Technological improvement is occurring at a faster rate than ever before. Look up any list of "top emerging tech" online and you'll find everything from machine learning, to blockchain, to virtual reality.
Much of what would have seemed like science fiction barely ten years ago will soon be not just feasible, but reality. Yet many of these ‘revolutionary' technologies, though exciting, are still in their infancy. So what does the near future of tech really look like?
A brave new world
Emerging technologies such as high storage batteries, nanotechnologies, internet speeds (5G) and alternative energy forms like solar are forecasting a change in the way we interact and operate. In the IT world, these changes are laying a platform for always-connected-always-available devices.
For example, we can be connected at speeds that enable us to remotely manage and advise without the need to be physically present nor have a keyboard in our hands. And thanks to solar technology, our devices can be ‘always on' too. We can power our devices from the sun – recharging batteries that are tinier and lighter than ever before.
There is a common fear that the always-connected future of tech means always needing to be available, and as a result, never being able to fully divorce yourself from work. But for me, the idea of an always available future means a platform to disconnect as well.
In the not-too-distant future, I see myself in a driverless car, providing voice instructions that are interpreted by AI to arrange a virtual meeting, whilst sitting next to my son guiding him on his schoolwork, and at the same time taking him to football practice. Duties we'd be expected to give full attention to one-after-the-other become a feat of multi-tasking.
Rather than adding more to our plates, new tech will help us make the most of our already existing time. And as a flow-on, giving employees better work-life balance has been shown to produce greater outcomes for businesses.
Adopting the right tech at the right time There is benefit to early adoption, but businesses must be able to determine when a new piece of tech is "not quite right yet". This is where research and good advice is required to ensure the technology is ready for the task required.
Evaluating new technology is time consuming and can be more expensive when first released but the benefits and strategic advantage can also be significant. Having a plan and knowing where the business is going is fundamental to adding new technology platforms. This research and knowledge bolsters planning processes, ensuring a platform of knowledge that can be used to jump on the bandwagon at the right time – enabling businesses to achieve outcomes as early as possible.
It's also important that employees are just as on board with new tech as leaders. As employees, keeping up to date allows us to be aware of the technologies that exist, how they can be used, and the functions that they can be used for.
At Objective, we encourage upskilling and learning via online courses such as LinkedIn Learning to enable employees to learn about technologies and software applicable to our business. We're also supporting employees in learning about technology outside of their fields of expertise to broaden their knowledge either during or after work hours.
Staying on top Regardless of whether businesses are ready or not, technological adoption is happening day in and day out. As new technologies in our lives get introduced, they slowly become mainstream, and often, adoption becomes a matter of keeping up with the industry. Knowing the full spectrum of new technology and how to use it is key to continued success. Photo by Samuele Errico Piccarini on Unsplash.