10 commonplace things you never would have said 10 years ago

Big data CSC Blogs

In this digital revolution, the world is changing rapidly.

Without us even noticing it, our ways of working have changed, and new words have become part of our vocabulary. Some of my favorites are below. When reading, ask yourself: “Would I have said this 10 years ago?”

“Forgot my tablet.”

The first iPad was released in 2010, and the first Microsoft tablet in 2002. But believe it or not, the first tablets came out in the 1990s, although it took a while to really start seeing these in the workplace. Most experts see mobile devices expanding their reach in the office in years to come.

“Connecting my phone to a Wi-Fi hotspot.”

A Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) Industry Report outlines a steady increase in Wi-Fi hotspots, from 5.2m public hotspots in 2012 to 10.5m public hotspots in 2018. Although the Wi-Fi hotspot was first invented in 1993, the Wi-Fi age is now, especially as the workforce becomes even more mobile.


Has your mobile got 5G? Probably not yet, but it’s coming. 5G promises high network speeds with extremely low latency. Experts think it will have a big effect on driving Internet of Things and emerging technologies like the connected, driverless car. Testing is currently happening in Melbourne, and the Brisbane Commonwealth games plan to use 5G in 2018.

“That document was signed off in less than a week.”

The development of agile Lean Start-Up methodology means that business is becoming light on documentation and products are going to market quicker and quicker. Will we ever write a 10,000-page user manual again? Maybe to get humans to Mars.

Unicorn company

Our favourite mystical creature has been turned into the techie term for companies that succeed against the odds. The list of unicorn companies currently includes 178 privately held businesses valued at $1 billion and above. You know the names: Uber, Airbnb, SnapchatDropbox, SpotifyGlassdoor, etc. Analysts and investors spend a lot of time trying to spy the next unicorn that will change the game and make someone a lot of money.


This one has been around for a while, but in the last five years, people (including myself) have been using it more and more because it applies more and more to the level of change we’re seeing in so many industries. Exponential.

“Thank you for retweeting / sharing”

Heartfelt and true gratitude is something that should never go away. Alas, how and where we thank others has definitely changed. We now connect more via social media, Twitter, LinkedIn and other digital channels — and a thankyou might be a DM versus a handwritten note.

“Can I have a selfie with you?”

I’m shamed to say yes, I have done this! A few times, and it has been so successful that I even managed to get a shirt signed by the Lions rugby team when they visited Perth 3 years ago. A beaming smile is the way to go. Just follow me on Twitter and I’m sure you will see some of my selfies.

Smart dust

No, I don’t mean dust that will make you fly up a chimney like in Harry Potter’s world. This will be microcomputers, distributed everywhere, that collect data in huge quantities.

“Will we ever be off the grid?”

I’d like to think more individuals will gain energy independence someday. More companies and people yearn to care for the environment and worry about its future. Sustainable choices and “living off the grid,” something we definitely weren’t talking about 10 years ago, could make the world a better place.

There’s my list of 10. I am sure you have a few you could add, especially since we use different colloquialisms around the world. Every few years, we should revisit the list and share terms that are newly meaningful in our ever-changing world. When we look back someday, we will go “Wow, that moment was as big as the telephone, the Internet or electricity. It was an exponential change.”

Let’s hear it: What are the terms you use today that would have made no sense 10 years ago?

Sarah James was ANZ lead for Authentic Leadership in DXC and an advocate for DXC’s Women in Leadership and STEM. Prior to leaving DXC in September 2017, Sarah founded the Empowering Future Leaders blog and was its primary author. With over 15 years of experience in the world of IT, Sarah’s specialty is spatial information and includes integration on projects as diverse as mapping volcanoes in Hawaii to delivering high-tech police vehicles.


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  1. Barry Morterud says:

    “Are you on the Cloud”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Microsoft is a more creative company than Apple.

    Liked by 1 person

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