According to a recent study conducted by o2 business and the Centre for Economic and Business Research, since the 70s technology has driven a massive productivity increase of 84% per hour. With further growth, 22% by 2020 expected, let us look at five milestones behind this massive driver of economic growth.
Mobile Phone 1985
The item that has brought about arguably the single biggest change in human behaviour in the last fifty years. In 1985 no longer did people need to wait by their desk, risk missing important calls or finish their business day the moment they walked out the office. Though this one did leave some people less than chuffed, being the first step towards ushering in the era of the 24 hour working day.
Windows 3.0 1990
The first version of the now wildly successful operating system that really took off. Almost all workers are made familiar with it at some point in their working life. Transforming how people carried out their jobs and the range of tasks they could complete, Windows is surely one of the biggest factors in increasing worker productivity over the last 25 years.
Dial up 1992
A testament to its influence that the last two entries on our list are essentially derivatives within, the internet, and everything it brought with it: from email to social networks all came from the ability of ordinary businesses to start connecting to the world wide web.
There were others before and plenty after but no other search engine, or perhaps even website has been more influential in how we use the internet. A verb unto itself ‘googling’ is how we find information thus changing the way businesses market and promote themselves. Essentially making unimaginable quantities of data available within seconds google was without a doubt a factor in driving up productivity as we approached the 21st century.
A recent survey found 34% of people admit to having lied about understanding ‘the cloud’ whilst on a date even though it transpires 96% of people come into contact with it on a daily basis. Difficult to understand yet omnipresent is probably as good a way as any to sum up the new age of cloud computing. And whilst its impact is not immediately apparent (due to a physical presence generally limited to a warehouse of gently humming harddrives in an Arizona desert) it’s impact has been immense. With businesses now having access to an almost unlimited storage facility for data, everything can be accessed in a fraction of the time for minimal cost and in allowing business to flourish has ensured the continued upswing in productivity through the medium of Information and Communications Technology.