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A Paperless and Limitless Company?

1 May, 2010 By: BY Nick Inglis imageSource

A Paperless and Limitless Company?

The paperless office has been talked about for years, as
most of you already know. Now, it is becoming more of a reality. Collaboration
is moving from board rooms through email to collaboration tools like box.net and
high-rise. Printed paper is stored and tagged in document management systems.
Bills are being scanned in high production scanners, including Kodak scanners
that might be uploaded into a WebVault system. Workers are slowly moving out of
office buildings and into living rooms and home offices. Remote commuting is
becoming more popular as broadband access expands and conferencing solutions
like GoToMeeting.com are expanding. 

What does all of this mean for the growing enterprise
reaching into a new competitive environment? Businesses need to continually
adapt using LEAN principals. Workers need to be ready to change whenever their
calling demands it. IT departments need to confront challenges of new software,
SaaS solutions and remote accessibility. Marketing departments must meet their
clientele wherever they are, television and radio advertising is moving into the
realm of opt in methods of reaching customers. Webinars, Facebook pages and
Twitter accounts are replacing print ads and billboards. 

As technology moves onward at breakneck speed it is those
companies that stay ahead of the curve that will gain a competitive advantage.
No longer are the days when ‘steady as she goes’ conservatism wins clients.
Businesses should be ready and begin planning for software upgrades before a new
platform has even been developed and ensure that all systems maintain data
portability and follow information standards like XML, SQL, and file format

Web-based vs. Software-based

We know that their will always be the need for good
software programs, but many workers should be ready to adapt to many new systems
which will be increasingly Web-based. Employees that will succeed are those that
are most adept at quickly learning and utilizing new systems. The Facebook
generation will get its’ day when every corporate system begins to reflect the
Internet landscape that they have grown so accustomed to.

Why the shift from software to ‘webware’ for some
businesses? Cost. If ever there was a business driver, cost is it. Maintaining
high end computers including chipsets, ram and hard drives costs companies
billions of dollars each year. The reason these computers need to stay advanced
is that software functions are processed in the local computer’s environment.
Web based systems remove many of these challenges and allow workers to do work
on what would once be considered subpar computers. For instance, the computing
power required to run Microsoft’s Office suite is much greater than that
required to run Microsoft Internet Explorer and fire up Google Docs within the
browser environment. Those old gray desktops may remain in your office much
longer than previously thought.

IT departments will need to shift from a purchase and go
mentality into a data portability and functioning ‘webware’ mindset. The days of
software dominance even within specific sectors (for instance, banking and
manufacturing) are coming to an end, think Quickbooks versus Simplebooks (an
online solution) and software based ERPs to OpenBravo. The focus on buying the
latest stable release from major vendors is being replaced with an ongoing
development model (see Mike2.0 methodology for proof).

As for marketing, the entire landscape has already been
forever changed. Consumers watch television on their computers and mobile
devices. Brands that develop trust are speaking directly to consumers on
Facebook and Twitter. Consumers are demanding that companies become more
transparent and nothing is beyond the realm of public scrutiny. (See my
Marketing 2.0 Course at DataVault.com if you need more proof or want to catch
back up).

There has been a coming tipping point and right now small
businesses, highly focused, are expanding and taking market share from larger
companies that refuse to acknowledge that the business landscape has changed.
New companies born today will be the Microsofts' and Googles' of tomorrow. To
stay alive and to thrive, the new norm is change.

Nick Inglis is Sr. Web Developer, DataVault, Inc.  For
more information email nick.inglis@datavaul.com or visit www.datavault.com

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