Paradigm Shifts through Digital Technologies 

The Internet

1969 – First successful message on the ARPANET is sent
1989 – World Wide Web is invented by English scientist, Tim Berners-Lee
1993 – Mosaic (first web browser) is released
1994 – Amazon is established
1995 – Amazon go online*
1998 – Google is established*

*Both were early adopters of the internet, benefiting from its broad reach, and the ability to mine user data to grow their businesses

Internet adoption was initially, the preserve of academic institutions, although IBM was quick to develop gateways to enable their BITNET email service to connect with the internet and grow

2002 – Microsoft win 96% of the browser market
2003 – Microsoft announce IE team would be disbanded and future enhancements will be built into future Windows operating systems
2003 – Apple develop WebKit (basis for what would be, Chrome and Safari)
2004 – Mozilla Firefox 1.0 is released
2008 – Google Chrome is released


1973 – Standards for encoding email messages are published
1988 – Email available via Microsoft Mail, developed for AppleTalk Networks
1990 – Businesses using email find significant improvement in communication speed, reduction in paper and ability to archive more effectively

Businesses reliant on faxes or postal communications struggled to keep pace with those using email; thus losing market share to their email-savy competitors


1950 – Computers first make their way into large businesses, costs are high and they take up large volumes of space but teams were able to process data at significantly higher rates
1970 – Microcomputers and terminals start to spread throughout businesses, data entry clerks began to replace secretaries


These companies have identified the public’s appetite for online retailing and capitalised on this to bring a wealth of products at good prices and simply security to the purchase process.

1994 – First online sale (a Sting CD) purchased by credit card, secured over SSL
2006 – PayPal win a Webby Award for Best Financial Service Site
2007 – eBay win a Webby Award for Lifetime Achievement
2017 – Amazon win Internet Retailer Excellence Award

Mobile Workforces

The mobile workforce is a result of successful digitization of business processes.

Winners in this space, such as Uber and Deliveroo, have the majority of their workforce literally on the road cutting the need for centralised offices. By empowering mobile workforces the result is a more dynamic business model that can expand rapidly to meet growing demand.

2009 – Uber appear on the scene
2013 – Americans, Will Shu and Greg Orlowski establish Deliveroo in Britain
2016 – A study by the Economist Intelligence Unit saw a 23% rise in employee satisfaction and 21% rise in customer loyalty for businesses who support the use of mobile tech
2017 – Uber dominate the US ride hailing market, with a share of 84%

The efficiency of digital communications, and the ability to automate processes, has enabled businesses to grow significantly in this space

Document Management

With over 28% of invoices paid late due to incorrect details, the value of automating invoice production via electronic means provides a significant motivation for businesses to go digital.

1889 – Edwin Siebel invents the filing cabinet
1985 – First computer scanners come into use, radically improving storage efficiency
1998 – Combination of scanning technology, servers and networked computers lead to dramatic change in document management

Businesses who move to e-invoicing save approx. €6.60 per invoice sent and experience a dramatic improvement in efficiency and accuracy


By outsourcing technically complex, or fast-evolving areas of the business, companies have been able to focus on their core offering and offload the challenge of keeping up with the pace of technological change to specialists.

A recent example of rapid business growth, not possible without outsourcing, is the success of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

From early adopters such as Kodak, to the Bank of America, outsourcing has provided both cost-savings and access to experts impractical to payroll full-time