Driverless cars have been dominating the tech news headlines in recent months and years. The autonomous vehicles that Google helped pioneer are now making their way to the streets for real (albeit in a limited, trial format). We've still got plenty of technological and regulatory hurdles to jump over before you'll be able to hand control of your car over to a software program, but it's coming faster than you might think — 2020 is the watershed year identified by several car makers.
To assess the impact of this self-driving car revolution we have to look at other advancements in tech too: lighter laptops, better batteries, more capable smartphones, cloud-based software and improving data speeds (3G, followed by 4G, with 5G on the horizon). Being able to work on the move is now taken for granted and being spared the effort of having to do any driving is going to change that dynamic even further.
We've got a few predictions about where that might take us. Firstly, people are going to be able to take jobs much further from their homes because they'll be able to start working as soon as they step out the door — this may help keep London property prices under control as well as helping employees stay productive during a lengthy commute.
The concept of 'working hours', if it still exists, will be consigned to the dustbin as a result. Many of us can already work from home, and soon you'll be able to add working from the road to that too, blurring the lines between work and leisure even further. Of course it remains to be seen whether this is a predominantly positive or negative development in our working culture — there is a theory that fewer office hours actually make us more productive — but staff don't necessarily have to all be working at the same time (Boomerang is one tool we currently use to help with this).
Keeping track of what data is where - is about to get more complicated too, and existing laws governing information that crosses borders will probably need to be looked at again. There's the issue of password control too, keeping tabs on access to files as they become freed from one particular computer or user (if you're after a solid password manager system then we recommend you check out LastPass).
In a few short years, the concept of having a desk that's exclusively yours will seem very old-fashioned indeed, and that extends to fixed phones as well — Twilio is one example of an intelligent phone routing system already enjoying success but if you need something more custom-made then we can certainly help with that.
Ultimately, business software that can't work well on a mobile or tablet is going to be a big problem — it's going to be left out from the mobile, moving offices we'll all be travelling in sometime in the next decade. Don't let your applications get left behind: get in touch to find out how we can help your business get future-proofed.