From low tech to hi tech

In recent months we have been developing and implementing our new, exciting and innovative on line collaboration platform, Chiumento24. It’s prompted a number of those “when I were a lad” type conversations about how things were done 20 or 30 years ago. All this reminiscing consolidated thoughts of how much has changed in the way we work and how the rate of change continues to accelerate.

When I started my accountancy training back in the late 70s most SMEs like Chiumento kept their accounting records by hand using carbon paper, ledger cards and enormous and often unruly day books. The more sophisticated  invested in accounting machines – large, noisy electro-mechanical beasts about 2 metres wide and a metre deep. Computer facilities were only affordable in the largest companies and occupied dedicated air conditioned rooms.  Whilst more sophisticated, they had a fraction of the processing power and storage that my laptop has today. Accounts and financial reporting was typically an annual task, painful and labour intensive.

As for finding a job, well that was a matter of phoning your contacts and or wading through pages and pages of adverts in newspapers and the relevant trade press and applying with a letter and typewritten CV.

When I first moved into the HR and recruitment business in 1991, I also got my first dedicated PC (I didn’t have to share at last!). Accounting machines had gone the way of the dodo but computerised accounting systems were still basic and needed dedicated equipment and facilities.

Finding work was still done by trawling advertisements or visiting recruitment agencies which had become an increasingly important part of the market.

During the following nine years online banking, email and the internet all arrived as practical tools in the workplace. Gradually job boards started to make inroads into the world of recruitment advertising and job search.

In the noughties, computerised accounting trickled down the world of business. This gave SMEs access to more sophisticated accounting and financial information previously only the preserve of large organisations. The internet took off and email, online banking and job boards became every day aspects of life both at work and increasingly at home. It meant that a vast array of job search advice of very variable quality was instantly available. Here at Chiumento we have cherry picked the very best to include in our market leading product, Chiumento24 and the ground breaking CareerGift.

The advent of domestic broadband brought that fantasy of 20th century science fiction – the video phone – into reality and made working at home a practical proposition for many more people. Interestingly though it also strengthened the importance of contacts in the job search process with the advent of social media having made networking a more viable option even for the most introverted job searchers.

Domestic broadband and video conferencing are transforming the way we work at Chiumento and the way we deliver sector leading support to delegates. We now deliver world class support wherever and whenever the delegate needs it without the need for our delegates to leave home if they prefer not to. For Chiumento and its people it means that we can all save time and money, leaving more of both for the things we love such as Crystal Palace FC, archery or being with our loved ones.

Having started with late 70’s accounting, I’ll finish with how accounting works in 2015. Using a fully secure cloud based system, we can access and manage data from home as easily as from the office. Reports are done daily, weekly or monthly as required and in minutes or hours rather than days or weeks.

The last time I looked in a newspaper for a job was way back in the early noughties.  How did I get my job at Chiumento? Via social media contacts of course.  Truly revolutionary when I look back on it.


Roger Evans

Director of Corporate Resources

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