OUTLOOK — By Ahmed Al Falahi — Modern technology assumes huge significance in today’s world owing to the great services and potentials it provides to humans. The technological revolution has transformed the world almost entirely, accelerated the once slow motion and brought about vibrant movements to all aspects of life through the spread of information via the limitless cyberspace and virtual world.
However, the largest part of the technological potential have not been fully exploited hitherto, with the majority of the people confining their use of technology to entertainment purposes, though I am not sure whether this trend exists only in the developing countries or it is commonplace in advanced nation as well. But I know for certain that such misuse or non-use of technology is there at least in my social surroundings by which I mean my own household and workplace. Some people at offices are not making the most of electronic services and they are dealing with technology as a mere luxury, thereby missing the chance of accomplishing the work in a faster and more effective manner.
Most establishments are urging their employees to benefit from the electronic services to the utmost degree, however they get lukewarm response, especially from old employees who are loath to utilise computing technology. It is not uncommon to see an old employee using traditional methods in writing reports and letters, preparing lists of incoming and outgoing items and other office work. Such behaviour can be classified under the so-called ‘civilisation shock’.
Most establishments have Internal e-mail services which are accessible to all clerks via Intranet, this server is supposed to be used for delivering instructions, decisions, invitations and other work-related matters to the staff within a single institution. I noticed that the majority of employees in government departments — most of them are young people — are unwilling to use on-line services in handling the work. They shy away from using e-mail and resort to paperwork instead because they believe hand-written letters are more conducive to documentation but they overlook the fact that using paperwork squanders substantial funds spent on papers which end up in waste bins.
I always wonder at the huge amount of papers used for writing meeting minutes or in preparing symposium discussions and working papers. You can see files containing hundreds of papers which are thrown away after the end of the meeting. Companies and establishments incur substantial loss because of the insistence on using paperwork.
The best use of e-systems provides the solution for this problem and saves time and money, but unfortunately some are still insisting on using conventional out-of-date methods which only takes us backward while the world nations are looking forward to more advancement.