Is Legacy Office Software Enough These Days?

Mar 4, 2019 9:56:29 AM

Jobs never actually change; it’s how we do them that changes.

A good example of this is documenting things in companies. Verified information has been the basis of business since the early ages – contracts, minutes of meeting, and other documents. Unlike a normal, casual conversation, in the corporate world, words should always be recorded, in one way or another.

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One of the earliest examples of business documentation was discovered just this year. It was a customer complaint document that dated back more than 4000 years, meticulously carved into a stone tablet which must have taken hours, and hours of work.

Paper and ink made such corporate documentation much easier. Typewriters and computers made business documentation much faster, while word processing software helped us make documents more accurate, presentable, and accessible.

Since they came out, word processing tools, presentation applications, and digital spreadsheets became core to business productivity. Companies began competing on creating software that would log and present data in a better way. Microsoft Office was, naturally, the top suite of products on the market. Microsoft managed to generate billions annually from selling it.

It was only a few years ago when companies used to send all employees for Microsoft Office training. Those employees who were more competent at Office, had a clear edge over others. Companies believed that the only way to communicate was through using Office tools.

In recent years, however, a slew of web applications were introduced to the market and information started flowing without the use of Office tools. These applications began facilitating the presentation of communication, as well as automating processes. Companies started racing to automate processes and workflows as they became a measure of a business’s creativity.

The advent of smart phones further changed the data communication scene. Daily, massive transfers of data is managed through thousands of different mobile applications, each one specialized in doing a specific job.

In short, where just a decade ago the vast majority of information was being exchanged through Microsoft Office tools, today a fraction of this data is being communicated through Office. This number, whatever it is, will continue to dwindle over the years until it reaches zero.

While office was the productivity tool for decades, in less than  ten years, the way we are doing our jobs changed swiftly. Companies now need more than Microsoft Office to work efficiently and productively. Companies now need a mobile ecosystem to remain relevant. These mobile applications should address the new nature of jobs and the challenges that rise due to speedy changes in circumstances.

It will become difficult for companies to survive, and thrive, without finding technologies to help them execute the below jobs:  

  • Team alignment
  • Competency building
  • Strategy & performance
  • Business automation
  • Opportunity management
  • Initiative and project management
  • Cash and profitability management
  • Business intelligence reporting
  • Artificial intelligence as consultants

These technologies should be mobile, as that has proven to be the preference and the best way to communicate effectively with most employees. These applications need to be extremely easy to set up (plug and play) an even easier to use. Artificial Intelligence should be working in the background to do whatever remains and to create visibility and light them way for implementing changes. These tools will be the new way to collect and transform data.

In summary, the above jobs will not change, but the tools to execute these jobs will continue to evolve very quickly. The days of having a suite of applications that will serve organizations for a decade and more are over. Continuous change is a must. For this reason, we recommend hiring the technology tools rather than buying them. Do not be afraid to change the technology, but make sure you are also hiring the new technology’s ‘operator’ who will ensure you are using the new tools efficiently and effectively.

Remember the quote by scientist Carl Sagan, “Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” Don’t go extinct with Office – find exceptional software to help you survive the technology evolution.

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