The promise of mobility has yet to be fully realized, but the emerging class of super human, bionic information workers will inspire a leap forward in opportunity and challenge. Science and science fiction have indicated the coming wave of technology tightly integrated with the human experience thereby complimenting or mimicking (biomimicry) our capacities, emotions, intellect and physical interaction with the world. What the world didn’t expect was that the time of the bionically enhanced human is already upon on us. The supposition by futurists and scientists is that adoption of technology into the human experience will have to be commonplace as physical implants however more than 1 billion smartphone users have made the choice to integrate technology into their daily lives – how they move, affecting the way they spend time, how / where / with whom they spend money and most importantly how effectively they work. A significant focus of attention and example of the bionic enhancements is semantic search – a context based algorithm for rendering more intuitive search results. Individual and mass superhuman capabilities are here to stay and the ability to leverage employee bionics into corporate capacity is a compelling proposition. Dominant device manufacturers in the market today seem poised to immediately become industry influencers through the masses who never leave home without their mobile device.
Mobility is a catch all for those devices and attached capabilities which the population carries with it – pockets, briefcases, notepads, telematics, and much more. Without fail, there are thousands of companies, both large and small, in the market positioning themselves as a differentiated mobility provider. The promise: greater revenues through an interface always on with context of location and personalization OR improved productivity for the worker – the ability to do work any time or anywhere, effectively increasing the number of hours worked. Both promises seem to come up short when straight forward, quantitative ROI models are put under scrutiny –more indicative or broad sweeping measurement is required. Bionic employees represent a shift needed in the perceived value of mobility –employees able to move with their work, do their work, to integrate with the enterprise services, to be segmented / firewalled in & out of information domains and much more. Much like any other asset in the enterprise architecture, the future employee will come with welcome and unwelcome assets. While this may sound like BYOD, that is a CIO centric view. Given the shorter and short development cycles for products and services, employee productivity will make or break a company’s ability to be successful. An employee architecture which excludes integrating mobile devices used every day by current and future employees will suffer and fall behind those that optimize their employee contributions by leveraging IT assets with their connected intellects.
Embracing the technology of employees, not just the technology of the corporation, will provide higher returns than cost containment strategies limiting the access to technology.
The market device leaders Apple, Samsung, Nokia (MSFT) and emerging Chinese manufacturers are positioned well to become the leaders in this race to build a better employee. While Google and Amazon have demonstrated considerable leadership in gathering intelligence on their users / members, they have not made the significant investments human interface design. For example, Samsung’s recent move into enterprise business services demonstrates the potential of technology – employee interaction. The bionic employee already familiar with Samsung will be on average more effective than those familiar with competing platforms. While seemingly trivial, a 30% increase in productivity because of technology awareness, interoperability coupled with employee integration could significantly shift the benefits of engaging a bionic enabled workforce.
There will be more to watch as the coming generations enter the workforce, technology in hand, in pocket, in-bedded in their body using personal technology to achieve outcomes they design.