4. Digital workplace
Information is being produced, transformed and shared at incredible speed and acceleration rates. The democratization of content production has shifted from the “enlightened few” and research centers to 7 billion authors. The mere existence of universities is being disputed by the newer generations.
For instance, YouTube is currently growing at a rate of 18 Terabytes per month and this figure is doubling every year (currently its content is four times bigger than the largest physical library in the world). Social networking sites are generating each day 250.000 new users, in short, more than 1% of the world’s population on a yearly basis.
The challenges for organizations is to create digital content environments and sharing platforms that can be deployed, managed and cleaned up in order to ensure accuracy, appropriateness and productivity. Most organizations are struggling with IT: as they discover the obsolescence delay of their platforms to be faster than their deployment, as they’re faced with the impossible choice between the business flexibility of multiple platforms and the productivity gains of centralized systems, and as they’re able to generate performance indicators faster and in greater quantity than they can analyse them.
For the first time in History, we’ve reached the threshold of information: we produce faster than we can digest it.
5. Mobile technology
In 1987, phone companies signed an agreement to build a mobile network. After its implementation, it took 12 years for the first billion subscriptions to be reached, but only less than 3 more years to reach 3.5 billion. Now, there are more than 4.5 billion subscriptions in a world of 7 billion people (64% of users are in the developing world). The ubiquity of mobile technology will ascertain that, in less than 5 years, mobiles will be the primary way to access the Internet.
In business, mobile technology changes the paradigm of where learning takes place. Through mobile apps, some innovative organizations are providing their employees with sales and compliance trainings, product knowledge and online support.
The main novelty of this technology is the app culture it encourages, for it provides instant acknowledgement and solution to individual’s immediate wants and needs. App culture bite-sizes problems and über customizes our lives: the psychological and social implications of such powerful changes remain to be seen in younger generations (Gen Y and Z).
In many ways, Hyperconnectivity is the dark side of a positive value from Generation Y: work-life integration. Whereas work-life integration resides in the quest to obtain a passionate connection between the personal and the professional spheres, hyperconnectivity is the compulsive habit of being constantly plugged in. Paradoxically, the choice of being constantly connected and welcoming of technological disruptions disconnects individuals from the present moment, others and themselves. In fact, hyperconnectivity is 21st century’s new form of workaholic behaviour.
Currently, hyperconnected professional make up 16% of the workforce and this figure is estimated to increase up to 40% in the next few years. They’re found in every population segment, but more heavily present in urban areas, in Latin America and Asia-Pacific; in IT, banking and high-tech industries; in management positions and within Generation Y.
Businesses that understand the hyperconnectivity trend and invest in social media tools to connect with employees, customer and partners are reaping the benefits of higher productivity, collaboration and employee engagement. By the same token, businesses that reward employees for the contributions they make to the organizational knowledge (in addition to job performance) will gain a significant competitive advantage in attracting and retaining top talent.
Where should we focus our attention with regards to technology in order to maintain our humanity?