What words spring to mind to describe the business world today – remote control, automation, speed, renewal? These concepts can all help with business continuity and competitiveness, but so can their ‘yesteryear’ counterparts. Although new technology lets organisations improve different areas of operations, it doesn’t mean that it is a panacea to be applied universally and indiscriminately. Face to face work styles, manual procedures, and re-use of old systems all still have a role to play. Here’s a quick tour of three pre-Internet methods that enterprises and their managers could continue to keep in mind.
Virtual Teams Still Need Face to Face Time
Despite the solutions available for remote working, such as video conferencing, collaboration software and even social networks, nothing replaces face to face interactions. The wealth of information in body language alone makes the difference between the two modes. Management by walking around may have given up ground in the shift to virtual team working, but it hasn’t gone away.
Automation doesn’t Replace All the Manual Processes
When processes are repetitive and arduous, automation can be a boon. When complexity and creativity become key characteristics however, automation as the only solution can lead to gaps, dead-ends and inconsistencies. Whether it’s a matter of enterprise data governance, BYOD or financial transactions, putting the right solutions in place in the first instance is a manual process. Ensuring that the right things continue to be done is manual too. And having backup solutions in place if the machines and systems stop working also relies on pre-defined and tested manual operations.
Don’t Throw It Out Just Because It’s Old
While reliability and performance may be better with more recent systems, nothing stops organisations from deploying older resources for less exacting requirements. Older PCs and servers can serve average or occasional users instead of power users, or become test equipment. In IT backup, tape may seem as old as the hills, yet it’s cheap, reliable and well-adapted for bulk back-up and restoral of data. Like Internet pre-history in general, ‘old’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘bad’ and can often still mean ‘better’.