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Thursday, October 6, 2022

The Final Nail for Computer Repair?

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Nowadays, everyone knows that we live in a ‘meta’ world.

Everyone who doesn’t live under a rock, that is. 

And by this, I mean the people who aren’t connected in and to the virtual. Individuals who, so far, and on account of a variety of reasons, have steered clear of the internet.

The meta world promises hardware and spatial liberation. A promise of ‘unburdened’ interaction. Rendered, of course, by several technologies of immersion. 

Still, these latter implements are few and far between. Often, only a headset or some other ocular gear makes the cut.

What all this boils down to – at least in most cases – is this:

A lesser incident rate of computer system breakages.

Or, as the people in my industry are terming it:

‘A harbinger of less repair business’.

Computer repair shop software, of course, trails in the same picture – relegated to little use.

But Hope is NOT a Distant Daydream

With the meta world’s ascent, not everything, however, is grim for repair. The silver lining, as always, lies with product differentiation.

Let me explain (from the developers’ perspective):

Computer repair shop software is not a monolith.

It is actually of 2 types –

  • Geared for facilitating specialist repairs
  • Meant for streamlining repair business workflows

Most people, especially field unaffiliates, think of the utility in the former sense. In practice, however, the greater business use case is the latter’s provenance. This is because the repair shop workflow is a taxing occupation. Concerned with the management of an infuriating range of day-to-day vexations, such as:

  • Tickets Generation/Management
  • Inventory Consolidation/Ordering
  • Customer Outreach (through CRM Modules)
  • Customer Retention/Retargeting
  • Employee Performance Appraisals (HRM)

and other disquieting issues.

Enough to put anyone in the mood for a long reprieve.

The typical computer repair shop software alleviates most of the managerial qualms here. What’s more – the said applications category even enables scale. 

Now, the reason why I’ve gone into all this introductory detail is simple. 

I want you – the reader/equation stakeholder – to appreciate that the end is not nigh, here. Since the meta world arises from our present computing interface, repair concerns will persist. But their frequency will be greatly reduced on account of the obvious.

So forward-thinking repair techs might want to diversify their services portfolio. Take stock of the future – and its breakable tools – that is in the making.

On the Need for a New Breed of ‘Virtual-First’ Software

The tech diversification, here, needs to border into the virtual. Something on the lines of:

‘A friendly troubleshooting interface embedded in the meta environment’.

Think of it as a virtual tech fixing common hardware and software issues remotely.

This fixing solution, further, can be either practical or didactic (training-oriented). Here, the repair customer would learn, in a tutorial fashion, to work their own salvages. At some later stage in our tech evolution, techs could even conduct remote repairs. Sort of like how surgeons, using robotic arms and cameras, do distance surgery.

And since the whole affair is to be virtual, the learning curve concerns would be minimal. Video immersion is already a well-established pedagogical medium. A device that comes validated in its efficacy by much-supporting data.

As such, it won’t be surprising, then, to see repair techs fast become redundant with this trend. When more people become self-sufficient in fixing their gadgets, the industry will stagnate. The incentive for issuing service payments will deteriorate.

On the Allied Industry Pushback – Hello Politics!

Computer repair is an allied industry. One that gives rise to even more affiliate domains. The repair shop software field is a good, close example.

Over the years, these ‘shoulder industries’ have developed strong business clout. Followed, as expected, by special lobbying interests. The point where commerce descends into the political sphere. 

Now, many in the repair industry have future anxiety. They’re worried that their businesses won’t make it in a virtual world. And so they’re taking steps to stall its advance.

In the classical lobbying sense, this is achieved through political funds distribution. 

Politicians, once elected, enact laws that govern the business terrain. And so it makes ample sense to fund these individuals for profiteering ends. A practice that most companies, beyond a certain market entrenchment threshold, are involved in.

For the moment in repair, it seems that the lobbying efforts are paying off. Service techs are still deemed important to the field’s workings. 

But the question is:

How long will the front hold?

Is this Assessment Too Pointed?

Now, many would argue that this abstraction of the case is unduly negative. No one can anticipate the future. And so the alarmist outcry comes in bad taste!

This is how the detractors of the case put it.

And maybe they have a point.

But as every sage advises:

Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

That’s certainly how I choose to view it. Because the data, on the trends emergent, is clear. And as every business person worth their salt can attest – farsightedness is crucial.

Remaining competitive demands this orientation. Otherwise, the peers in the field will catch up.

So, there you have it.

My two cents – and more – on this affair.

If you’re a repair industry vet, I’d love to read how you see this evolution.

Are you ducking for cover or prepared to meet the current head-on? 

There’s some debate these days about how repair management software can help in mustering a defense.

Do you buy into this scuffle?

Let me know.

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