You’ve probably heard that the normal referees for the NFL are in a labor dispute, leading to replacements who may or may not be up to the task. But football isn’t alone: fall is the season for replacements. Kids begin a new school year with different teachers, TV channels offer the newest round of programming, even the weather changes.
Technology is a constantly changing environment too. Yesterday Mashable reported on a LinkedIn survey about what office staples might not be found at the office supply store of the same name in the next five years. We know a thing or to about upgrading technology, and we’ve listed what we consider some truly revolutionary innovations below.
But we also want to hear from you. Has your office made an upgrade for the better, or is there an oldie goldie you wouldn’t part with? You can let us know in the comments here, or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.
Sure, the typewriter’s been replaced for a good amount of time. But its impact on the business world was great, and its demise recent enough we felt it deserved a mention. Actually, it’s been around a lot longer than we realized: there’s evidence of one as far back as 1808. These machines brought the power of the printing press to the masses, and led to new forms of business and commercial communication.
While there are few places with typewriters today, typing is even more important than in the past. Computers and laptops have taken over nearly every company workspace. But here’s the next question: how long will it be before these necessities are replaced themselves by tablets, or something else not even in production yet?
Fact: you may still have an office phone, but your cell is where the most “business” actually happens. Of course, the original telephone was a major innovation in its own right. In 1870 the phone was still just a fanciful idea. By 1880, there were approximately 54,000 in the United States alone. In fact, the section from that year’s census report contains an introduction that could be straight from today’s news:
At the beginning of that year this business amounted to little or nothing; at the end of the year it represented one of the great interests of the country.
However, the traditional office phone is continually moving to the sidelines as people communicate via text, email, or video, all through mobile devices that serve as both phone and minicomputer. We still use office phones at Cii, especially for tech support. Will that last through the end of the decade, when mobile devices are expected to number more than 3 billion? Ask us again in 10 years.
This one’s tougher to describe but just as true. It used to be that only huge companies could have the latest technology: think banks of typewriters, a big telephone switchboard, satellites and even (gasp!) computing power. Anything the corporate body needed was added as a separate department, all under top management control. Smaller businesses just didn’t have the resources to deploy of new technology and compete.
Today is different. A new, fully featured computer can be had for around $500, and a printer/copier for $400. With mobile payment processing, a smart phone could even cover some business needs. Overhead is light, and important services like email, document storage, and virtual web space are affordable for even the smallest of companies.
You don’t have to go it alone with this technology, either. Outsourcing locally means that your business has a trusted partner helping you understand and adapt to the changing tech scene every step of the way.
The old top-down approach worked for its time, but we encourage you to think about the best way to get your business into shape. Your current IT model (or lack thereof) may need an upgrade. We can help.