Technology is such a prominent part of our everyday lives that it’s easy to forget how much it can change the way we conduct business and run organizations. Some industries are more prone to operational shifts with new technology than others. While your local coffee roaster isn’t likely to need anything newer than a nice digital temperature gauge, other industries utterly transform on a regular basis as tech evolves.
Here are a few industries that are most prone to changing with new technology and where they’re headed in the near future.
Once the center of news and opinion, newspapers and magazines are on a precipitous decline as the preferred way to get information. As people shift their attentions to purely digital sources like websites, social media platforms, and mobile applications, the way they read the news has to come with them.
Many publications have gone digital-only in recent years, with more slated to give up paper in the next few years. At the same time, digital-native upstarts have claimed large sections of the fast-moving news market.
Vacations and business trips can be pricey endeavors. For a long time, people have relied on travel agents to get them the best deals and itineraries possible, but that process has got more automated with each passing year. Many hotels and practically all airlines host their own online booking platforms, but the real shift in the travel industry has been in price comparison services.
Now travelers can book transit and accommodations in one place, comparing fees from dozens of options. What’s more, people can connect their mobile devices to automatic alerts on the lowest possible prices.
From the earliest days of film until the 1980s, you missed a movie if you didn’t see it in the theaters. Then came the VHS and Betamax players, followed by DVD and Blu-Ray players, and now 100 percent digital content. Companies like Google, Netflix, and Amazon offer fast-loading, high-definition videos on their websites that are often cheaper than video rentals were 15 years ago.
As the technology evolves, how people receive their movies, music, and TV shows will continue to be better integrated with the rest of their online content. This is especially true as set-top streaming boxes become more prevalent and smart TVs break the barrier between television set and computer.
Hospitals and clinics have a great incentive to be cutting-edge. The better, faster, and more precise the care they offer, the more effective and efficient they’ll be in treating their patients. The technological developments that have impacted health care are too numerous to list. Plastics alone have been revolutionary. But the big idea in health care today isn’t in materials, it’s in information management.
Hospitals and clinics are using an increasing variety of informatic tools and technologies to maintain patient records, receive immediate feedback about a patient’s condition, and even help people track their health outside of the facility. Doctors and nurses with tablets in-hand are a long way from the humble days of paper files and messy handwriting.
Whether it’s in the public sphere, private institutions, or the halfway point in charter schools, the way we educate our young people has relied on technological advancement ever since the invention of writing. Calculators changed the way kids do math while computers became a regular part of many classrooms by the late 1990s.
Today, the technology-aided possibilities in education are numerous. Students use games and other interactive digital content to supplement their class work, computer slideshow presentations have replaced cardboard dioramas, and there are even more exciting things on the horizon. One promising concept is “classroom flipping,” the process of turning class time into a work period while new content is delivered via video and other digital content outside the class, allowing students to work at their own pace.
The march of progress goes ever on, taking with it the way we work, learn, and play. Technology has a massive impact on information transmission and the efficiency of service. As a result, the most successful businesses and workers have always been those who stay up-to-date on technological developments.