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Mobile Transforms IT's Role: What's Next?
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Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
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11/15/2013 | 9:02:52 AM
Your top changes?
I agree with most of the predictions here but can't imagine using my mobile phone/tablet as my main means of typing, especially in my profession -- far too cumbersome for anything thoughtful, anyway.  Which of these changes are you looking forward to most in the next five years?
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
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11/15/2013 | 9:52:55 AM
Re: Your top changes? "Words on Glass"
Totally agree, Kristen. Maybe it's a generational thing (I won't go into any details there), but I can't imaging doing any meaningful work without a fully functional keyboard. So if Gartner is right with their prediction that in two years "more words will be typed on glass" than on mechanical keyboards, I sure hope that glass keyboards will be more user-friendly.  
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
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11/15/2013 | 10:07:39 AM
Personal productivity blends into professional
The challenges here are partly a matter of the disappearing borderline between our personal and professional lives. A doctor may be handling very sensitive information, but how do you deny him the right to work with the deivce or app that will make him more productive on a personal level? And yet when the informaiton he records for personal use overlaps with sensitive or proprietary data, the IT organization must assert some level of control.
Susan Fogarty
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Susan Fogarty,
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11/15/2013 | 12:07:29 PM
Re: Personal productivity blends into professional
In sensitive and regulated industries such as healthcare, I think there must be a great deal of IT control. Mobility is certailnly a huge productivity driver, but blending personal and professional devices may not be the best approach.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
11/15/2013 | 4:07:00 PM
Re: Personal productivity blends into professional
Excellent, succinct summation of the problem, David. You nailed it.

SueNWC astutely points out that certain sectors will always need at least some control. I don't see government agencies relying on consumer cloud storage, for example. But for other businesses, the tension between employee choice and IT control is only going to grow. Different kinds of businesses and institutions will be differently positioned when it comes to maintaining (or even needing) locked down control. I think Carolina Milanesi brings up a good point-- if this tension isn't on IT's radar, it should be.

 
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
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11/15/2013 | 4:20:20 PM
Re: Your top changes? Words on Glass
Yeah, I don't think I'll stop using my keyboard for the majority of my typing, But I write articles for a living, so I'm not representative of everyone. Outside of knowledge workers, I can see touchscreens taking the bigger share.

For a lot of people, typing involves sending emails and text messages, making comments online, etc. I know more than a few professionals whose daily routine involves more communication through a phone or tablet than through a keyboard. Most of their communications are fairly terse, I'll grant you-- but the point remains. And if we include kids (who probably send 10 text messages for every sentence they type on a PC), the ratios will get even more touch-centric.

Moreover, modes of communication that are more conducive to touchscreens (e.g. Twitter is a start with its character limits, visually-oriented tools offer other potential) will continue to develop.

Does that mean keyboards will become unnecessary? No, of course not. But I won't be surprised if more words are typed on glass than on keyboards within the next five or so years.
Alex Kane Rudansky
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Alex Kane Rudansky,
User Rank: Author
11/15/2013 | 9:21:46 AM
BYOD + Security
I think an important piece to consider here is BYOD and security. The trend of mobile in the workplace is on the rise, yes, and in turn, so is the need for updated policies on security, especially when dealing with sensitive data. Companies must implement a culture of privacy and security, which starts with solid BYOD and security policies as well as employee education.

 
Nicole Ferraro
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Nicole Ferraro,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2013 | 5:12:19 PM
Surprising
"Surprising as it might seem in this economy, some desirable job applicants have actually begun to base employment decisions in part on whether the employer will let them use the devices they want."

Wait... really? That is, indeed, surprising, given this is a tough job market.

That said, the mobile revolution really does have far and wide implications. When you think about the flexibility that mobile devices offer employees, it's easy to see the positive impact this can have on so many areas... if people can work on the go, then not everyone will be rushing to get to their desks at 9 a.m., for example, which relieves traffic, and, similarly, mass transit congestion. It also allows offices to consume less energy if people don't have to be at their desks all day. More and more companies will soon catch on to the benefits of a mobile workforce, if they haven't yet.


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