Being Connected vs. Being Optimized

There is a drive in the world as a whole, but especially in the ERP sector, where a lot of time and effort is being invested into becoming and staying connected.

However, being connected all the time isn’t always the best solution. Being connected doesn’t necessarily mean that you, or your ERP system, is optimized.  With always-on connectivity, not only are you exposed to better information, you are also open to a lot of noise.

Without the correct guidance, how do you distinguish between good or bad information (noise)?

The Importance of Downtime

During a recent Netflix documentary on Bill Gates, he said something that struck a chord with me, and tied in to some habitual behaviour that I have observed in several high performing individuals.

When the interviewer said to Bill Gates “well that isn’t very inspirational” his response was “I’m not here to inspire … I’m here to optimize”.  Now, from what I can deduce in order to optimize, he arms himself with a wealth of knowledge. Part of this process is to disconnect from the world for a period of time and give himself, and his brain, a chance to process.  For him, these are his think weeks.  I think there is a hidden gem in this.

As much as people want to be connected, they also yearn for times of disconnect, where they give their mind and body time to defrag or process.  This is akin to shutting down a plant for maintenance. You can’t run your resources always connected and expect to remain optimized.  This brings two major questions to the fore:

1) How do you manage downtime?

2) When do you analyze data into trends in order to optimize?

In fact, we can even look at the cost of human capital versus robots and how downtime and optimization have pros and cons for both. But that can be a discussion for another day.

Interaction is Still a Thing

I was asked to do a walkthrough on a feature that we recently added to our ERP software.  What confused me is that this feature has been documented in both the Help as well as the Education sections, yet the preference was for interaction, albeit via the internet, with a person.

Is this request quietly highlighting that the older method of transferring information is still seen as being better optimized to the learning? Or is it possible that being connected gets to a point where, although there is a wealth of resources/information available, the mind is in such desperate need of disconnection that the connected resource simply gets perceived as noise.

In the end, I concluded that it was a mixture of both.

But what was abundantly clear to me was that downtime is necessary to carry out maintenance in order to optimize the connectedness of the request. And, I guess, we can apply this logic to most aspects of modern-day life.

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