I’m writing this on a mid-Monday afternoon just after the end of the Christmas Day Blizzard here in the Connecticut. We’ve had more than 18 inches of snow and the winds have been fierce for more than 24 hours. Consequently trees are down in the area, I’m sure some people are without power and here at the office while we are with power we are without internet access.
Besides me a few hearty souls made it to the office only to be thwarted by the lack of an internet connection. While we have had the internet go down for a few hours at a time in the past I am convinced that today the impact of no web connection is greater than it has ever been before. Sure there are telephones but in this week between Christmas and New Year’s many people are out of the office on vacation plus now even more are unable to get there due to commuter rail lines being shut down today and other travel challenges in the New York City area.
How do business people keep in touch when they are out of the office? Most likely via email with maybe a little SMS texting mixed in. had planned to work on a presentation today (I still can do that but was intending to upload some web links into my presentation), do some research, catch up on some archived webinars, and do some site research on behalf of clients and prospects.
What’s even more frustrating is that we have a backup plan. Great idea right? Not when the backup DSL plan does not work. So until we figured out how to get the backup plan up and working I was reduced to the 3rd screen of my smartphone which in this case is yet another backup. It worked for the two hours it took to get the backup plan up and running. At least I could keep track of anyone that might be reaching out via email.
The corporate reliance on an internet connection has become such that without one it almost does not make sense to come to the office. What will happen when people have their documents in the ‘cloud’? We tend to think of the internet as an always available commodity. But I was reminded that is not always the case.
Which leads me to another question – Where and when was the tipping point for communications such that without a web connection people cannot work effectively?