When is it worth having 2 or more technologies in one tool?

By | May 10, 2010

Hi my name is Howie and I am a recovering digital junky. Actually it may be optimistic to say that I am in recovery. More likely I am still addicted to all things digital, especially my Blackberry, iPod, GPS, and Macintosh computers.

Like other digital addicts, if you took away my digital toys I would likely experience serious digital withdrawal. I would wander the streets looking for a Starbucks hot spot to either log on or try the only alternative remedy which is getting a Venti Americano. This small, garbage can sized coffee cup has 4 shots of espresso in it. It may not be recognized as an official antidepressant, but it is like drinking rocket fuel.

All things considered, however, I don’t think being a digital junky is all that bad. My “fix” does not hurt others and often helps them. All I need is to answer 20-30 emails a day on my “Crack-Berry,” have a conversation about the value-added opportunities for digital technologies, draw a flowchart or new floor plan that streamlines bottlenecks in digital workflows and work in one or more programs in the popular Adobe or Microsoft suites and I am good to go.

But on a more serious note, I should probably introduce myself again. I have worked in this industry for 2 decades. As you may have guessed, I focus on operational and digital issues such as workflow, digital production, and digital printing.  I work for NAPL, which is an association in our industry whose mission is to enable the graphic arts companies to profit from change. And nothing is changing faster than the impact of digital technologies. Prior to working for NAPL I worked for the PIA/GATF. Prior to that I was the editor of a prepress magazine called “Pre.”

One question from this digital addict is, “When is it worth it to have 2 or more technologies offered in one tool?” For example, I can get GPS on my Blackberry but prefer a separate GPS; I like the Amazon Kindle especially with free email access perhaps more than the iPad with its existing feature set; I like my iPod Nano and don’t mind not storing my music on my phone.

What about you? When does it make sense for you?

Howard Fenton is a Senior Technology Consultant at NAPL. Howie advises commercial printers, in-plants, and manufacturers on workflow management, operations, digital services, and customer research.

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