In the year 2020 we can only look back with hindsight. Social media adoption has changed business communication but not in the ways that everyone expected. Large platforms like Twitter and Facebook continued to grow, but they also became even more entwined into our everyday lives than we ever could have imagined.
We still don’t have flying cars or jet packs, but we are more connected to each other, our suppliers, our cars, and every home appliance. Social media is no longer about outgoing messages, but it is more about developing tools, processes and procedures for dealing with all the inputs of data. You no longer have to decide what to make for dinner. Your refrigerator, pantry, local supermarket and favorite brands have already sent you five recipes to choose from, based on ingredients you have, available coupons and what you had for dinner last night, as well what each member of your family had for lunch.
And when it’s movie night, there’s no more fighting about what to see. Choose from a handful of options based on favorites from your friends and family. Mass audiences no longer exist for entertainment. Everything is streamed on demand, and conversation windows are ubiquitous. Even though you may not be watching programming at the same time as your friends, you see their comments about the action on the screen at the appropriate times. And you can add your own commentary to the ever-growing stream.
We do business differently now too. Companies know exactly who their customers are, and they meet their needs with educational content, products and services. Subscription models are the way companies buy consumable products. Smart inventory management lets your suppliers know when you are running low and requests more stock to meet recommended levels. Even infrastructure purchases, like fork trucks, warehouse systems and computer upgrades are managed in the background. We don’t view this as pure automation, but more as smart systems that provide ongoing data analysis and recommendations.
With all the basic needs of life and business handled in the background, what do people spend their time doing here in the future? Tackling the hard stuff, like making sure all the systems in place keep running. There have been so many technological advances since 2012, that companies still have to figure out how to implement many of them.
This post originally appeared on the Radian6 blog.