fight as hard as you like. Scream at the stars. Beat your fists against the wall. Many service level jobs will be replaced by self-service technology.

Who am I talking to? Realtors, optometrists, gas stations attendants, wholesalers, and checkout clerks, are probably going early on. Legal work will dwindle as routine legal issues become more automated. Even I will face risks in my industry.

So instead of fighting it, harness the change and start adopting self-service technologies into your business. Find ways to help customers solve their own problems or someone else will. For some it is already to late. Don't get left behind.

How's your industry outlook? Are you ready for a self-service world? I can help you.

Louis Rosas-Guyon's FREE 5-week e-Course for Eliminating Tech CostsR-Squared Computing - Business Technology Experts
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