We can safely say that technology is not stuck in the past, nor is it resistant to change. In fact, the rate at which technology is changing makes it difficult for consumers to keep up with the latest trends and gadgets. This also holds true for employers. It can be even more difficult for employers to keep up with new technologies, not only from a time and budget perspective, but also from a cultural standpoint – changing internal technology shifts culture.
So, what are we expected to see shift in the next 2-5 years? There are many technologies that you are using in your business that will become obsolete in that time frame. Below are just a few that are quickly disappearing from the workplace and will be obsolete sooner than you think.
Office Phones and Voicemail
At one time, internal phone systems for companies were a big investment, from servers, to software to actual desk phones. Setting up the phone system typically required outside resources to implement and additional resources to train. Today, a company phone system can cost as little as $10 a month per mailbox and provide in-house capabilities all through the Cloud. Callers choose from an automated dial-by-name directory to connect. Calls are transferred to smartphones or purchased units. Voicemails are stored online. All messages are forwarded via text and email.
Furthermore, while some companies are transferring voicemail to email, several companies are opting to eliminate voicemail altogether and rely on emails, texts and social media. Checking voicemail was proving to be inefficient, with all the announcements, codes and prompts, taking 10 to 15 minutes out of a day, not including the time required to call each person back. With the push to emails or texts, employees are more responsive to clients and can reply during or in between meetings. In 2014, Coca Cola eliminated voicemail for all but six percent of employees. In 2015 JP Morgan followed, eliminating company voicemail for two thirds of its employees and saving the company $80 million dollars.
As mobile phone and online technology evolves and provides employees with faster and more efficient ways to work, phone systems and voicemail are becoming antiquated in the office setting.
On-Premise Software Systems
In the past, companies purchased stand-alone software for its internal administrative processes – (accounting, HR, supply chain, etc.) and installed the software onto their computers – a cumbersome process, but the company then owned the software. The shift from purchasing and downloading to licensing and logging in online from anywhere is now the common practice. The big software developers are re-directing most of their development dollars to cloud-based applications. Cloud applications are more easily supported, scalable, accessible, upgradable and integrated with other cloud-based systems. If you are planning to change your accounting system this year, and you are looking at cloud-based solutions, you are heading in the right direction.
Credit Card Machines
While the consumers may be slow to adopt the new mobile read credit card scanners, they are here to stay. Using mobile payments will ultimately be more convenient, more secure and more profitable for the credit card industry. If your business accepts credit cards for payment, you’ll find yourself accepting far less cards and far more mobile payments over the next 2-5 years. The device that only accepts credit cards will be a thing of the past.