Feel like technology is evolving in the office really, really fast? Well you are right. For instance, think about the length of your career. Now think about how the game-changing iPhone has only existed for seven years, iPad for just four. “The cloud” became a buzzword circa 2011 and you have at least two devices demanding your attention right now.
Things are moving and changing fast. Have a minute to spare? We’ve highlighted a few trends and stats on what’s happening right now with technology in the workplace.
Just like the internet has no end and wading through all its content is not possible, companies are struggling with how to harness technology to unpack and understand all the data that is now available to them. Technology begets data, and data needs new software technologies to figure it out–a vicious circle of tech and data with no real strong connection. The availability of data (sales data, consumer research, web analytics and more) is seemingly limitless and the potential to apply to business strategies is huge but sometimes the tools to crunch it in a meaningful way–like Excel for instance–still seem to lag. How to sort out what’s relevant and make sense of it all is an ongoing struggle for a lot of companies.
BYOD. (Bring Your Own Device)
Yes, it’s the BYOB of the workplace. As more people stay better connected both to devices and to each other through social media, text messaging and more, it only makes sense that, at least from an employee’s point of view, the personal and professional flow in tandem on a device that can service both. According to WIRED “61 percent of companies report that most of their employees use personal computing devices at work, and 54 percent say that most use smartphones for basic work tasks such as reading email, online documents and calendar invitations.” Smart employers are addressing ways to adapt to this type of device usage–instead of restricting an employee to a clunky loaner laptop while traveling for work, it needs to be acknowledged that a personal iPad can usually get the job done just as well, and more to the employee’s satisfaction.
Of course, data overload and employee “BYOD” are what keep IT departments everywhere up at night. Data breaches and security concerns aren’t just reserved for the likes of Target or the NSA, but are worries of every company with valuable data that could be compromised. Keeping up with security needs in this new environment is tricky, especially because personal devices don’t have enterprise level data security. In the future, something that may emerge, as suggested in the WIRED article, is that “bring your own device” may evolve to become “bring the right device” as a compromise that meets both employee and company needs.
These three topics are just a needle in the technology-in-the-workplace haystack. It is interesting to think how in just the past few years there has been such a dramatic shift in how we work and what devices we work on. Looking forward just a few years down the line, there is no reason to expect the exponential growth and evolution of tech at work should slow down at all. Maybe a time capsule is in order, to be buried with all modern work conveniences of 2014 in it, and opened a mere ten years in the future by the new interns entering the workforce, who may even wonder what an iPhone ever was.