The evolution of technology
2003 was a landmark period in the evolution of technology. For one thing, it was the year of Focus Group’s inception! Around this time, a certain Mr Zuckerberg was busy redefining the way we connected with the launch of Facebook and the initial public offering of Google took the world wide web by storm in 2004.
Life in the world of data connectivity also started to gather some real pace, with the launch of Hutchinson’s 3G service. This didn’t go quite so smoothly initially, as it was difficult for consumers in the UK to obtain handsets and developers encountered problems in the design of both the handsets and networks.
Meanwhile, the broader telecoms consumer market was busy discussing which Nokia to choose next from a whole deluge of handsets which hit the shelves in the early years of the new Millennium. Would it be the popular little 3310 with its notable upgrade of 459-character text messages, three times longer than its predecessors?
2003 was also the birth year of our newest recruits - a generation of digital natives. But more about that later.
What are the latest trends in technology?
Growing trends in connectivity
In the business world, you were considered ahead of the curve if you were an early adopter of the Blackberry Pearl. First released in 2006, it featured a full QWERTY keyboard (touchscreens weren’t a thing yet!), email functionality and a camera. It was, in fact, the first Blackberry model to feature a camera. We’ve certainly come a long way since. Fast forward 18 years and, whilst we don’t yet have the Delorean time machine promised by Doc Brown, we do have flying cars and space tourism (albeit currently reserved for the super-wealthy).
Technology continues to evolve at an unprecedented rate. Facebook is now one of the most influential social networking platforms in the world, with more than 2.85 billion people worldwide using it to stay in touch with friends and family. Its powerful insight into the way we consume media and purchase products, services and experiences has transformed digital advertising. Meanwhile, Google, as a search engine, online advertising machine and cloud computing software, is now an integral part of the way we live and work, with 5.4 billion searches conducted per day.
Focus Group has also grown at an impressive pace. Our ongoing success is firmly embedded in the ability of our teams being able to recognise and embrace emerging technologies. This expertise allows us to present our customers with innovative, cutting-edge products and services to future-proof their businesses and stay firmly ahead of competitors.
Further improvements to communications networks
The PSTN switch off is the next big topic. The withdrawal of traditional copper-based telephone services has long been a hot topic in the communications business but is now gathering real pace. As Openreach is busy preparing exchanges across the UK, we’re busy preparing our customers to wave farewell to existing ISDN lines and make way for full business fibre connections. These changes will soon make major improvements to communications networks, enabling consistent, faster and more reliable connectivity, VoIP telephony and ultra-fast internet connectivity.
Technologies such as augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will transform the ways in which people interact, share information and purchase products on the internet and beyond. Consumers are already turning to augmented reality to provide immersive, computer-generated experiences of holiday destinations, new homes or ahead of making the commitment to purchase other such high value products.
Businesses need scalable IT infrastructure to benefit from such technological advances and enhance user experience. Furthermore, intelligent software and data is vital to support such computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory points including visual, auditory, haptic and olfactory.
Unified communications and collaborative workplace trends
Mobile data technology, moving from 3G through 4G and now into 5G, allows us to use our phones to literally conduct our personal and professional lives, day to day. From banking, shopping and photography to work meetings, email and video calls. Are physical cameras, wallets and bank cards soon to become a thing of the past?
In the workplace specifically, the latest business buzzword is ‘hybrid working’. Businesses and employees have increasingly adopted remote working solutions to allow more freedom between office-based and home working and allow for better work-life balance. Vastly accelerated by the pandemic, 2020 saw a 535% rise in video conferencing - businesses previously slow on the uptake were now embracing unified communications and collaborative workplace trends.
Focus Group is perfectly placed to harness this exponential growth for the latest business technology. We support customers with IT infrastructure, high-speed data, cloud-based operating platforms and cyber protection services to ensure productivity, efficiency and security.
As we look ahead, we look forward to welcoming the digital natives we mentioned earlier on board - the next generation of leaders in digital transformation and technological innovation. The new recruits who will underpin our success over the next 18 years and beyond.
If your business is yet to embrace digital transformation and you need advice on improving your systems and IT infrastructure, request a call-back from the team today.
Brand & Campaign Manager
Sonia Older is the Campaign Manager at Focus Group and a highly experienced copywriter. She boasts over 20 years of experience in content marketing and PR across multiple industries, and is the key driver of content and PR for Focus Group across all UK offices. Away from work, Sonia usually swaps keyboard strokes for ski slopes in the Alps with her family.