In our business, we do the same thing today we did in 1934—only faster. In ‘34 we put ink on paper at the speed of 34 wpm (speed of a good typist), today we do it at 270 pages per minute on a sophisticated piece of equipment. But the product we sell is still the same: ink on paper.
It is new technologies built into new types of equipment that has enabled us to create these remarkable increases in speed and throughput.
In these difficult economic times it’s easy to forget that the economic boom of the 1990s was fueled in large part by huge increases in business productivity made possible by new technologies.
But a variety of recent studies have shown that many small-to-medium-sized business owners are reluctant to embrace new technologies—particularly businesses owned by baby boomers. Just one example is a recently released a report from a company called eMarketer.
This particular report focused on the personal use of smart phones as a productivity tool. The report found:
Boomers made up 30.6% of all mobile phone users in August 2009, according to comScore’s age breakout. However, they made up only 19.6% of all touch-screen users and 21.1% of smartphone users. Younger boomers (ages 45 to 54) were more likely than older boomers to use touch-screens, smartphones and any mobile phone.
The individual reluctance to adopt breakthrough technologies extends to businesses as a whole. So, why do many great companies hamstring themselves by resisting the adoption of technologies that will make them more efficient and more competitive?
Some of the rationales I consistently hear include:
• “We’ve always done it that way.” People won’t use the technology that sits on their desk. They become creatures of habit.
• “I can’t be sure things will get better if we change.” There are no guarantees in life. But what I do know is that something must change in order for a company to experience better results.
• “I hear conflicting opinions. I don’t know who to trust.” There is certainly a lot of information flying around out there. And much of it can seem contradictory or confusing. That’s why it is vital to develop a relationship with a business technology vendor who not only is abreast of the latest tools, but who also is committed to understanding your business and your processes. That kind of partner can help you sort through the noise and take the next step in adopting new methods and innovations.
Today, new technologies enabling networked information sharing and storage; and new classes of support like Managed Print Services hold the promise of making small-to-medium-sized businesses more efficient and therefore more profitable.
But only if these breakthroughs are adopted.