Ah, technology. It is a constant source of fun for me. But a lot of this stuff has real uses; here’s a look at some tech trends that are going to change the way lots of businesses operate.
Conference calls have been around forever, but businesses are definitely starting to use them more as a cost saving measure. This makes a lot of sense as it limits travel and lets me do my meetings from wherever I like. I do my teleconferencing with Powwownow which I can use on the go with their iPhone App. Look for more businesses to give up on travelling for meetings and start using teleconferencing instead.
Cloud computing is another technology that is on the ups with businesses. Once again it seems like nothing new to me, but big companies adopting it is an interesting development. Cloud computing lets users access applications and databases from anywhere, provided they have an internet connection – this is great for efficiency and lowers costs. Major corporations are starting to get into the act, a process which should only speed up as big players like Microsoft start releasing their own cloud computing systems.
It will be interesting to see how businesses respond to this in terms of work habits. Cloud computing allows people to work efficiently from home. So is this the end of the traditional office? Probably not, but it will be interesting to see how this affects people’s work patterns.
I read recently that Maxim Integrated Products, a computer chip maker, replaced phone lines with Skype accounts and headsets for every employee; they reported a yearly savings of over $90,000! I expect that lots of companies will follow suit and begin replacing regular phones with Skype, or Skype-esque VoIP systems. They’ll do so without losing any functionality as new systems will be able to incorporate existing features like conference calling, call waiting and voice messages. Change might be a bit slow as many companies are tied to their phones, but with big savings to be had I’m sure it will happen eventually.
So what do you think? What’s the next best thing in business technology?