The Evolution of Technology – How It’s Changed Our Lives

A man and a woman look at a tablet in an office.

Remember being 16 and absolutely obsessed over some rock band? Your bedroom was a veritable shrine to the band, with posters covering the walls and lyrics printed on sticky notes on your bathroom mirror. You went to sleep each night to their songs. And then you found out that a tour was bringing them to a town near you. It was a once-in-a-lifetime event — but your parents just shook their heads. It was too late/too far/too expensive, so all you could do was scowl and slam doors for a month and play the band’s CDs night after night after night.

The next time the band toured nearby you were in university and you didn’t need your parents’ permission or a lift. But all you could afford were seats in the bleachers or behind the stage. Sure, there were enormous HD screens so you could see the band up-close, but it was hardly the experience you dreamed of.

Fast-forward some years from now and imagine that instead of peering from the bleacher seats, you can order up a lifelike holographic performance and experience the concert as though you’re up on stage, with the band singing just to you.

Sound like science fiction?

Just a few years ago, it might have been pure fantasy, but as technology has evolved, many things that once seemed impossible are now a part of the modern conveniences people expect on a daily basis.

Moving toward a frictionless lifestyle

The best technological breakthroughs aim for convenience, and, certainly, technology has made people’s lives easier. Twenty-five years ago, depositing a paycheck or making a cash withdrawal meant taking a trip to your bank and interacting with a bank teller — a minor inconvenience, to be sure.

But banks today, realizing that they’re not just selling their customers a service — but an experience — have made online banking a convenient way for customers to make transactions from the comfort of their home or on-the-go with mobile banking. In fact, many customers consider online banking to be among the most useful lifestyle innovations. Taking it a step further, 69 nine percent of European millennials manage their finances via mobile device.

From a customer experience standpoint, technologies such as online banking, online travel booking, and flight check-ins reflect an appetite for smoother, instant processes. People enjoy making transactions instantly, and providing a stellar customer experience means removing as many inconveniences along the customer journey as possible.

Disrupting tech — building on the small disruptions

Technology has had many positive impacts on professional life as well, adding convenience and driving productivity in an increasingly digital workplace. Innovations in file sharing and collaborative technologies are enabling workers to streamline workflow and accelerate processes.

Many great experiences begin behind the scenes with documents, the mainstay of any business. We believe that every interaction with a document is an opportunity to deliver a better experience. Tools like Adobe Document Cloud, encompassing Adobe Sign, Adobe Scan, and Acrobat, save brands time and money, and in digital workflows help improve the customer experience to both internal and external audiences. These allow them to quickly and easily create secure PDFs, transform manual signatures into automated experiences, and digitize printed documents to create searchable, shareable, and reusable files. In this way, documents can become an important part of improving customer experience.

Also streamlining collaboration and productivity in the workplace are project management and team communication tools like email, instant messaging, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and other messaging technologies — all highly prized among the well_–_connected.

As companies transition to a millennial workforce, who have an entirely different approach to getting work done than their baby boomer parents did, automation, collaboration, and knowledge sharing will become ever more central to the digital workplace. Blink twice and we’ll see the “digital native” generation, a cohort weaned with smartphones in hand, demanding ever more powerful, persistent, and personalized experiences.

Next steps in the future of work

Technology has come a long way, making people’s personal and working lives easier and providing unprecedented convenience. As advancements in technology continue to develop, customer expectations will continue to evolve as well.

Maybe hologramming your favorite band into your living room is still a thing of the future, but focusing on the customer experience in the days ahead will mean looking to the development of technologies such as artificial intelligence, driverless cars, and home robots — all futuristic concepts that people look forward to becoming a reality.

What future innovations will shape our future? See Adobe’s IDG report for input from hundreds of IT leaders across Europe.