The Office Of The Future


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A presentation on trends in small business technology given to the 2008 NSW Small Business Month.

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  • Tom Watson’s famous quote. But it’s debatable whether he actually said it. Regardless, given the size of computers in 1948 it was difficult to see anything but the biggest corporations using them.
  • This was a clear misquote of what Bill Gates actually said and he denies this strenuously. He does admit that he expected 640kb to be enough for ten or so years when people started complaining after five.
  • Many accurate predictions including change would take longer than expected and networked computers would be on people’s desks by 1995.
  • The specification for the original Osborne luggable was that it had to fit under an airline seat. It did, sort of. It cost $1800 in 1981, weighed 12kg , 64Kb memory, no battery and it had to be plugged in.
  • Motorola DynaTAC 8000 was the first mobile phone. Developed in 1973, the service didn’t actually roll out for nearly ten years.
  • The Office Of The Future

    1. 1. The office of the future
    2. 2. The danger of predictions <ul><li>Tom Watson, 1874-1956. </li></ul><ul><li>IBM’s chairman is reported to have said in 1948 that he thought there was a market for perhaps five computers. </li></ul><ul><li>Computers were big machines in 1948. </li></ul><ul><li>He probably didn’t say it. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Bill Gates’ prediction <ul><li>640Kb of computer memory is all anyone would need. Mid 1981 </li></ul><ul><li>A misquote, but at the time it made sense. </li></ul><ul><li>Gates expected 640kb to be good enough for the next ten years. </li></ul><ul><li>It lasted five. </li></ul>
    4. 4. The paperless office <ul><li>Business Week. June 30, 1975 </li></ul><ul><li>  &quot;There is absolutely no question that there will be a revolution in the office over the next 20 years. What we are doing will change the office like the jet plane revolutionized travel and the way that TV has altered family life.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>The paperless office prediction was wrong for the right reasons. No-one foresaw cheap printers. </li></ul>
    5. 5. The office of the past <ul><li>Was largely unchanged from the end of World War I to the 1960s. </li></ul><ul><li>Then the transistor was invented. </li></ul><ul><li>We saw calculators, smarter typewriters and eventually computers creeping into small business. </li></ul><ul><li>As telecoms dropped in price, we saw the fax take off, then the mobile phone, the desktop personal computer and the Internet. </li></ul>
    6. 6. Current setup <ul><li>Current office is still fairly static </li></ul><ul><li>Shared files, contacts, Internet connections </li></ul><ul><li>Still discrete devices: Phone, desktop computer, portable computer. </li></ul><ul><li>Decline of the desktop </li></ul><ul><li>Convergence </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile phone and laptop becoming the office tool of choice </li></ul>
    7. 7. The future office <ul><li>Communications </li></ul><ul><li>The office </li></ul><ul><li>People </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul>
    8. 8. Communications <ul><li>Is the big revolution </li></ul><ul><li>Cheaper and faster </li></ul><ul><li>The Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile devices </li></ul><ul><li>Convergence </li></ul><ul><li>Always on, ubiquitous Internet </li></ul>
    9. 9. Office <ul><li>Desktops computer falling away </li></ul><ul><li>Increased processing power </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile devices </li></ul><ul><li>Ubiquitious computing </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Web 3.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Cloud computing </li></ul><ul><li>SAAS </li></ul>
    10. 10. People <ul><li>Digital nomads </li></ul><ul><li>Work anywhere, any time </li></ul><ul><li>Rely on wireless Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Always connected </li></ul><ul><li>Digital natives </li></ul><ul><li>Born after 1990 </li></ul><ul><li>Computers part of lives </li></ul><ul><li>Different learning techniques </li></ul>
    11. 11. Challenges <ul><li>Power saving </li></ul><ul><li>More energy efficient </li></ul><ul><li>New technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental </li></ul><ul><li>More reuse </li></ul><ul><li>Longer lifespans </li></ul><ul><li>Friendlier material </li></ul><ul><li>Workforce </li></ul><ul><li>Digital natives </li></ul><ul><li>Aging workforce </li></ul><ul><li>Outsourcing </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Targets have changed </li></ul>
    12. 12. The Future <ul><li>The near term </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Laptops take over from desktop </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Batten down the hatches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Laptop computers become more common </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The medium term </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Faster computers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobility is the norm, not the exception </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The long term </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Railways started appearing in the late 18 th century, it took nearly 100 years for them to mature. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It took 60 years for electricity to roll out across developed nations. </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. The message <ul><li>Technology is giving big business tools to small business. </li></ul><ul><li>get the fastest connection </li></ul><ul><li>Invest </li></ul><ul><li>Learn </li></ul><ul><li>Be flexible </li></ul><ul><li>More than ever before, small business has the opportunity to take over from big business. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Resources <ul><li>The office of the Future, business week 1975. </li></ul><ul><li>Chris Skinkle: The future of marketing </li></ul><ul><li>http:// =bECXjebQ3q8 </li></ul><ul><li>TED: Ideas worth spreading </li></ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>The huge laptop </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>