Whatever your industry or specialist subject, predicting the future is always a risky thing to do. There is a chance, of course, that everything you believe will take place in the coming weeks, months, and years will indeed happen. Unfortunately, you are unlikely to pick up very many plaudits in this scenario.
In contrast, you can bet your life that if you come up with something, an idea that doesn’t take off, and publish it somewhere, that in a few years’ time people will remember it and proceed to beat you over the head with it as a reward for daring to dream.
It is enough to put anyone off predicting what the future will look like, but the truth is that such escapades are necessary in order to drive and develop the products that we will use in years to come.
To that end, we took on the challenge of predicting what the future of business technology will look like, and how these trends are likely to become successful.
Floating in the Cloud
Cloud technology is already with us, and is already being used by consumers to an ever-greater degree every day. People are using services such as Gmail, iTunes, SkyDrive, and many more, some of them not realizing that they are already a part of the trend.
Of course, what these products tell us is that, in some cases at least, consumers have little say in what they access from the cloud. Do you know anyone who would ditch their iPod just because they weren’t happy iTunes was a cloud service now?
This contrasts wildly with the approach businesses take, who are fiercely conservative when it comes to using the cloud. Some of this is born out of bad experiences, such as having their security compromised during the early days of cloud services when little was known about how to keep them safe from sophisticated hacks and other malware.
For others, it is a reluctance to get involved with something that even the leading industry players admits could be a risk in the current climate.
However, if anyone thinks these barriers will remain then they will be proven wildly wrong in years to come. Companies are already working at pace to ensure that cloud services become more secure and reliable than ever before. Once the perfect combination of reliability and secure services is reached, expect the market to explode.
Not only will data storage take place in the cloud, but transactions, web hosting, and many other business operations will see themselves change forever.
In the 1990s there was the film Demolition Man. The 2000s then gave us Minority Report. Both films that predicted what the future may look like, and both were met upon their release with a lot of head-scratching and thought, regardless of what people thought of the movies themselves.
Elements of both will start to become reality in the coming years, however. While more of us are remote working, either at home or at another location that is not our business’ primary premises, we still use traditional means of communicating, whether that be a mobile device or a Skype application on our laptop.
In the next ten years, expect technology to develop to such a degree that our office becomes a hologram on the wall of our workspace at home, which we can use as an interface for working with our colleagues. The social side of work is likely to go out of the window, as many of us will work with people that we have never actually met in person.
Cynics will say it is technology going even further towards contributing to the breakdown of society, however there is no doubting that this could lead to more efficient and cost effective working practices.
While cloud security concerns stand on their own, how we access data at work on an individual level is likely to change, too. As we begin to move away from traditional computers, instead using interactive interfaces and 3D programs to create virtual filing systems, the way in which we interact with them will have to change, too, particularly when it comes to security.
Passwords will become a thing of the past, and biometrics are likely to become much more widely used. In years to come, those files that only you can access will be protected with fingerprints or retina scans, not a password that anyone who knows the name of your first pet or when you were born could work out at the drop of a hat.
The future of business technology is an exciting one. If you are not ready to embrace future trends, you will be ruthlessly left behind.
Robert is an online content writer with a specific interest in business technology, and how trends such as VPS hosting and cloud computing will evolve in the coming years.