The late 90’s and early 2000s showed a remarkable change in tech the world over. The next decade brought us advances so fast and furiously inventive, we’re still in awe of the great innovative potential of humanity. Considering what we have seen so far, is it any wonder that we’re curious about what’s coming next?
Technology over the next five to ten years will be radically different with great improvements in increasingly shorter time spans as it becomes more personalized, more customized and more customizable. Self-service and self-publishing are increasing as is the functionality, ease of use, and diminishing size of technology devices. The usability of technology will increase as will the simplicity of interfaces and perhaps even become integrated biologically. These capabilities will come with an increase in the complexity of the devices. Just as automobile engines are no longer within the capabilities of the home “shade tree mechanic,” technology will be complex to troubleshoot and integrate, much of it becoming a “throw away” product like basic calculators today, when they stop working. The integration of technologies will expand, including communications, computing, audio, video, handwriting and speech recognition, facial recognition, virtual keyboards and virtual screens, while becoming much smaller and more powerful. With cloud, mobile, social and big data advances all happening at once and at lightning speed, how will shifts in technology impact the way businesses are run?
Data analytics will revolutionize decision making. Even in the most scientific fields, decisions are still being made from a subjective lens based on personal knowledge and experience, but this may change in the coming information tsunami. The technology exists that produces increasingly accurate data and this may force a shift in thinking where we make decisions based more on predictive elements versus biased thinking or gut instincts.
- Social Network
The primary benefit of new social platforms is that today’s knowledge workers have access to each other. The future of work will not be in what you know but what you share. This shift in social sharing will change how businesses hire, who they hire and how they compensate. Bosses, colleagues and customers will rate employees on the value of information they create. One star-rated content will earn less than five star content. This will create a more objective system or model of compensation.
The era of serving the average customer is over. With the rapid data and social sharing, rather than meeting the needs of different consumer segments – geographic, income or age segmentation for example, businesses will be able to truly serve the individual. Because supercomputers are better able to stay current on and more quickly recall data, they may help create more efficient and individualized service.
These changes will come quickly and will, for a time, be disruptive and present a serious adoption challenge. Stakeholders may feel lost and overwhelmed by the constant barrage of change and new opportunities. Many may feel paralyzed by the sheer magnitude and frequency of change. Some may never fully adapt and never take full advantage of these advances. Nonetheless, the technology landscape is changing rapidly and dramatically. Ignoring it will not stop it.