Okay, mobile working has undergone a huge amount of change in just the last six months alone, so it is a little bit risky to start making predictions about 2014. Anything could happen, and with the upcoming growth of wearable technology, that could be a real big ‘anything’. But looking at the tech we have available now in mobile working, it is safe to say that there are some significant developments on the horizon.
The first big issue is tablets. Many people have spent a long time arguing the points between tablets and laptops, with laptops usually winning out on power and speed. However, the game is already starting to change. Recently, we saw that mobile working took a new turn with processing, even, being handled on the server side. This is perhaps no more apparent than with Siri, Apple’s voice-activated assistant. With Siri able to process a lot of information and at speed, and then bring it all back to the user, how long will it be before we see a situation where you don’t need a lot of power on your end?
We are not saying this will happen next week, but if you can have an automated assistant searching the Web for you, sending emails and so on, we predict a huge shift sooner rather than later towards light powered tablets on the user end, and huge servers that do a lot of the work on the other end. Watch this space.
We feel that mobile working will also step things up in the meeting arena, with more and more small teams meeting up online for virtual meetings, rather than having to wait for a longer meeting to be scheduled in offices and so on. We know this is happening already to some extent, but with faster connection speeds and better mobile working tech, we can see things really taking off in this regard.
It is now more obvious than ever that BYOD will really dominate the business landscape. Whether you work in an office or on the road, there is a good chance that you will be able to use your own device for work, or at least want to. This flexibility is showing managers that there is plenty of scope for letting people do their own thing with their devices, as part of making them more productive and more positive about the work that they do.
And then there is wearable tech. If this happens as we are expecting it to, expect email to explode in different and faster ways. There is still a long way to go before it makes a mark on mobile working, but wearable tech should have a huge impact as the year plays out.
So there are some of the things we expect to happen in 2014, or at least start to happen. Mobile working is now gathering pace, so expect to see changes all over, and a new way of doing things becoming the ‘norm’.