Nostalgia’s not what it used to be and digital technology can take a large slice of blame for that. Because how can you look back with misty-eyed fondness at a pre-digital world where everything was so much more faff?
Who really misses the days of having to flick through tombstone sized directories to search for a business number? Or trying to decipher the blotchy messages that fax machines used to churn out?
The truth is, paper just can’t compete with digital data when it comes to ways of creating, sharing and storing our information. Any processes or tasks which are still reliant on paper, are living on borrowed time.
It’s why so many businesses are making the switch from paper-based ways of working to faster and more efficient mobile workforce management software such as MyMobileWorkers.
It’s a change that’s not just happening in the business world - it’s taking place all around us. Here’s a look at just some examples of how old paper processes are being replaced:
On average 700 bank branches are being closed in the UK each year as more people are handling all of their finances via online banking. Tasks that used to take appointments, meetings and waiting in queues, can now be done in a matter of seconds from a PC or smartphone.
But the growth of digital banking isn’t just about the speed and convenience, it’s also helping to change the way people are able to take back control of their personal finances - whether it’s switching accounts to get better rates or managing share investments.
The National Health Service
Healthcare is one place where finding smarter and more efficient ways to work isn’t just about saving money, it’s also helping to save lives. That’s why the UK Government is investing more than £10 billion to switch paper-based systems over to digital.
One of the major advantages of digital systems is that, unlike a paper chart, they’re able to monitor patient information in real-time. It’s a real-time system which is estimated to have saved 397 lives at the Queen Alexandra hospital in Portsmouth.
You still occasionally see these relics from the past, they’re coloured paper discs that are displayed in vehicle windscreens. Up until 2014, the DVLA had the resource sapping task of processing more than 30 million of these paper tax discs each year.
The switch to a completely digital system has massively reduced the administration burden on the DVLA. It also means it now takes seconds for a motorist to pay online with reminders sent when it’s time for renewal.
But it could be worth holding on to those old paper tax discs - collectors are now paying up to £1,000 for certain types.
If you want a reminder of what life was like before digital, then try booking a holiday without going online. Or try navigating through a foreign city using only an ever expanding paper street map for directions.
Online bookings and smartphone apps have totally transformed the way we’re able to organise and experience travel. Trips that used to take weeks to arrange via faxes, phone calls and trips to travel agencies, can now be sorted in a matter of minutes.
These are just a few examples of a transformation that can be seen throughout our society as digital processes replace any old paper-based methods. For businesses, it means moving to a faster, less costly and smarter way to work; one which is in tune with today’s world.
Thinking of going paper free but not sure where to start? Download our guide, "What to expect when mobile workers go paper free".
Full image credit: FreeImages.com B S K