The Technology Impact on Organizations


Human Intelligent (HI) Workplace
Helping Leaders Help Themselves

March 16, 2015

“The only sustainable competitive advantage is an organization’s ability to learn faster than the competition.”

Peter Senge

Technology’s Impact

Technology is continuing to increase its capability, change, and create greater connectivity making Globalization that much more relevant. It took the radio 38 years to reach 50 million users, the TV 13 years, the Internet 4 years, and the IPod 5.4 years to reach 100 million. In the beginning of the 1900s the rich were involved in the automobile industry while today it is the rich that are involved in IT.

Today during every minute, 13 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube and it would take over 400 years to view every video on it, while there are over 13 million articles on Wikipedia in more then 200 languages. In an internet moment it is estimated that there are six million Facebook views, over two million Google searches, over a million YouTube videos will be viewed, 30 hours of videos uploaded and considered a great place to learn something, over 100 new LinkedIn sign ups, and over 47,000 app downloads. This is only expected to exponentially grow.

This is just a sample of the exponential growth and impact of the Internet. The dramatically changing pace of technology has given rise to the Knowledge Economy, the digital workplace, the use of mobile technology, a culture of connectivity, a larger virtual workforce and telecommuters, and social connections and learning.

There are now businesses, opportunities, and terms that did not exist five or ten years ago. Terms like texting and tweeter did not exist in the year 2000. Today concepts like “don’t text and drive” and “get a designated texter” have been created. Recently a library without physical books was just opened in Texas. A $2.4 million project supported and led by County Judge Nelson Wolff called Biblotech that utilizes only technology and no paper books. This just accentuates how times have changed.

It is estimated that there will be a $38 billion annual revenue generated by 2015 in Smartphone and Tablet apps. In 2010 there were over $1.6 billion worth of mobile device purchases. It is estimated that tablets will overtake desktop sales by 2015. Today more people in the U.S. browse the Web from their IPad then from their desktop. Ten years ago Cyber-security was a term not heard by many.

Another way to view this is that technology is increasingly dominating both the economy and society. This is supported by all of the increasingly technologically flavored and created movies such as Eagle Eye, Avatar, and Minority Report among many others. This is being further supported by the increasingly evolving technology becoming part of our everyday lives with things like the technological advances in our vehicles, the new hybrid cars, the power of the smart phone with access to the world, the I-Pad and its many competitors, and the increasingly importance of cyber-security.

All of this reminds me of what Thomas Friedman mentioned on TV during the presidential elections of 2012. He mentioned that “when he wrote The World is Flat, Facebook didn’t exist (or at least for most Americans), Twitter was a sound, The Cloud was in the sky, 4G was a parking space, LinkedIn was a prison, Applications is what you sent to college, and for most people Skype was a typo”. This all happened in just the last seven years. And what it’s done is taken the world from connected to hyper connected.

What this has done is changed the paradigm of what and how we work and the information at our fingertips in ways that we would never have imagined back in 2000. It has raised the bar globally for competition and the way we do work and it has raised the level of the workforce needed to operate in the 21st century more then we ever thought of. It has challenged how we educate (more to come on this later), how we work and collaborate, and who is now part of our team (the world-not just the person down the hall, more so like the person down the virtual hall-regardless of where they are).

The 21st century organization will need to be smart, agile, and proactively ahead of its competitors in integrating mobile, social, cloud, and analytic technologies in order to reinvent itself through people, process, and technologies.

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