We hear a lot about all the technologies that will one day change our lives like drones, driverless cars and 3D printed body parts. That stuff is for real and, yes, it will have a huge impact on the world within the next decade.

But what about the short term? What about the next 2 to 5 years?

There are many technologies that you are using in your business which will become obsolete in that time frame. And the last thing you want to be doing is investing your money in the wrong place. Here are just three business techs that will be disappearing from earth sooner than you think. Not entirely…but they’ll be pretty much dead.

On-Premise Accounting Systems

Remember the good old days when you could purchase your QuickBooks, Peachtree or One-Write (what’s that?) accounting software, install it on your computer and be good to go?

Get ready to say goodbye.

The big software developers like Intuit and Sage are re-directing most of their development dollars to cloud-based applications. It makes sense – cloud applications are more easily supported, scalable, accessible, upgradable and integrated with other cloud-based systems. If you’re looking for a new accounting system this year, lean heavily to those either providing cloud-based solutions or that have a plan to.

Credit Card Machines

I know what you’re thinking. Sure, there are all these “mobile” payment options available out there, but I’m still using my credit card for 99% of the things I buy!

New mobile read credit card scanners are definitely there, but the transition is not happening as fast as expected. What’s the tipping point?

More adoption by Millennials?

Lower transactions fees to encourage retailers?

A digital driver’s license for your smartphone?

All or some of the above?

Whatever the answer, it’s ultimately going to happen.

Using mobile payments will ultimately be more convenient, more secure and more profitable for the credit card industry (and all those industries that indirectly benefit). If you’re a merchant, a restauranteur or do anything where you accept a credit card at your location, you’ll find yourself accepting far less cards and far more mobile payments over the next 2-5 years. The POS device that only accepts credit cards will be a thing of the past.

Office Phone Systems

Once upon a time you needed a phone system for your office and it was a big investment. There were servers and software and individual units. You had to hire a firm to implement it all and then train your people. For a small company it was a huge hit to cash flow, even when it was leased over a hundred years. Well, things have changed.

My phone system, provided by VirtualPBX, costs me $10 per month per mailbox. Like competitors such as Grasshopper and RingCentral, this company provides all the capabilities of an in-house system but through the cloud. Callers get an automated attendant and then choose from a dial-by-name directory. Calls are transferred to smartphones or purchased units. Voicemails are stored online. All messages are forwarded via text and email. It works! Look for those in-house phone systems to become a thing of the past, particularly for smaller companies with smaller budgets.