Scared of Technology? Read This
Technophobia as defined by most dictionaries such as Macmillan, is the irrational fear of technology or an aversion towards technological advancement. This syndrome is killing many economies and businesses every day.
This fear of technology comes about when people do not fully understand how a technological tool works, mixed with possible dangers and negative impacts or risks of hateful misuse. Also, an anxiety over deficient competences and skills to deal with new technologies and the fear of consequent social exclusion is another means of contracting technophobia.
The deadly impact of technophobia on our businesses and for that matter our economies is a global concern. Not only African countries but also advanced countries — the so-called torchbearers of technological development are also in this situation. A 2015 survey by researchers at Chapman University, reports cyber terrorism, corporate tracking of personal information and government tracking as some of the top fears Americans have — all these are technological fears.
There is no old economy but a new one. Every government policy is aimed at the next economy. Every business is hoping to make some gains in the next few years. Consumers are on the search for easy ways to get offers, and businesses are investing in convenient and smarter business operations while investors are charting better ways to make innovative investments. These are uncontrollable dynamics in every economy. All these evolutions are driven by technology. This is the reason why Technophobia is a deadly syndrome to a middle-income economy like Ghana’s.
Many businesses in Ghana are battling technophobia. Unlike traditional phobias, it does not cause any bloodcurdling fear but subtly disturbs our peace of mind. The unfortunate thing is that, this disease has come to stay considering how technology is rampaging the face of contemporary businesses the world over, with new trends of business operations emerging every day.
In this article, we will establish the extent to which technophobia is jeopardizing the future of many businesses in Ghana and why these businesses might collapse in the next 5 years.
According to www.platformvaluenow.org, a research website, technophobes at our workplaces battle the following technophobia: fear of technology eliminating jobs and the need for human workers; fear of technology taking over the human (individual or society); fears related to privacy and cyber security; fear of losing control and getting lost in the technology mesh; fear of not learning the skills or not having access to use a technology. fear of dependence and not surviving without the technology (for example in case of a power cut); fear of negative social and societal impacts (for example lack of face-to-face interaction); fears related to fast and vast information flows (for example validity of news) and fear of governments not having the means to monitor and control malicious and criminal activity related to new technologies.
How Deadly Is Technophobia To Businesses In Ghana?
A growing number of commentators and technophiles are already heralding the massive impacts of technological advancement on businesses today and it is almost a public knowledge that technology is adding value to businesses. The exponential rate at which technology is changing business operations is so fast that one cannot choose to stay unconcerned – In effect, technology has increased productivity from communication and marketing to customer management.
This indicates that businesses who are resisting technological advancement in operations due to fear are doing more harm than good to their future. The world of business is now being driven by technology and that is an uncontrollable factor in our today’s economy. The issue therefore is not about how much progress technology is doing to businesses but rather how possible can a business exist without technology? This underscores the rational of the impact of technophobia on Ghanaian business.
In the near future, almost 90 % of all business operations across different sectors will be automated and no one will queue in any office just to do small business transactions—from banking to massage therapy. Everything will be done by technology. There will be no need to go through any hassle just to get a service or a product from a company. This indicates that there will be no time to waste, no option than to adjust because there will be no reason to resist this evolution. The time is here.
Fear of this progressive wave will not only dampen business growth but also cripple young and growing economies like Ghana’s in general. In 2016, a group of industrial experts predicted that technology will take over businesses in the next two decades. At the 2016 Citi FM’s Innovation Summit, Legal Practitioner, Ace Kojo Anan Ankomah; Patrick Awuah, founder of Ashesi University; CEO of Rancard, Kofi Dadzie, as well as CEO of mpedigree and Director at IMANI Ghana, Bright Simons together predicted that companies will be compelled to evolve innovatively as technology evolutionalizes business operations in the country.
The world is at the peak of its global village journey and it is growing smaller and smaller everyday due to technology which is being facilitated by the internet. The 2017 statistics on internet penetration rate in Africa has been reported as 35.3 % according to www.internetworldstats.com. This means that thousands of people in Ghana and Africa as whole, are migrating to the internet community every day. This also means businesses will now have to relocate to this community if the really want to growth. This is the reason why the fear of technology will collapse many businesses in the two decades.
Evolving together with technology is no more an option but a business requirement in Ghana—it is a do or die affair. The onus lies on all business owners.