If it ain’t broke: the lesson of the world’s final telegram

Telegraph KeyThe nation of India disbanded the world’s last major telegram service yesterday after 163 years of operation, and when the news broke of the sending of the final message, the reaction around here was fairly consistent from person-to-person: “I didn’t know this technology was even still around!”

Given that we have been enjoying the likes of text, e-mail, and fax for a good long time, it is rather surprising to learn that this early form of electronic communication has lasted so long. But the medium simply worked, and worked well, and technologically obsolescent as it may have been, it provided a vital link in the country’s ability to reach people in remote locations and/or those who perhaps were too poor to participate in India’s mobile phone revolution.

The lesson here is that there is no need to rush to replace a piece of technology simply because it has been around for seemingly forever. If it’s getting the job done and isn’t costing you money or opportunity, then it’s fine to keep it in service. But as its age increases, you do want to more frequently monitor the level of value it delivers compared to the emerging alternatives so you can be prepared to make a change when the day comes – be it in 10 years or 163.

How old is your technology? Is it still an asset or has it become a liability? We can help you develop answers and map out an action plan. Let me know today and let’s get started!

About the author: Steve Weissman

Steve Weissman helps you do information right by bringing order and discipline to your governance and process practices. Principal Consultant at Holly Group and Co-Founder of the Information Coalition (now merged with ARMA International), he leverages a proven proprietary methodology to optimize everything from strategic planning and needs assessment to vendor selection and user adoption. He is, in short, The Info Gov Guy™, furthering best-practices for finding, leveraging, and protecting your business-critical information. A member of the AIIM Company of Fellows and holder of numerous industry designations, he can be reached at steve@hollygroup.com or 617-383-4655.

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