A RETROSPECTIVE LOOK AT TECH SINCE THE TURN OF THE CENTURY

Published: 31 March 2022

2022 is the year that Lifeline IT celebrates its 20th anniversary and, during this time, the company has seen key changes in the IT and tech landscape.

We talk to founders Daniel and Adam about how IT has developed since they started the business and how things are set to progress in the future.

Email

The way in which email has evolved over the past 20 years is perhaps one of the most significant developments, explains Daniel: “When we first started Lifeline IT, we had clients with one desk with a modem and they would check the email once a week, as email was something that was very much in its infancy. That just seems incredible now – with mobile technology and remote access we are never away from our emails for more than a few seconds.”

Added Adam: “Without doubt the changes with email have been huge. It’s moved from purely a text-based communication to a multi-media form of communications – people now use email as a document management system rather than a way of communicating with others. In many ways email has now reached its limit and one of the downsides is having to restrict the size of documents that you’re allowed to attach and send, which is necessary for security. This has led to the growth in file sending services, such as WeTransfer and Dropbox to share large files, which people regularly use.

“Moving forward, we see a continuation in the trend of dedicated messaging applications, such as Slack and Microsoft Teams, overtaking email as the primary form of internal or inter-company communication. Perhaps we’ll even see a return to actual voice telephone calls, which people seem to have abandoned in recent years.”

Wearable Tech

“The last 20 years has seen sci-fi turn into reality with the incredible growth in ‘wearable tech’. If you’d have said back in 2002 that people would be answering calls, taking photos, tracking their health and fitness or paying for a coffee with their watch you’d have thought they were having a laugh! Yet today Apple watches and Garmins are everywhere,” said Daniel.

“But I do wonder if there will start to be a counterculture movement against all this wearable tech and people will start to re-appreciate the more mechanical aspect and design of items. We have already seen an increase in vinyl and record players, as well as a huge resurgence in the use of mechanical film cameras, and I do wonder if some of this is driven by a more environmentally conscious consumer wanting classic design items that will last, rather than disposable tech that lasts a year or two.” said Daniel.

Content on Demand

“One of the big trends, particularly over the past five to 10 years, is how people no longer ‘own’ music and other elements of culture, but they rent it. The Sony Walkman, CD players and other tech items are now obsolete, as we have an Apple or Spotify account. The same goes for TV and film – gone are CD players, videos and DVDs and people now have a number of subscriptions such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Sky,” said Daniel.

Tech on the Move

“The days of the office being the only place to work are well and truly over, as the growth in mobile technology and connectivity means it really is possible to work anywhere.

“We will also soon be at the point where there isn’t really a need for people to have a fixed internet connection at home, as mobile phones are reaching internet speeds of 300 Mbps, which we never could have imagined 10 years ago,” said Adam.

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Adam Woolf, Director, Lifeline IT
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