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Eye to the future

How TMT advances could change the way we live in 2010


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A typical day in 2010 is unlikely to feel much different to today. We will probably not be teleporting breakfast or using quantum computers, nor will we be watching holographic TV or traveling to work in flying cars. A lucky few may likely be flying to the edge of space but for the rest of us, change will probably be more subtle, with TMT advances pervading ever more deeply into our daily lives.

Indeed the greater ubiquity of TMT – from the car to the classroom, the living room to the office and essentially everywhere in between is likely to be the most noticeable change. According to  Eye to the future: How TMT advances could change the way we live in 2010 survey undertaken for this report, people around the world will probably use a growing number of TMT products and services more often, in more locations, and for more purposes.

Established technologies – from mobile phones to desktop computers – will still dominate, but they will increasingly be supplemented by a growing range of auxiliary devices. And with connectivity becoming ever more widespread, and content increasingly digital, it should be possible to access and consume services and content almost anywhere, whether we are stationary or mobile.

How TMT advances could change the way we work in 2010

The way we work is constantly being reshaped by TMT advances. Over the past decade the Internet, email, messaging, computerized process automation, mobile telephony and a whole host of other developments have collectively transformed our working lives. And that transformation is likely to continue through 2010 as businesses around the world seek to improve their competitiveness.

  • The work/life balance blurs yet further
    Employers may gain, for example, through equipping a growing proportion of staff with ubiquitous access to email. The number of employees with always-on, mobile email access is forecast to rise from the current millions to at least tens of millions (if not more) by 2010. Thus email, as well as other remotely accessible office resources such as intranets, will extend outside the office building, and outside office hours, into weekends, public holidays and increasingly into vacations.
  • The office team disaggregates
    Advances in broadband penetration, network security, IP communications and other tools will likely allow a greater proportion of workers to choose to work from home, for at least some of the working week. It is forecast that by 2008, 41 million corporate employees globally may spend at least one day a week teleworking, and 100 million will work from home at least one day a month. Better technology and connectivity may also allow employers to make more use of contract workers.
  • Search becomes key to productivity
    The quality of a company’s search engine will likely have an increasing bearing on employees’ efficiency, the value of intellectual property and overall company productivity. As the proportion of information created in digital format grows, encouraged by the steadily falling price in digital storage, the ability to search rapidly and efficiently across a range of file types is likely to become a fundamental challenge. Today the majority of text-based information is already created in a digital format. By 2010, audio and video will likely increasingly be created and stored entirely digitally, with perhaps the biggest impact coming from growing recording of VoIP phone calls.
  • The digitization of vulnerability expands
    As working life increasingly depends on technology, there are likely to be concomitant increases in the risk associated with viruses, worms and other malicious code. By 2010, when malicious code has the potential to take down not only IT networks, but also telephone exchanges, mobile devices, point-of-sale systems and even whole production lines, the impact and cost may be considerably higher.
  • The PC maintains its sovereignty within the workplace
    In spite of the emergence of new devices and systems, the PC is likely to remain the dominant device in the office. By 2010, the PC is forecast to be more ubiquitous than today: the relatively mature markets of the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific are expected to add 150 million new PCs, while developing economies are expected to add 566 million new computers. Overall, there may be some 1.3 billion PCs worldwide.
  • Technology proficiency becomes a career differentiator
    Ability to use technology will likely have become an increasingly common requirement, even among blue-collar workers. All workers, based in the office, factory or in the field, are likely to use an increasing array of applications, from online collaboration suites to video conferencing. Production line workers may be expected to use computers to control processes and ensure efficiency. For service industry workers, the ability to use a PC will likely have become a basic entry requirement.
  • Administration gets automated
    Automation will likely play a larger role in our working lives than at present. This may reduce some of the tedium in the working day, raise productivity and even allow customer service to be improved.

Continue reading about suggestions to companies in the sector on how best to exploit the opportunities and avoid the pitfalls of the next five years in full-text report attached below

About the survey

Eye to the future cover

The Eye to the future: How TMT advances could change the way we live in 2010 was conducted by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTT) TMT group, made up of the TMT practices of DTT’s member firms, has based this report on comprehensive research around the world. DTT TMT does not claim to be able to see the future, but trusts that this report provides a useful guide to how the world might look, given TMT’s potential evolution, in 2010.

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