It's 2018, and we live through digital technology. Want proof? Get on a plane and count the people staring at their phones, then count those reading the paper. Or hand a child a book and an iPad and ask them to take their pick.
We often seem to talk about technology in a negative way – why aren't the commuters reading Construct Magazine? Why aren't the kids doing homework? But this attitude conceals a lot of assumptions. You can read Construct Magazine from the Australian Institute of Building (AIB) on a phone or an iPad. You can also submit your homework or pay your power bill, which you can't do with a paperback.
The main reason we live through digital technology now is that it works. The efficiency that technology has brought to our day-to-day lives is so effortless that we tend to forget what it was like to pay bills or deal with banks in the era before widespread internet access. Nowadays we would be shocked to find someone who does their personal taxes on paper, or waits for their bank statement to arrive in the mail.
Two big reasons may be ease of use and reliability.
For all its other faults, a paper system is intuitive to use (just write the information in the relevant box) and technically robust (paper forms never crash or show you error messages). Businesses need to know that any new system they adopt will perform the same way, every time. The idea that technological solutions will require extra training for staff, and may not be as reliable as low-tech alternatives, has made some companies reluctant to make the change to digital.
But looking at how and why we use technology in our day-to-day lives shows that it's time to challenge this idea. Technology became ubiquitous in public life when it was presented in reliable and easy-to-use forms. Back when a mobile phone was the size of a suitcase and had limited coverage, you didn’t see everybody lugging one around. People started using their phones for everything from gaming to photography to business communications precisely at the point when phones became genuinely useful for all these things.
It's the same for technology in business solutions. Comparing today’s business apps to the software of yesterday is like comparing a new smartphone to an old brick phone. Nimble, customer-focused providers are creating solutions for businesses that work reliably straight out of the box, with no requirement for extra training. At FormTab we’re passionate about providing the kind of reliability and ease of use that will make digital solutions as seamless a part of your work as in the rest of your life.