The way we operate a business has evolved dramatically over the last 35 years. Thanks in part to the personal computer, the invention of the internet, and smartphone technology, we can have a constant connection to our business. However, it was not long ago that most of these advances were made. Here are some of the biggest technological innovations that have changed the way we do business.
Birth of the World Wide Web
Perhaps one of the most impactful technology advances in recent history, the birth of the World Wide Web has forever changed the technology landscape. From websites to email, we cannot do business without it. To help physicists share data with other physicists around the world, Tim Berners-Lee developed a hypertext database now known as the internet, and in 1991 he launched the first known web page which helped users navigate the web.
User-friendly Operating Systems
When Speros was founded, personal computers were not the norm in any office. Personal computers in the ’80s were not only very expensive (the equivalent of almost $7,000 today), they were not very user-friendly either. You had to type in commands to access the files you needed. In 1984, Apple released the Macintosh computer featuring Mac OS, the first operating system with a graphical user interface. One year later, Microsoft released Windows 1.0, also featuring a graphical user interface.
Phone Lines Go Online
While the US Department of Defense had been using networks to communicate since the 1960s, it was not until 1995 when the first internet phone software was released to consumers. In order to make an internet call, both parties needed to use the same software and would have to listen to advertisements before and after the call. Since then, VoIP has improved dramatically, allowing calls from IP Phones to just about any other device.
Google Becomes Synonymous with Search
It is hard to think of a time before Google, especially since it is the go-to for any internet search nowadays. However, Google search was not introduced until 1998. Search engines that existed before, like Yahoo, Excite, and AltaVista, acted as a directory for the web. They organized websites and content into searchable categories. Google had a different vision in mind and sought to deliver relevant websites to users based on the way they search.
Data Moves to the Cloud
The idea behind network users accessing a shared pool of resources has been around since the 1960s. Grid computing allowed multiple users on a network to connect to one mainframe computer. In 1999, the way we thought about delivering software was changed with the release of Salesforce.com, the first application distributed over the internet. In 2006 cloud computing went mainstream with the release of Amazon Web Services, and paved the way for companies to house their IT infrastructure in the cloud.
Businesses Get Social
You hear every day about how your business needs a presence on social media, but when did being on Facebook become a requirement? Created in 1997 and credited with being the first social networking site, Six Degrees allowed users to create profiles and add other users to their network. A number of social media sites followed, including MySpace and LinkedIn. Facebook launched in 2004 and released brand pages in 2007. Today, Facebook boasts over 2.3 billion active users.
What is in store for the future of business technology remains to be seen, but one thing we know for sure is that technology is constantly changing and evolving.