February 17, 2014
The best part about watching movies from the 80s and 90s is the office technology. Just watching a character print something or use a computer baffles the mind. How did we get anything done without smartphones or even email? Technology is evolving faster than ever; let’s see where we’re going over the next year.
Mobile is Here, Business Needs to Catch Up
More than half of American adults own smartphones, and 78 percent of smartphone users have their emails set up there. Despite this, mobile adoption has been relatively slow for B2C as well as B2B companies. Expect this to change in 2014. Smartphones are becoming more popular than ever, and their varied sizes and features are perfect for both business and personal use.
Businesses will make it easier to share updates on mobile. Through mobile-friendly sites and docs, clients and managers will soon be able to approve work and green-light projects while they’re standing in line at Starbucks. This will make us all more efficient as we won’t have to wait for people to get back to the office or receive certain documents to move forward in the business plan.
Work from Home Jobs Will Increase
Speaking of mobile, jobs that allow employees to work from home will increase, along with the prominence of contractor/freelance jobs as mobile and computer technology becomes more reliable. There’s really no need to find someone local when the perfect candidate can work from his or her home office in Denver.
Particularly in tech and Internet industries, there’s no need for employees to come into the office. Yes, it helps to meet people face-to-face, but that’s what Skype is for. Most Americans already have a computer, printer, and Internet in their homes. Two of those three (sorry printers) will continue to be crucial to successfully working from home in the coming years.
Fewer Files will Live on Our Computers
Modern software has made it easier for businesses to keep files, documents, and projects saved on our computers. Google Docs are a perfect example of this. Instead of panicking because the earnings report is on their home computers, users just log in through Google to get their content.
We’ve seen a similar transition with music streaming. Apps like Spotify have decreased our need to download songs because we can already get the songs whenever we want through our devices.
More People Will Have Their Heads in The Cloud
Use of the cloud is strongly correlated to the point above about not owning photos and music on our desktops. The cloud is different from the Internet, however, because it refers to an application hosted on specific servers. Cloud computing has continued to increase in popularity since its debut in 2006. More and more businesses are starting to take advantage of the cloud and trust it.
One of the main concerns preventing companies from adopting cloud computing is security. Last year, however, 82 percent of IT professionals said they trust the security of the cloud. If the IT people are behind it, then so are we.
Better Analytics and Data
Everything is becoming “smarter.” We even have smart refrigerators now that tell us when we’re low on milk or provide recipes for the food that is currently in there. This means that risk will decrease in business as industries start to gather better data on consumer behavior, project success potential, and general ROI.
Plus, the data that is collected today becomes the resources of tomorrow. In the coming years, businesses will be better able to track trends with data they started collecting this year or last. Knowledge is power, so expect your company to become more powerful with the increased data in your hands.
The next time someone hands you a business card with a fax number on it, take a moment to chuckle a little before you politely toss it into the trash. You might be at the forefront of business technology, but not everyone moves as fast as you do. Have patience; 2014 can be a great year for them to catch up.
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