That was true. They did different things and much better. Then work changed giving rise to business analysis beyond “accounting”.
A most common example in my first summer job of installing IBM 5150’s was filling out “forms”. PCs could not fill out forms! That is literally what pros did!
Repeat for everything using spreadsheets then “slides” (they used to be 35mm film!)
I was a support person they called to tell me the new computers were stupid. I am sure many reading this were on one side of that
As if “reveal codes” or installing a TSR was required to be doing work.
Guardrails made it possible for computing to do more by doing less..
We used to use PC tools to do things like place orders, deal with customer service, do banking, budgets, and more. All are phone tasks now for billions. AND more volume and new things.
Many things ran on DOS for years after Windows “won”.
Many things ran as Win32/OSX apps even though phones dominate computing.
In each case, the new way opened up a scenario to an order of magnitude more people.
Some are just trying to make a point like plugging a printer into a computer. Printers have been networked/wireless for a decade already.
If you don’t have a PC you only create “files” that exist in cloud and will never move it off the cloud to fragile local storage.
Many lawyers and accountants used character apps for years.
So on. In all cases constant improvement and *change* in work made clear new work was done in new ways *alerady*.
It is true over time the new takes on characteristics of the old, but in new ways not in obvious ways. PCs became servers, but not mainframes.
The number of non-PC users (with jobs even!) >> number of PC people *already*.
This is more of a plea about recognizing the transition and not dismissing it because it doesn’t happen instantly or by adding the old to the new.