One of the greatest disruptions facilitated and fuelled by technology has been the density of human interaction and the level of interconnectedness that is now commonplace. Many debates centre around the effect that this has on the quality of our interactions and whether, in fact, we are somehow less connected. There is a fantastic Ted talk relating to this by Sherry Turkle (Connected, but alone?) who describes the goldilocks effect of technology; allowing us to control our relationships with people by keeping them not too far away, not too close but at just the right distance. In this post, I’d like to focus on the greatest disruption facing us today and tomorrow – the interconnectedness of our devices, applications and technology. I recently saw a cartoon referring to the internet of things:
This humorous ‘IoT’ image is already truer than we realise, because their appliances don’t connect, these people can’t make dinner. If a company’s people, devices and applications aren’t connected, they cannot succeed in 2016. Many companies are adopting a new suite of applications and processes, to digitally transform and launch into the future workplace. I am particularly referring to the prevalent upgrade to Microsoft Office 365 (the bedrock of Microsoft for the Enterprise) and Google Apps etcetera. Employees are now being given exciting new technology and a set of tools that promise to help them work better and become more productive. Businesses are often finding and will find, however, that the applications in their toolkit are unconnected, leaving employees feeling confused and disengaged.
We are then faced with a new, very real gap: employees are having issues finding what they need and communicating because these applications and tools don’t talk to each other. This means that all the promises of knowledge sharing and collaboration fall short and become time consuming. The last thing employees need is technology to make their life more complicated! What is missing is the glue to hold all these applications together, that provides a seamless experience and the ability to gain access to content and share from anywhere. The question for 2016 is: how will you unlock the productivity improvements promised by the Office 365 and other toolkits and, crucially, what plans do you have to ensure that your people, devices and applications are connected to each other?