Not all business technology has gone the way of dial-up Internet connections. (Which, by the way, is still in use by millions of Americans at home - but businesses have definitely moved on and upgraded to broadband connections!) There are loads of technologies that many experts said would be completely dead by the 2010s. But the fact is that there many of them are still very useful for many businesses across the world.
Is it because people have found it hard to break out of old habits? Maybe, but not likely. These classic technologies - which you may not even think of as ‘technology’ anymore! - are still useful for the features that only they can provide to businesses. Let’s take a look at just a few.
In the 1970s, these things were revolutionary. They were the essential office technology. But surely the advent of email would have killed fax machines off by now? Nope. Fax still makes so many things easy. Let’s say you need a hand-written signature on a contract. Here’s the quickest way to do it via email: send the contract as a document to someone’s inbox. They’ll print it out, sign it, then scan that and send an image of that scan back to you. With fax, you simply send it to their fax machine, they sign it, they feed it back through to yours. Bam. No wonder fax has endured. Speaking of email…
To be honest, the fact that this is on such a list is probably surprising to you. Not because you didn’t know that many businesses still use them, but because its appearance on the list suggests that anyone ever thought it was going to die. Well, many so-called experts, even today, repeatedly claim that email is on the brink of death, to be replaced by instant messaging and more mobile communication. But, as I’m sure you’re well aware, email is simply way too useful to die. It will probably be with us for as long as humanity endures!
Printing and photocopying
So whatever happened to the paperless office, eh? Sure, our need for these things has reduced somewhat, seeing as we can see things just as well on a computer screen. But predictions of the death of printing and photocopying were simply unrealistic. Offices still require physical copies of different types of documents every day. Many offices may choose to outsource their printing with services like Ricoh Printer Support, but that doesn’t prove that print is dying. Quite the opposite, in fact!
Businesspeople are still spending millions every year on new pagers. You may have thought that pagers would have been replaced by smartphones, right? But like email and fax, smartphones still don’t provide quite the function that pagers do. After all, they don’t require a cellular network, and they’re also still much quicker to use and respond to than communication with a smartphone. There’s a reason that they’re still extremely prevalent - almost ubiquitous, still - in hospitals. In an urgent, fast-paced environment, pagers are still the way to go.
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