Predicting the internet’s future

"There was a time when people felt the internet was another world, but now people realise it's a tool we use in this world," said Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web.

That realisation is about to get larger.

The technology that laid the foundations for the creation of the internet was invented half a century ago. The story goes, that on that momentous day in October 1969, a Professor Leonard Kleinrock was working with some grad students at UCLA, to send information between two computers. The first message the team meant to transmit was the phrase ‘login’, but the network crashed after the first two letters.

We now know the first transmission was something of an epiphany.

Lo and behold
In 2019, half the world’s population has the power of search at its fingertips. Many academics, scientists and technologists, including Professor Kleinrock himself, say the internet is merely a teenager, lacking full maturity.

We asked some of our team around the globe what the internet means to them and their opinions on what is still to be realised.

Here is what our experts think.

Ru Bandarage, Business Analyst: In 2069 the internet and technology will be everything. I think most of our employment will come via a service sharing platform (a service on demand, like Uber). We're also sure to see stricter laws around data sharing and social media in all countries.

Couldn’t live without: Netflix. When I learnt there's a feature to auto download the next episode to my device. Mind blown.

Sarah Atkinson, Training: It is exciting to think how the internet will play a role in education in the next 50 years, given the incredible way it has changed how I do my job in just the last ten. Today, I’m able to reach more of our clients and users and offer the right tools and training packages to help them do their jobs more efficiently. This is only going to get better and easier for everyone.

Couldn’t live without: Online shopping. It’s essential I can get gifts, food and replace lost school uniform with next day delivery!

Shaun Nicholson, Client Delivery: Internet access will become a basic human right, particularly if SpaceX fulfills its promise to globalise access. I'm excited about what this means for the African continent in particular, where I live. We're going to see exponential growth and contribution from Africans to the global economy. Pervasive internet access for all is going to be a key factor in triggering this. Not to mention Internet of Things and the conversion of the internet with human biology.

Couldn't live without: Spotify! Needs no explanation surely.

Dave Marlow, Design: Software like Adobe Creative Cloud, ClickUp, Google Suite and Confluence are just as prevalent in my tool kit as the ruling pen and crayons I first used at the start of my career. When I think about the future, I think about how dramatic the changes have been for designers. The 'creative idea' will always be the core important ingredient, but how we take that to market gets more and more varied every day.

Couldn’t live without: Soundcloud - I'm a massive fan of social media platforms and I love the way Soundcloud has linked me up to a community of like-minded music creators and obsessives that inspire and encourage me.

Rikesh Soni, Support: You can already see how technology plays a major role in the automation of straight forward transactions in day-to-day lives in places, like Japan. It will be interesting to see just how far this goes in the next 50 years. And all the untapped potential in the devices we use and those yet to be realised. We already rely on our phones for just about everything. I do anyway.

Couldn't live without: Mobile data. You need it when you’re out and about. Without it your life just becomes so much more difficult.

Alex Hore, Account Management: Before the internet your job meant being tied to a desk, particularly if you wanted people to get hold of you. In a client-facing role I can’t even imagine this. I couldn’t do my job. Looking ahead I’d love to see different communication platforms continue to reduce the need for travel - next generation video conferencing. We’re not too far off now.

Couldn’t live without: WhatsApp. I’m on lots of groups. It helps me keep up to date without all the other noise on social platforms.

Sara Row, Iress Community: I would love to see more understanding and tolerance, more communities formed around shared interests and ideals, and better ways to help those who are lonely or feel disconnected to the world, even if they cannot physically be there.

Couldn’t live without: Instagram - my family and friends are spread across the globe. It helps me feel connected and in touch when life is so busy.

Iris Yang, Technical Consultant: I’m early in my career, but already see the internet's power in business. It enables us to connect to a wider community and record valuable business knowledge and practices, be it Gmail, JIRA, AWS, etc. When we look to the future, we won't be able to deliver our ideas and top-notch technologies without it.

Couldn’t live without: Youtube. You will be amazed by how many solutions you can find for absolutely anything. It’s pretty entertaining as well.