Since the advent of digital computing, business has gone through different stages of adoption of this revolutionary technology. At first, computers were so expensive that most businesses never had to even worry about them. Once prices came down to manageable levels, the excuses dried up and the computerization of businesses began in earnest.
However, these early efforts were largely devoted to digitizing paper-based processes. Email is one of the best examples. Originally, email was developed to replace the Mail Room that resided in the bowels of large companies. To this day, we still see the fingerprints of the old Mail Room mentality in the implementation of email systems.
Every business is a little bit different. Even direct competitors will not perform their work tasks in the exact same manner and sequence. When these businesses adopted computers they simply shoehorned the computer into the old paper-based process. They converted paper into bytes and then used digital networks to shuffle them around. This is why so many businesses still use email to transfer files to fellow employees -- the computer is just a paper replacement.
The business challenge of the early 21st Century will be to reinvent these business processes to better utilize the computer. Instead of using computers as a paper-replacement, they should re-imagine their workflow around the computer and the new capabilities they offer. Paperwork, by nature, is sequential and repetitious. Digital-work, by nature, is free form and immune from repetition (when properly implemented).
Many of the most innovative companies on the market today have simply re-imagined work for the Digital Revolution. As we take these bold steps into the new age, it is critical that we examine every aspect of work to adapt to digital computing. This is the current stage of computerization in business -- replacing paper-based workflows for true digital efficiency.
As always, if you need help getting this process started for your business, I am always happy to help. Feel free to call me directly at (305) 423-9574.
R-Squared Computing | Lou RG | Nearly Free IT | Firm Wisdom
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