In 1975, the venerable Business Week touted the idea of the paperless office. That was around about the time that people were predicting that computers would give us heaps of leisure time to do all those things we wanted to do, such as spending more time with our kids, thinking, and other fun things.
These two paradises never came to be. Instead computers have not only caused countless layoffs, our security systems depend on the unreliable pesky things and worse than that, we and our kids are locked into computer screens, into our smartphones and our DSes, and it’s now not considered bad manners, in mid conversation, to pick up your CrackBerry and read your emails.
But today the chimera of the paperless office is being touted again. ICSA Software, a company selling something called Blueprint Boardpad 2, claims that board meetings of the UK’s largest companies will be “completely paper free by 2014”.
It is not entirely disinterested in the matter of course – it has just released a miracle application for the iPad.
Group CEO, Mike Evans claims: “No other application can guarantee the same security of data and offer so many features that save time, reduce waste and cut the huge cost of board meetings for large companies. In the future, every large company will move to a system like this one but, currently, Blueprint BoardPad 2 is far and away the most advanced.” He would say that.
It also has advanced security features, Evans said.
This may be good news for makers of tablet like Apple, but if Evans’ prediction, made 36 years after the idea was first proposed, will cost fear, trembling and malediction in some boardrooms. We suspect that makers of printers are relying on us humanoids to keep printing out those bits of paper rather than endlessly gazing into screens, however bright and shiny they are.