Have you ever purchased a new appliance that you set aside for several months, only to take it out and find that you misplaced the manual for how to use it? Before the Internet became a major part of everyday life, you would be out of luck, or you would have to contact the company for assistance with your device. Now, it’s simply a matter of looking for the online electronic manual.
Electronic manuals are so useful for both users and manufacturers that there are many companies which have completely given up on providing physical instruction manuals. For example, many video games for next-gen consoles, instead of providing a physical instruction manual, will provide directions for accessing it when your console is connected to the Internet. The goal is to use the Internet and the connectivity it provides to make sharing common consumer documents easier, without wasting capital on mass-producing arbitrary (and often unread or useless) documents.
Here are a few ways that electronic manuals are helpful for both users and manufacturers.
- Easy to search: If you’re viewing your electronic manuals in a PDF viewer, you can search for specific topics within the document. This can cut down on time wasted searching for your specific issue by flipping pages.
- Easy to store: Since you can download your electronic manuals as PDF files, you can store them all in one location for later use. This makes it much easier to keep track of where your manuals are, and it sure beats storing them in a bulky manilla folder that’s seen its fair share of abuse.
- Lowered costs: This is more of a benefit for manufacturers than for the users. Since technology is so prevalent throughout society, manufacturers are confident that most people who would want to access a manual for an appliance or a product can probably access a digital copy of it.
While having electronic manuals easily on-hand, it’s important to consider the other ramifications of this increasingly digital lifestyle. For one, it makes you entirely dependant on the continued preservation of the electronic device on which your files are stored. Granted, most electronic manuals can easily be found via a quick Google search, but it would still hurt to lose everything you have, should you experience a hard drive failure or other similar disaster.
More importantly, however, electronic manuals aren’t the only ways that organizations, like manufacturers and entertainment outlets, are cutting physical corners to save costs. Specifically in the entertainment industry, rather than purchasing a physical copy of a movie, TV series, video game, or music album, users can simply purchase a digital copy of the product. In a way, this trend makes their products more accessible, but it also opens up many possibilities for illegal behavior.
For example, what typically happens when something is made into a digital product and is stored online? This opens up the possibility for hackers to steal the product and distribute it illegally, potentially for a profit. While the producer may have had the best intentions of making their product available to as many people as possible, storing it online allows for the potential theft, which can reduce the organization’s profit margin and cut into creating new products.
Thus, the lesson to take away from this trend is that digital media can be great for reducing physical storage and clutter, but only if you practice proper security precautions. Although, we doubt that the first thing a hacker will search for on your computer is your electronic manual for your smart blender.
If you are looking for a solution to take your physical manuals digital? Call us today about one of our innovative content management solutions today at (416) 256-9928.
Tektonic Managed Services is an IT Support and Computer Services company serving Toronto GTA. We provide services in and around Toronto, including York Region, Durham Region and Peel Region. Businesses like yours need technology support to run highly-effective organizations. Leverage pro-growth technology services for your company now!