Next year, according to Steve Wozinak, will be the year of BYOD, the data center, and collaboration tools. If there is a truism in tech, it’s when Woz speaks, you listen. You might not agree. You might think he’s bat crap crazy. Regardless of anything else, you listen (or in this case read). Woz has a guest post in Forbes today that every person running a business with more than a handful of people should read.
I’ve been staunch proponent of not just BYOD but collaboration technologies that free people from their desks for more than a decade. I saw collaboration tools like LiveLink (way back in the day folks) to be what could power future knowledge work and free people from having to be at their desk or in an office to remain productive. I started telecommuting in 2000 (via 33.6 dialup folks) and I haven’t looked back. I’ve even been one of those people who tried to bring Macs into offices based purely on the fact I was more productive on Macs than PCs (regardless of the better web development tools at the time). So when Woz talks about BYOD and collaboration tools, I know he’s on the right track and I think he’s right, we’re finally poised to take advantage of the benefits of BYOD, collaboration tools.
Here’s how Woz kicks things off, followed by his ending:
In a nutshell, while we all know BYOD is here to stay, what I think will be most exciting this next year is how we’ll evolve with the entrance of new technologies. Also, I see the data center really stepping up to share the limelight alongside the Cloud and Consumerization of IT trends that have been so hot these past few years.
And finally, collaboration will transcend platforms.
It will be increasingly important for any given collaboration package or other app to run on a multitude of platforms – not just one. Taking the easy way out and developing for just one platform will not be acceptable. To be fair though, this multi-platform support imperative extends way beyond BYOD. Like I said in the beginning, 2013 is going to be the year of choice. Whether it’s your phone or the company’s, working from your office or the coffee shop, one option isn’t going to cut it anymore and the companies who can anticipate the next way to use technology smartly and effectively are the ones that will rise to the top this year.
Here’s why Woz is right:
- Ten years ago we were stuck in too many proprietary platforms. Files didn’t interchange, machines didn’t communicate well together. Companies had to standardize to get anything done
- We have the bandwidth and processing power to pull it off. When I first tried to use tools like LiveLink and Groove (which Microsoft later bought), the machines at the time could barely run the apps. Back then a simple Word file or PowerPoint deck could crush a dialup connection. We had a huge chasm between the size of files we could create and our ability to transmit them electronically. Sure, we create much, much bigger files now, but we have orders of magnitude faster connections. Heck I send my publisher gigs of data (through YouSendIt usually) without blinking an eye because I know that while my upload might take a while, the download will be very, very fast.
- Devices are truly mobile now. Remember the first tanks, er, laptops of ten years (or even five) ago? Not very fast compared to desktops (the portability versus power trade off was very real then) and battery life that could barely be measured in hours in some cases. Now not only do our laptops last pretty much all day, but we have wee little devices that are nearly as good as laptops (tablets of course) that can certainly last all day.
All together, we have all the pieces in place for work to be less about the tech you use, but the skills you bring to the table and how you get things done.
About darn time.
Woz photo by Jonathan Alcorn from Woz.org