Advancing fields of technology are often highlighted by their integration as part of the standard skill set for employment. Think of the 1980’s, when the ability to use a computer was a flagship skill for a worker. That employee spent a great deal of time taking care of computer work that most of the other workers couldn’t do. In time, the level of competence at the keyboard held by that tech-savvy leader became the norm; not only did you have to be good at marketing or finance or PR, you also had to be able to perform a wide array of computer skills.
In time, specialized skills like web design became the edge a worker held over others. Any company that had a website would rely on someone with a good background to do all their online content. But now, even that specialty has migrated into the standard skill set, and it isn’t enough to be able to do web design. Now you must be able to assimilate that into your other roles.
On the broad base of web design skills, workers today can build many other technological projects. There are so few industries that aren’t positively consumed with web-enabled action–retail, banking, education, entertainment, and much more. Construction professions such as engineering and architecture have cast off cumbersome slabs of paper in favor of Procore’s drawings tool as a clean, efficient way to design, re-design, share, and collaborate.
But such software isn’t for the web-impaired. It’s best used by hands that have worked through the intricacies of web design and use. Once that hurdle has been handled, the opportunities for improved efficiency are numerous.
The Ability to Share
Do you have a key person out of town overseeing a major project? When that person’s input is needed from afar, web-based software can permit him or her to log in, review, make changes, and sign off on what’s being done from literally anywhere else on Earth. This represents the end of frantic overnight shipping, jammed email attachments, and conflicts between Contributor A’s vision and Contributor B’s revision. But the overarching theme here is that all participants must have a high level of web competency in order to realize the benefit of these amazing tools.
Reductions in Waste
On the topic of revisions, consider the voluminous output to your dumpsters. Every time a project hits paper, circulates among multiple contributors (getting dissected by each), there is a heap of waste cellulose generated. By sharing documents, ideas, and feedback electronically, the only paper output required is whatever may be necessary in the final stages of the process, such as actually framing up a building or publishing a book.
Easy New Editions
That carries us into another thought on the value of electronic sharing. Consider an advanced textbook with multiple contributing authors and editors. Each revision requires a trip to every name on the list for updates, revisions, and new thoughts. The process of executing subsequent editions is far easier when this process is electronic because again, so many of the people involved may be spread all over the world generating the information required for the project. So not only is it easier to get the initial rol-out completed, the outdated information it contains can be brought current more quickly and more frequently than with manual sharing of information.