New decade, new approach is a statement that has appeared in various media platforms over the past few days as N.Ireland political leadership have agreed a collective commitment to making politics work for the people.
What about the decade we have just left behind? Are you aware of the various technological changes that have changed and transformed our world?
This week Outsource will celebrate 20 years in business and during that time there has been a lot of change.
Mobile phones were only just emerging and gaining popularity in 2000, they were used only to make calls and people thought they were really advanced when they could be used to send text messages or play snake!
Using the phone and internet together was not an option. You had to wait until a call had finished to dial up and access the information needed, most people 20 years ago used the internet for work or school purposes. Today it is estimated that over 4.33 billion active internet users worldwide. 57 percent of the entire world’s population has internet access. There are 3.9 billion unique mobile internet users worldwide, which makes up 51 percent of the global population.
In the year 2000 we still went to a local shop to hire videos to watch movies rather than stream them via on demand or subscription services like we do today. We had no option but to watch the advertisements and had to make sure someone was at home to press record at the right time if we didn’t want to miss out favourite TV programme.
Business have been massively impacted by technological change. Our always on and always connected world gives us access to almost everything we need 24/7 giving business greater influence and access to wider and global market. It can also make it difficult to go completely off the grid, with people struggling to incorporate any downtime into their lifestyles.
20 years ago business leaders primarily communicated in person or by phone, and when on the road they had to stop to use payphones if something needed urgent attention. Today business leaders are expected to write letters, send emails, create proposals, tweet in less than 140 characters, update on LinkedIn, connect and present to prospective customers, appear on company video channels, be comfortable appearing on a video conferencing calls, and be prepared to sit down for an interview with the local press or media and speak to groups of employees. The emphasis is on business leaders to connect and communicate effectively on whatever platform or method the customer or consumer expects.
Technology allows people to connect from different locations easily, share information, access data and collaborate to creatively solve problems and develop solutions. Less paper is involved with invoices being sent via email, payments being processed via online transactions, CRM systems containing vital information and all data being hosted, stored and backed up in the cloud. File rooms, stores and reams of paper are a thing of the past. Some business’ are making the choice to use virtual offices and abandoning designated office space altogether, they instead meet when and where necessary at a place with access to secure Wi-Fi, helping them reduce overall costs and giving their employees access to flexible work and home working options.
Innovation in technology is rapidly developing and will continue to change how businesses operate over the next 20 years. However, the majority of business would still agree that their employees are their greatest asset. Technology doesn’t always work in the way that it should or is even designed too, there are always inevitable challenges, as one area impacts another. Technology can’t read our minds yet, and until it does, humans need humans to understand them and then use technology to help provide a solution. There are some problems only a human can solve.
What will the next 20 years bring?
A lot more change and if futurists are to be believed that change will be at a speed that some of us may struggle to get our heads around. Ian Pearson, a futurist with an 85% accuracy record, has said we can expect to see drones making deliveries, space trips to Mars and clothing that could give people access to super human skills.
Whatever emerges you can guarantee that our team at Outsource will continue to explore possibilities, uncover potential and develop solutions that will make your life and your business better.
Get in touch to find out more about how we can help your business today and prepare you for the future ahead.