Many predicted the Internet would replace books and that online shopping would replace retailing.
The reality is that readers now click www to research immediate information, there's a greater choice then ever of books for people to read in their armchairs, and forward-thinking shops have been quick to adopt the net as an important marketing channel to drive traffic to their doors.
Information technologies are also freeing up time for businesses to concentrate on the things that matter - old-style relationship building with their customers. It's a kind of a 'Back-to-The-Future' progression and the effects are hugely evident, especially in the business banking arena.
Banking has gone through a revolution. More and more retail customers are opting to bank online and use the swift 'virtual' banking experience.
But for business customers, the trend has returned to something that longstanding bankers might recognise and approve of.
Business banking is all about relationships; personal knowledge and fast, local decision-making. The banker nowadays has to really understand the customer's business and the markets in which they operate and be able to add real value - not just funding.
The trick is to keep the best bits of the past and blend them with the latest technology. It's all about keeping in tune with trends and customer expectations.
Traditional bankers offered a valuable mixture of financial knowledge and community service and it seems that at Clydesdale Bank we are going almost full-circle in our offering to business clients. We have been able to revolutionise our service by going back to many of the things that banks used to do and becoming genuine partners to our customers.
We know that business customers need a different level of support to retail customers; from treasury and currency services in a global market, to first class networking links with a wide range of other financial service providers. The Guildford Financial Solutions Centre has six Business Banking Partners in the Team supported by five Specialists (Treasury Solutions, Asset Finance, Invoice Finance, International Trade & Wealth Management). Each of the team has years of experience and are empowered to make their own decisions at a local level.
Technology has given us time back - and at Clydesdale we choose to use it to regain a local and very human perspective on doing business.
Clydesdale Bank's Guildford team can be contacted at 2 Bishops Wharf, Walnut Tree Close, GU1 4UP or by calling 01483 207100.