The next computer you buy could look like a watch, or a book, or a television, and is as likely to sit on your wrist or in your pocket, as it is to sit on your desk. It will be constantly connected to the Internet, and it will provide you with access to work, fitness, personal, entertainment and social activities. Here we look at the technological innovations and trends that will ultimately relegate the traditional desktop computer, and even its replacement, the laptop, to the history books.
One device to rule them all
In the same way that mobile phones have replaced cameras, mp3 players and digital diaries, a new range of devices is emerging that brings together tablet, laptop and desk phone functions in a single, multipurpose unit. Portable, and flexible, these emerging devices will enable the consolidation of several business functions into a single form, making it possible to change the way we work. However according to Alex Ayres, mobility and future ways of working specialist with Telstra, the hybrid laptop is becoming increasingly popular due to its ability to fulfil multiple roles such as tablet, laptop and even soft phone whilst representing a single asset to manage.
Although it was first predicted in 1975, by US publication Business Week, we might finally be getting to the point where a paperless office becomes reality. Data-capture applications are becoming increasingly sophisticated, making it possible for tablets to transform processes, from geological surveys to signature capture. By automatically integrating with backend databases, data-capture software and forms will increasingly replace paper forms, and necessitate tablet-style interfaces.
Merging the corporate and social lives
The first generation of tablet computers was provided to mobile workers to increase their connectivity with the office. The next generation is increasing employees’ ability to link back to the office and also to the wider world. According to Frost and Sullivan mobile computing has led to increasing crossover between work and home effectively removing the division between the social and corporate environments.
Mobile computing is a must-have when it comes to attracting and retaining millennial employees, who will make up more than 50 per cent of the workforce by 2020 and 75 per cent of it by 2025, according to Jeanne Meister future working specialist and contributor, Forbes Magazine. Attracting and retaining the best talent of this generation will require more flexible and environmentally sustainable work practices, such as staggered start times and remote working.
Mobile computing, and the flexibility that goes along with it, simply provide a more effective way to get stuff done, regardless of sector or role. According to a recent study by Telsyte, Activity-Based Working is driving Business Outcomes, the adoption of mobility solutions strategically coupled with cloud computing, will make it possible for employees to be more responsive and engaged with their role.