The State of Technology from Where I’m Sitting

Many of the discussions we have in today’s society are some iteration of “better, faster, stronger.”  Business leaders ask, how can I make my organization more efficient, my workforce more productive, or my dollars more elastic?  We look to technology to make these things possible. Throughout 2013, many leading analysts shared their perspectives on different influences on today’s organizations. From where I’m sitting, I see several trends set to influence businesses into 2014 and beyond.

1. Mobility is ubiquitous.

The idea of “mobility” is becoming antiquated. The term is no longer necessary. Think about it — if it’s cellular or WiFi, the mobile connections that we rely on are so embedded into the fabric of our lives that we barely notice. This begs the question, if everything is mobile — is my workforce?

2. Can you support apps? 

Now that our employees have become used to “mobility everywhere,” businesses should ask if they are providing the tools or apps that let them do their job better. Organizations should inspect their processes and workforce needs to determine what helps drive the business and determine how to push it beyond the traditional office. The technology is there, but is the organization really ready to implement the change — and is the back-end ready to support it?

3. Secure everything

It may not be the most glamorous of suggestions, but security is vital to all projects.  And don’t think in the traditional sense of devices. Think beyond that. It’s the data, at rest, in transit, resting in the cloud, on apps, and in content.  Everything is vulnerable so make sure your business selects a security blanket without any holes.

4. Social is in its infancy.  

What do you do with your social tools? Think about how social can really be utilized in an enterprise setting. Instant connectivity across all end points and all locations will allow integration into the workflow. This provides the option for constant peer evaluation in a less guarded, collaborative environment where feedback is near instantaneous. That’s what’s about to be unleashed.

5. Knowledge is in the data.

The term big data falls in the “ubiquitous” category I mentioned earlier, it’s no longer big, it’s just data and it’s everywhere.  The challenge is for us to capture and then translate it into something useful. We need to view data from two perspectives: First, how can we use data to improve our decision making with advanced analytics, and are you or your organization capable of knowing how to analyze it? Two, we need to use data to help us act as a change agent for the organization, it can help us uncover the need for a new product line, or serve as a new thread for innovation. The future of work and business rests in how to extrapolate data and turn that information into the currency of the future.

Where does your organization stand on realizing the opportunities these trends present? I encourage you to challenge yourself to discover a new way to use a few of advances in 2014. Consider it a New Year’s resolution.


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