The Decade's 3 Biggest Business Innovations

The Decade's 3 Biggest Business Innovations

Over the last ten years, the world has changed in ways that few people would have thought possible even 30 years ago, when video-based phone calls and touch-screen tablet computers were the stuff of sci-fi fantasy. Now, what were once thought of as "futuristic" services come basic with many standard phone plans; we've become so used to having vast informational resources at our fingertips that we sometimes forget how advanced a time we're living in. So what innovations have changed our working and business lives the most, and why have they affected us so much? Here are just three of the biggest innovations of the last decade, and why they will likely continue to change our lives in the future.

1. The Smart Phone

While the concept of the smart phone as a common, everyday appliance would have shocked most people even 20 years ago, the truth is that the smart phone has changed the way that both our personal and professional lives currently operate. Not only can workers stay in touch with their company around the clock if need be, they can also have a casual conversation with company teammates from across the globe. Need to take a video conference call with your district branch in Texas while you're in a business meeting in Shanghai? In our privileged age, that is not a problem.

While the Apple iPhone led first major breakthroughs in smart phone technology, the field is now fiercely competitive as companies such as Android and Google compete for customers around the world. With video streaming services, social media accounts, and web apps taking up the bulk of smartphone use, it's no stretch of the imagination to say that the once far-fetched notion of a computer that would fit in one's pocket has no become a very real possibility.

2. Streaming Video

While streaming video got its first mainstream push with Youtube, the concept of streaming high-definition video has changed the world in a variety of ways. For those using streaming services at home, Netflix and Hulu have revolutionized the film rental and television subscription markets, and most major businesses have followed suit by using Internet video streaming as a marketing tool.

High-definition video streaming has also changed the nature of employment, as job seekers can now do everything from attending virtual computer science tutorials online to digitally auditing courses on management from top schools like MIT. The world of gaming was also revolutionized by high-def streaming video, as gamers were suddenly faced with the ability to access the hottest games on the market such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and Creative Destruction via online downloads, while sites like Twitch enabled players to earn a living through competitive live-stream gaming competitions or even commentary.

3. The Gig Economy

Anyone who has ever used apps such as Airbnb and Uber in recent years is probably well-acquainted with the so-called "gig economy," in which companies employ a wide swathe of contract workers from around the globe to provide customer service to huge numbers of clients. So why has the gig economy changed business so much in so little time?

The credit here must go to smart phones once again, as smart phone technology enabled the gig economy to prosper; technology has brought on the ability of companies to connect with remote employees in such a way that those employees can operate freely and independently, determining their hours and work schedule.

For these reasons, the last decade has been a boom time for new business paradigms, as changes to the ways in which individuals run both their lives and their companies keep pace with the latest technological innovations available. What the future holds for the world of business is anyone's guess, but if what we've already seen come to pass in a few short decades is any indication, the future will likely be a place beyond our wildest imaginings.