Friday 29 August 2014

The Internet is Dead, The Internet is Dead! Long Live the Internet!

by Sarah Clarke

For most of us, the Internet is the focal point in our daily lives. It facilitates our work, helps us build professional networks, organises our social lives, acts as our personal shopper, travel agent, tour guide and modern day Encyclopaedia Britannica. Personally speaking, I get almost nothing done (either in the work place or at home) without it nowadays. The more the internet offers me, the more and more I want, it’s seemingly impossible to live without it.

An article on last week’s Guardian website “Is the internet ‘full’ and going to shut down?” (no is the answer by the way, if you hadn’t already guessed) made me think of my own working days before the internet and email became commonplace.

I’m old enough to have started my original career without ever having touched a computer.  As a nurse at Guy’s hospital, patient records were huge paper tomes, stored down in the seemingly bottomless hospital basement. If a patient was admitted with unusual symptoms calling for even more unusual treatments, doctors consulted their peers and seniors, pulled out well-thumbed copies of the BNF, and went to the med school library to spend hours poring over text books, searching for similar symptoms.  We all know that it’s a different story nowadays. The NHS continues to make technical strides forward in its use of the Internet and the solutions it provides.  But this isn’t what this article is about.  If you want to read more about technology in the NHS, you’d be better placed to follow posts from our very own NHS expert Scott Pryde.

This post is about what life would be like without the internet. And if you’re wondering where the procurement connection is, part two of this short series (coming soon) will be about the life of a procurement professional without the internet.  Anyway, back to today ... so here goes ...

Friday 29th August, 2014.

6.30 a.m. ... get up and head to the shower
6.45 a.m. ... pick up my smart phone to check the weather forecast to decide what to wear today, oh wait, no internet so I can’t.  I’ll just have to wing it and put on tons of layers.
7.30 a.m. ... arrive at the bus stop and open my trusty bus arrival times app. No.  I will just have to wait until one turns up, like the olden days.
7.45 a.m. ... sit on the bus and wonder what to do.  I’m not allowed to browse the news, check emails, or even read the book I’ve downloaded on my Kindle.  What on earth am I going to do for the next 45 minutes?
8.45 a.m. ... arrive in the office, looking forward to BravoBrekkie (our Friday team treat), but no .... Berni’s ordered breakfast online for everyone, so I can’t have any of it.
8.46 a.m. ... the coffee is also out of bounds as that too was ordered online.  I am starting to get grumpy.
9.00 a.m. ... I can’t dial into the conference call I’m due to be on as it’s a web-to-dial link.  I can’t even open the appointment, as it’s been sent via email.
9.01 a.m. ... how on earth am I going to get any work done, everything is on email!
9.02 a.m. ... I wonder about this week’s statistics and results but again, all of our analytical tools are web based no-go zones. I have vague thoughts about dusting off the calculator and doing some guess work.
9.37 a.m. ... my boss tells me he’s sent me an email, but I inform him that I am living without the internet for the day, so I can’t possibly read it.
9.38 a.m. ... my boss calls me into his office
9.40 a.m. ... I’m back online ... PHEW!

So this has got me around to thinking what procurement would be without the internet.  Subscribe here to find out in part two ...

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