Human Resources and Technology

What happens after technology collides?

July 8, 2014
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Andy listened to a podcast while driving to work. After he arrived, he checked his work email, edited a few documents and accessed his company’s production software — searching and working with the employee CRM system.

He went to lunch, where he read an ebook, then drove to the office of a new client. He needed to map the location, using turn-by-turn directions to arrive on time.

Recognizing the rising temperature outside, Andy set his home thermostat to turn on the AC, so his house would be cool when he got home. Before dinner, he called someone at work, called his wife, then worked on emails again. He found something tasty at allrecipes.com and made it for dinner, listening to music while he cooked.

He ended his evening spending quality time with his daughter honing their Fruit Ninja skills; much juice was spilled.

The above examples of technology convergence could be a rehash of “aren’t smartphones just the coolest thing?!”

However, you might have noticed I left out any descriptions of the devices I used in my high-tech workday above. I might have been using a single device or a combination of smartphone, tablet, desktop, GPS, ereader and juicer.

I didn’t specify hardware, because operating systems have become so mature and capable that the hardware ultimately doesn’t matter.

The term “BYOD” — Bring Your Own Device — indicates that whichever gadget a user may bring to the office, IT will do their best to make it work. Over the years, we technologists have fostered this environment. Lately, BYOD — originally used to describe cellphone use — is assumed to cover far more devices, applications and platforms.

Your support staff, of course, needs a technical understanding of the devices in question. Beyond that lies integration. There are foundational requirements to a business.

After you’ve got the basics covered, the spotlight for improving operational maturity should shine on the harder-to-attain aspects where IT has a direct influence: data collaboration, multi-platform interconnectivity and employee engagement. These are the key components of an advanced business, not the latest technology device being used to get the job done.

We are in a continually evolving paradigm. This latest iteration has a skill set needed to handle when technologies intersect.

How best to manage that collision depends on yet another collision, that of people, process, education and partnerships. 

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