I was in Silicon Valley last week and met with several folks from the tech sector. There is quite a good bit of buzz around some of the new hardware and software coming out soon. What caught my attention was a new laptop scheduled for release next summer that apparently will be “constantly connected” to the Internet. This may sound odd at first, but you only have to think of your cell phone to understand what that means. Your phone after all is “constantly ON” – meaning anyone can reach it from anywhere in the world and talk to you live. With Blackberries and iPhones, we can now stay in touch with e-messages also but obviously, that is not the same thing as having a laptop constantly connected.
For most of us in the workplace, this is also not a big deal as wireless systems now essentially mean that once at work, or on campus of your work, you are also constantly connected. For you, the efficiencies of this are obvious. But now, what if you were connected constantly via your laptop no matter where you were? Imagine the accessibility of data and information in real time to make decisions. Granted, the jobs where this is most impactful already have acquired access via phone cards that can connect your laptop from anywhere to the internet…but this can be slow and precarious.
Now, I do not write blogs on IT and am not an IT nut, but I continue to ponder the impact these revolutionary advances have on human behavior, jobs, functions, roles, and business processes. And I ask constantly ask myself, are organizations who continue to embrace and integrate this into their world at an advantage over those who do not? What kind of organizational model and competencies are required to take advantage of this rapidly changing workplace? Professional development folks — those responsible for developing talent to optimize their potential and that of the organization — have to educate themselves in this area so the opportunities can be taken advantage of. I knew change was the only constant, but it appears not that constant change means constantly connected.