Back in the 90s and early 00s, the way we communicated in the office was very different to nowadays. Big grey CRT monitors, floppy disks and of course, this memorable background of Microsoft Windows, was very much the norm in the office environment:
Since the early 2000s a lot of the technology has progressed substantially: personal USB sticks can hold multiple gigabytes, broadband internet is commonplace, and we no longer use “Ask Jeeves” as a first point of call. Business best practices within an office have changed a lot and below are a few of our predictions for the next ten years.
Quantum computers are well on their way, and predictions that they will have the capability to break “nearly every kind of encryption used to protect banking, medical, business and government records”, means the security landscape will see a radical change in coming years.
Larry Barrett predicts that by 2016, “at least 30 percent of organizations will use technology similar to the Touch ID feature on the latest iteration of the iPhone to efficiently and effectively secure and manage mobile devices connected to their networks”. By 2025, we believe that this percentage will be much higher, which also means cyber-attacks could become a lot more common and severe. BSI have already warned UK business that they need to be prepared and protect themselves from cyber treats.
The popularity of using cloud based software is consistently growing year on year and company’s such as Microsoft, allocated 90% of its R&D budget to cloud related projects back in 2011 because of this growing trend.
Google’s Trends graph below shows just how much the number of searches people made for the term “the cloud” and related terms, have increased over time.
The business environment will eventually adapt to this demand and offices could get to a stage where all documents and data is stored online exclusively using a cloud based software. Giving employees the opportunity to access any file at any given time, anywhere in the world, will mean that keeping the cloud secure will become an even higher priority.
Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) will make it easier for multiple devices linked to the same user to communicate with each other. This will lead to seamless automatic call forwarding based on the employee’s location (desk phone if they’re at their desk, mobile if they’re in transit, etc), reducing wasted time in the office.
This is cited by Pioneer Business Systems as one of the ways to deal with the staff absenteeism. Using CTI, staff attendance status will be visible to all other members of staff, meaning that calls are not made (or forwarded) to people who aren’t present, or are auto-forwarded as appropriate. While this may not seem like much of a time saver, its cumulative effects will be felt.
With the increasing popularity of both touch screen mobile phones and tablets, it stands to reason that touch screen could see its use in different business devices increase over the next decade. It’s possible for example that touch screen desk phones, with enhanced video functionality will replace the common desk phone, whilst touch screen monitors could also see a rise in popularity.
This prediction is less technology focused than the previous ones, but its implications are equally important. Germany has demonstrated that apprenticeships are a vital part of the job market: it graduates 80% fewer college students, but is a net importer of jobs. The increasing discussion about apprenticeships in the UK combined with ever-increasing tuition fees will shift the balance of people choosing between an apprenticeship and university.
Matthew Blake is a Senior Content and Online PR Executive working on behalf of his client Pioneer Business Systems.
He specialises in writing articles on business, technology and ecommerce.