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What Happened To All The Tech Promises?

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Right this moment in Colorado, we’re experiencing an overcast, dreary skyline along with a bone-deep, chilling rain (still beautiful). As I sit in front of the fireplace, my mind drifts into past business tech promises. Tracking the real-life outcomes seemed a worthy pursuit.

Interested in coming along on the journey?

Do you remember….?

Paperless Business: I don’t know about you, but papers surround me and are central to my business, but then, I’m an entrepreneur. How are corporations matching up? I found: 

  • Statistics reveal that the number of pages consumed in U.S. offices is going up at a startling rate of 20 percent per year.[i]
  • While about four out of five businesses say they are making an effort to use “less paper,” nearly a third are actually ordering more paper than they were five years ago.[ii] 

Of course, you remember the conjecture our soon to be paperless society would reduce the cost of document storage. It doesn’t look as though we’ve achieved the dream in this area either.

  • S. businesses waste $8 billion annually just managing paper. It costs an organization an average of $20 to file a document, $120 to find a misplaced document, and $220 to reproduce a lost document.[iii]

The hope of the cost savings predicted through paperless organizations is still the carrot in front of many today with a 2016 study announcing more than 80 percent of small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) said they want to cut paper out of their business process.

Emails Improve Communication and Efficiency: We all have come to realize emails are a cost-effective method to meet instant communication needs, but indeed, it hasn’t turned out to be the-be-all-and-end-all as touted. We’re all experiencing email overload: 

  • Collectively, North America workers spend nearly 75 billion in emails every year at a cost of $1.7 trillion a year.[iv]

Ironically, the projected liberator of employee’s productivity hasn’t changed in nearly 20 years. It’s not just inefficient it’s an enormous waste of time.[v]

Related: What Exactly Is Digital Transformation?

Telecommuting: Working from home was once peddled as the idea that will “empty buildings.” That appears to be a bit of an exaggeration as office structures rise into the sky with more under construction every day. Today a mere,

  • 3 million employees (3.2 percent of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time.[vi]

Companies haven’t given up on this concept:

  • Fortune 100 companies around the globe are entirely revamping their space around the fact that employees are already mobile. Studies repeatedly show they are not at their desk 50 to 60 percent of the time.[vii]

But working from home isn’t the answer for everyone—I love it—when you look at the growing office sharing movement.

  • There are currently 15,500 co-working spaces in the world today.[viii]

Its enthusiastic supporters say:

  • 64 percent of coworkers share they are better able to complete tasks on time. [ix]
  • And 50 percent report higher income.[x] 

Traveling back-and-forth in time has been an educational journey. Despite concepts not coming to fruition as envisioned, it in no way should blind you to potential. Of necessity, you can only remain relevant in today’s fast-moving work climate by keeping your eyes and ears, but more crucially your mind, open to new ideas!

[i] https://getreferralmd.com/2011/09/referral-management-tracking-software/
[ii] https://www.corpmagazine.com/technology/82-percent-companies-still-spending-billions-paper/
[iii] https://www.trackvia.com/blog/technology/47-percent-of-business-data-stored-in-the-cloud/
[iv] https://www.inc.com/graham-winfrey/the-staggering-cost-of-business-email.html
[v] Ibid
[vi] https://globalworkplaceanalytics.com/telecommuting-statistics
[vii] Ibid
[viii] https://www.statista.com/topics/2999/coworking-spaces/
[ix] https://www.officevibe.com/blog/11-incredible-coworking-statistics-infographic[x]
Ibid
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