Technology, Time, Money, and Us.

For Aristotle, the Greek philosopher and natural scientist, time was "the measure of change"; for Albert Einstein it was relative. For many people, time is simply a scarce commodity - although technology has never before taken so much work off our hands as it does today. We spend the time created by technology, allocate it - or waste it.

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Foto Andy Hohl
Andreas Hohl
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Speed is a very important virtue, especially in business. Winning the race against the competition, being able to get to market faster, delivering quick solutions when customers demand them, is a prerequisite for the success of many companies. In order to maintain such speed, the right tools must be used and the best strategies must be implemented.


From petaflops to exaflops

Digital tools are getting faster and faster; some of them are getting so powerful that their performance is beyond our imagination. The relationship of time to computer performance is well illustrated by supercomputers. Today, the performance of such machines is measured in petaflops. A petaflop computer system is capable of performing one quadrillion (1015) floating point operations (calculations) per second. To calculate what such a computer system can do in one second, a person would have to do a calculation every second for 31'688'765 years. Researchers at the HPE Institute are already further ahead[1]: the next generation of supercomputers will be thousands of times faster when it comes to calculations. An exaflop computer system performs one quintillion calculations per second (1018).


One and a half years in one day

One of the many anecdotes about Apple founder Steve Jobs tells the story of how Jobs got his engineers to speed up the startup of Macintosh computers, which, in 1983, were still in their infancy. Jobs predicted that in a few years, five million people would boot their Macintosh at least once a day[2]. Should his team be able to reduce the PC boot up time by 10 seconds, this would result in a saving of 50 million seconds per day. Mac users would thus gain more than a year and a half of additional time every day. The engineers complied with his request.

It is undisputed that modern technology relieves us of many everyday, often boring tasks. A British survey showed that the average consumer gains almost seven hours of extra time every week because of self-service checkouts, Internet shopping, online banking, or navigation devices that allow such tasks to be completed efficiently and quickly[3]. In a country with 8.5 million inhabitants like Switzerland, this would save 55 million hours a day. However, 17 million of these hours are consumed every day by the use of our smartphones. Time is relative after all.


Digitization creates efficiency, and efficiency creates time

What is possible in private life thanks to technological progress is also possible in the business world. A European study shows that more than half of European workers surveyed believe that innovative digital technologies impact positively on their daily work and productivity[4]. The amount of time that employees say they could save each month by using technologies for smarter work varies. In France, employees believe that they could save 1.8 days per month. In Switzerland it is 3.4 days, in Russia 5.6 days - more than a full work week.

One of the most important promises of new technologies is, therefore, to save us time. With it, we are able to communicate, produce, and organize more efficiently. Google tells us that a search for the term 'time' produced 1,010,000,000 results in 0.62 seconds. Online stores deliver the ordered goods to our homes as quickly as possible, without us having to spend hours in shopping malls looking for them. Companies use cloud-based services in addition to other digital services; this saves time in maintaining digital infrastructures and is even more cost-effective. Successful companies know: Digitization creates efficiency, and efficiency creates time. The challenge is not just to gain this time, but to use it to good effect - both in business and in private life.


UMB creating time

At UMB we believe that time is one of the most valuable resources in the world. Time is the raw material we need to turn ideas into great projects. We will create time with smart IT solutions so that you can turn your ideas into reality. By giving our customers more time, we help them to strengthen their core competencies and achieve exceptional results.  Contact us; we will gladly create time for you, too.