It’s easy to say that businesses in all sectors go through periods of change, development and rapid expansion or… the opposite. The thing is, nobody can really put a finger on exactly why certain organisations change so quickly – until now. Quite simply, the Internet has changed the way we all work, and not just in the space of online retail who – obviously – have benefited more than any others with millions of users now doing their shopping over the Internet.
The first example of how the web has changed business is found at the very lowest level, before you even get into any kind of productivity, and that’s employing staff. The old method of finding a job was to walk into an office or down the high street, looking in the window or asking at reception if they had any vacancies and handing over your CV, eagerly waiting for the phone to ring with the news that they wanted to meet you for an interview. Today, however, thanks to the Internet, people can log on to sites like Jobstoday.co.uk and search for their new career at their leisure, finding out all of the relevant information such as the job description, salary information and the kind of person the firm is looking for.
The next example is in how we work. When you think about a typical office, you tend to think of banks of coffee-stained desks filled with piles of paper, a few pens and desktop PCs running what is probably out-of-date software. Thanks to the web, people are no longer confined to working on these machines; instead they can access all of their files wherever they are in the world, whenever they need to, because of things like the cloud.
This, for those unaware, is an online storage system that lets users save, access and edit their files from anywhere in the world without having to store it to a physical device such as a USB stick, hard drive or CD. What this means for business is that it doesn’t have to go through periods of downtime, such as when employees are sat on a long train journey en route to meetings, and if certain time-sensitive tasks need finishing but staff have family commitments, they can keep working on the files when they get the chance to sit down at home using their own device.
Enterprise and file sharing software have also been brought in across a range of industries, allowing members of staff working away from the office to remain in contact with those back at home, while having access to all of the information they need. For example, a construction firm might have several members of staff deployed hundreds of miles from the head office, and the project manager – for one – will need to provide regular updates and send certain files back for the relevant people to sign. The old method of doing this would have involved using the postal system or travelling back and forth from the site to the office which, obviously, proved to be stressful and time consuming as well as adding to the length of time the project was taking to complete.