Technology is now changing so rapidly that consumers are struggling to keep up you barely have the latest shiny gadget when the 2.0 version is released, or yet another software update rollout happens let alone businesses that have to ensure that their employees are connected and also keep track of their customers, suppliers and stock/data; all while also keeping their networks up, running and secure.
It is often said that employees are outfitted with better and more cutting-edge and advanced digital kit at home than what they are given to work with at the office. This phenomenon has even led to newly coined observations such as Martec's Law, which states that technology changes exponentially, but organisations change logarithmically.
The fact that the changes that are happening at many enterprises are not following an upward trajectory is not necessarily due to an unwillingness to change on their part, or because they have an aversion to change, says Dayle Wheeler, Managing Director of Information Technology (IT) consultancy ModernBusiness. It is merely a sign that, when it comes to modernising through digitising, businesses simply do not know which way is up.
He says a good example of this was recently cited by R Ray Wang, Principal Analyst, Chairman and Founder of Constellation Research, when he pointed out that, as the world is moving from analogue to digital systems and changing towards being more engaged, things are happening in real-time, and that companies are being swamped by information from a variety of sources that aren't connected.
Wheeler says that the problem is, as has been highlighted in a recent article on ZDNet.com, that traditional business models in every industry have been built around legacy 20th Century business models. This means that a lot of companies still have their data stuck in outdated internal search databases which can't be linked to one another or, far worse still in outdated paper documentation, records and filing systems especially in the medical field, he says.
And in many industries, where companies are required by law to keep certain documentation on file for a number of years, this can become unwieldy. It also makes finding something really time-consuming and all that paper is also extremely expensive to manage and archive. Paper can be misplaced, easily damaged or destroyed. When you store it digitally, it is a matter of pressing a button to search for and call up any file. And it is securely stored and backed up. Another major drawback of paper is that manual record keeping could be full of inaccuracies, whereas errors can be swiftly picked up on a computer.
By going digital and moving things online, companies will gain many advantages, Wheeler says. For one, they can then make use of big data to gain valuable insight into their operations, their revenue, and information about their clients. Having that knowledge can help them to see where costs need to be cut, improvements can be made, and service can be stepped up. And if they make the necessary adjustments, it can lead to rewarding return on investments, he concludes.