JoAnne Yates is something of a genius when it comes to the world of communication merging with technology. She has been a professor and dean at MIT, and she currently teaches a course about communication for managers. Her book Control through Communication: The Rise of System in American Management, was published back in 1989, and yet her theories on how the rise of technology would weave and alter the course of the business world were pretty spot on. Her theories were ahead of their time, but surprisingly accurate.
Basically, she foresaw the need for and the use of document management software (DMS) in the business realm. Even 3 decades ago, she was able to see how there would be a growing need for internal communication, and she accurately predicted what services and devices would be created to fulfill this need.
The book is full of a lot of great information, but her main predictions were the need for paperless offices, the way automation would enhance management positions, and the way communication processes would bring businesses and clients together despite large geographical obstacles.
Paper Was Becoming a Problem
The business world and the economy have not stopped growing and changing over the last century. As a historian as well as a communications researcher, Yates was able to see that the growing reliance on document storage was going to outgrow the confines of paper.
Many years ago, she saw that paper was going to become more of a hindrance than a help when it came to information and storage. Her book has a lot of information about how paperless technology would enhance the efficiency, safety, and organization of office environments.
Her predictions might not seem very noteworthy until you stop to think what the technological culture was at the time. With IBM computers revolutionizing the business world, and DOS data entry programs as the main source of communication technology, people thought they were at the limits of the tech world. While these now very antiquated systems were very advanced at the time, few people had the ability to truly envision the direction technology in the business arena would take, but Yates did.
She knew right away that paper would become bulky to store, frustrating to organize, and impossible to quickly scan for needed information. Her ideas on how programs could be integrated to take on this storage and data retrieval helped to push developers in the way they needed to go, and now document storage and project workflow options are all done without the encumbering need for any paper at any step of the way. Her ideas laid the groundwork for email, wireless technology, and cloud technology.
Benefits to Management
There are still people scared about the growth of technology taking jobs away from hard-working people. When Yates’ book was first published, there were those who were wary of the idea of such automated systems, as it seemed like certain management positions would no longer be necessary. She predicted back then, and was obviously correct, that the presence of communication technology would not disrupt the routine and need for managers, but rather enhance their responsibilities and make their job easier.
Whether the expenditures your company makes for such technology are for an accounting department expansion, better payroll management, workflow efficiency improvements, or anything else, the managers will be the ones most benefitting from such programs.
The programmers creating the DMS technology are not working to overthrow the power and prestige held by managers, but rather to lift the burden and make the work more efficient and mainstreamed.
Bridging the Gap of Geographic Spaces
The advent of communication technology has made it possible for you to communicate with people across the globe in real time. There is no real delay when it comes to speaking, typing, or sending documents.
Basically, the use of DMS technology has brought people closer together in a way that nothing else ever has. Instantaneous interaction with people from all over the country and even the planet has greatly expanded the possibilities for most companies. Your services and products can be made to fulfill the needs of many people beyond your immediate surroundings, and this is something that was simply not possible 30 years ago when Yates first penned her book.
Her understanding of technology, the need for communication, and the way developers were working to meet such needs led her to see many years in advance the way that DMS technology would unite companies with clients in a much grander and global way than most people around her could envision. The obstacle of distance and the limitations of technology once felt insurmountable, and yet are no longer even considered an issue anymore by most people.
As her first work proved to be quite prophetic and accurate, many business people are taking notice of her new published works, and her courses on communication and management are quite popular. Her ideas can easily be implemented in your own office by the adoption of DMS technology platforms.