In the past 20 years, there has been a convergence happening in the technology sector. With so many keywords being used in conversations things tend to get a bit confusing. When devices are appearing on shelves in groves it is difficult at times to determine what fits your needs as a business (or personally). 20 years ago, if you needed access to files and email you would have had to go into the office. Have you ever needed to answer one question and had to drive across town to your office at 10pm?
Then came VPN’s and now you do not need to drive across town! Today we have direct access to our email and Documents through our phones. Microsoft has also added Word, Excel, and PowerPoint as apps to run on a phone as well. The convergence starts to take shape between various technologies such as email and VPN. We can start to realize that laptop and phones are converging into a simpler, easier to use device. Somewhere in the future this convergence can over run companies that have not prepared for the transition. Many of us have experienced an immediate conversion into a new technology after being complacent with older technology for too long. A prime example would be moving from Windows XP to Windows 10. If no training is given beforehand, Windows 10 can force companies to a grinding halt while employees desperately try to learn how to complete daily task in the new environment. A gradual convergence of technology is easier for companies to absorb and allows employees to learn as they go.
One day your data may reside on many servers in the cloud encrypted by your DNA or an embedded Chip. You simply go to a Kiosk to access it or you have a personal device that also gives you direct access. Convergence in technology creates necessity. Laptops used to provide about 30 minutes of work time before you needed to plug the AC Adapter and recharge it. Today a laptop battery can run 8 hours before you need to plug in and recharge. Internet speeds have also grown tremendously since the 1996…remember the AOL modem connecting sounds? With these various technologies slowly converging, you either move along with it at a safe pace or you get washed away by it. One of my favorite examples of convergence is what is happening with TCP/IP and power grids. In the past decade, we have developed the technology to transmit TCP/IP (This is the communications transport between devices and how the Internet works) over Power lines. There is some practical use for this, but the end goal will be amazing. There is a Texas company, TEXZON, that is currently able to send electricity over Zenneck Waves completely across the globe. It requires a device(s) to connect to the Zenneck Waves and a device (Tower) to transmit to the devices over Zenneck Waves. There is also a company in England who can transmit TCP/IP over Zenneck Waves up to 1GB. With this technology convergence, the end goal is complete wireless for devices. Imagine a day when you do not have to plug in your AC Adapter to charge your phone or laptop. Where we can access the Internet from even the remotest of locations. A day when we have electric cars that drive across the country without refueling. Imagine no more powerlines.
So great…we sorted that out. But how do you know what technology is going in what direction? As always, your IT Professional “may” be able to assist, but not always. There are jobs out there comprised of people who look at emerging technologies, determining what practical use they have in various environments. For small to medium businesses this can be difficult. One way to ensure you are preparing for the upcoming technology convergences is to hire an MSP who has that visionary person. I like to refer to that person as a Business Technologist. A Business Technologist can look at emerging technologies and determine what pain points it can solve in a business or business process(es).