There are some things I will say that are truisms but I feel the need for them to be said aloud:
- We live in a Global Village. We have to face it that borders disappear, language differences disappear (everybody speak English obviously!), companies that are working in Mexico have CEO’s and management structures in China etc.
- In order to develop we have to outsource. Companies’ exchanges, people working in different countries from their mother one these are ways to gain experience, implement new ideas and just simply develop yourself.
- Working is a global community can bring a lot of benefits but brings also challenges.
How to manage all those things when you run company? How to be a successful CEO or manager when something as basic as document flow can be a challenge?
Technology gives us a hand and we can use a lot of tools for managing our team but there is one essential tool that helps us to deal with documents flow: digital drives. To discover how lucky we are I will give example from my daily job. I work in international student organization that provides exchange opportunities in 120 countries in the world. Dating back about 20 years ago if you wanted to deliver exchange in Poland for someone from for example Brazil you had to call to Brazil to ask if they have a right person for you (very expensive) then interview the person (even more expensive!) then send all the documents (not that expensive but very time consuming) then wait for the response and finally confirm it by phone. It usually took something about 30 days just to choose ONE person for internship. Imagine having eight of them in the project and run for example 3 projects at the same time! It sounds almost impossible but this was the way most companies used to work. Everything took ages, was very expensive, there was no internet, no cell phones etc.
Today thou we are richer in over 20 years of internet experience. This amazing invention makes our lives easier especially business life. Right now I open the web site and in less than 10 clicks I have access to digital drive with data of 1000 students from Brazil willing to come to Poland. I simply download their CVs call them via Skype, send documents via Dropbox or Google Docs, add them to the right folder there and in not more than 48 hours the person is officially approved for the project! I have not spent a single cent or a peace of paper for that!
The example above showed just simple how work of my organization changed during last 20 years. Imagine thousands of companies and organizations using those tools right now that simplify their actions. Imagine how inventing the digital drives made their everyday life easier. Imagine how much space all those companies need for their everyday work multiply it by 1000 and then you can be close to the answer. Even simple website needs a digital drive to support all the actions on it. Now company can access all documents form every place in the World if they have access to the Internet. Exchanging files is just clicking away the same thing when it comes to creating it together with people from different places. Everything happens online and even your PC is not using any space for that because everything stays online.
To show how important digital drives are now in international business I will just point out some examples for big companies who created their own engines for that:
- Apple with their iCloud you can buy space share files and access everything from any place in the world with internet access
- Google with Google Docs sharing files within your email can be even personalized with special company email address.
- Dropbox allows you to share files but without creating them and editing in real time.
To sum up I have to say that digital drives and sharing files is one of the most important inventions for company usage. The advantages coming form it are countless; from being eco-friendly to saving a lot of money and time. There disadvantages of that solution of course too; especially legal aspects of such agreements and privacy. But digital drives made international companies possible and vivid as never before.