Last week the New York Times ran a technology piece titled “A Vision of the Future From Those Like to Invent It” about the seismic lifestyle changes that software development will bring in coming years. As an Omaha software design and business process consultant, we geek out on this stuff hardcore. It’s interesting to look at how these technological advancements will impact the workplace.
Proactive and Real Time
The ability to transact work electronically is not a novel concept. Automating workflow not only reduces unnecessary steps, it creates a greater level of transparency and helps managers track project status quickly and easily. Clara Shih, founder and Chief Executive at Hearsay Social sees promise in “Implantable chips that monitor the number of steps we take, hours we sleep, all of our vital signs, blood chemistry and beyond. The chip data will be used to adjust our medications, offer suggestions to change our behavior and automatically send an ambulance…” This real time data allow for faster and better treatment of now preventable death. It will also reduce what is currently a heavy paper trail requiring the coordination of doctors, pharmacies, health care providers and patients. When writing code, software developers strive to eliminate redundancy and create clarity for users in their tasks and subsequent prioritization. Implanted sensors are a great metaphor for workflow. The sensors trigger work to flow through preset, defined steps and you won’t see critical stoppage because paper is sitting in a file on someone’s desk. Offices that eliminate paper through automation will see higher employee satisfaction as well. People will better understand what s on their plate.
Simple and Utilitarian
One of the most useful tech changes in the pipeline will be wireless charging solutions. In the not too distant future Susan Wojcicki, Head of Youtube, believes that all of our mobile devices will be able to wirelessly charge. This kind of application design and development will increase connectivity in developing countries and be vital for communication during catastrophic events (think Hurricane Sandy). This innovation may not necessarily be as sexy as wearing computers in the form of contact lenses to access all of your cloud data anywhere, anytime, but it will inevitably save lives. First Responders will be able to more quickly locate people in need of help and loved ones won’t remain in the dark. Unleashing our technology from the chains of wall power will be liberating.
Access to Learning and Education
Reid Hoffman, a VC at Greylock and co-founder of LinkedIn sees increased opportunity for new business and job creation. He sites the Khan Academy as a model for new on-line learning centers focused around professional and vocational schools that will be easily accessible. The creation and growth of these learning communities will make robust learning platforms available to those who might be working full time and unable to afford attending traditional brick and mortar institutions. Volano Solutions sees productivity applications demand increasing as well. Smaller businesses will become less dependent on whiteboards, excel and QuickBooks to manager their work. In a previous blog we explored the changes already occurring in technology education with the advent of code schools. It is fascinating to see a reevaluation of traditional learning institutions occurring as new innovation is sought.