The tidal wave of post-Internet technology has transformed the nature of business communication. In less than a decade, the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), the fax and the courier were rendered nearly obsolete by the rise of the modern era’s integrated, online communication platforms. With communication serving as the central foundation of business, the race to improve communication technology continues to move forward. Here is a look at some of the hottest current trends.
From Phone to Internet – or at Least to Internet Phone
As discussed in the article “6 Business Communication Trends,” the once-dominant telephone no longer serves as the primary driver of business communication. Web-based communication is quickly pushing the telephone to second-tier status, and even when business people are on the phone, that phone call is often being transmitted via the Internet. Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology is becoming the company telephone platform of choice, as more and more enterprises realize VoIP’s benefits in cost, options, flexibility and scalability.
Unified communications, or UC, has been an elusive goal for business leaders since the 1980s, when tech professional first dabbled in UC by linking early email readers with the first voicemail machines. As the Internet gained mainstream traction in the 1990s, major corporations began investing real money in technologies that brought multiple communication platforms together. The concept hit its stride in 1999 when Blackberry released the RIM – a product that ushered in the modern smartphone era. Today, the drive toward ever-advanced UC continues, with current platforms incorporating video, chat, messaging, voice, location services and more.
The Internet of Things and Mobile Security
As mobile devices – especially smartphones – dominate modern communication, they also become warehouses for massive sets of personal, business and financial data. With the convenience of mobile comes the risk of data breach, theft or loss. The arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT) raises the stakes for mobile security. IoT “enlightens” previously “dumb” objects, such as washing machines or refrigerators. With the smartphone acting as the central hub for personal and business IoT, hackers, viruses and other online infiltrators have many more avenues of entry than they ever have before.
From unified communications to VoIP to the Internet of Things, communication technology continues to drive culture – and business. Integration and mobile access are driving the industry, and business leaders are more and more dependent on the hardware and systems that streamline communication. But hackers know it, and as corporations expand their investments in technology, they must put an equally growing emphasis on security.