Technology has made March Madness madder than ever, giving the term a whole new meaning around the office. Especially with games tipping off between the hours of 9 and 5. According to a recent survey of 500 IT professionals (conducted by Braun Research), the NCAA college basketball tournament has been identified by 42% as a corporate network inhibitor. 37% reported slower speeds and 34% say the hoops tourny shut down their network for an extended period of time. It's easy to imagine how this is happening with employees streaming games from their work computers. The chances of your employees engaging in the same type of activity is relatively high. Bracketology, after all, can leave pride, money, and other unspeakables on the table.
It seems like yesterday we were covering Apple's iPhone 4S event on the MaaSters Center, but so is the case with fast-paced technology. You know--another day, another announcement. As ordinary as tech releases may be, today's will be different. It will be another notable day in history for the world's most admired company . If the March 7th event lives up to the hype of previous product announcements, we're in for a great show. Apple looks to remain at the forefront of the increasingly fragmented tablet market today as it elaborates further on "something [we] really have to see. And touch."
Marked by its ease of use and managability in most work environments, the iPad 2 has become a go-to option for actualizing today's mobility initiatives. With a new iPad on its way in March, its hard to hold back from imagining what the next tablet could mean for tomorrow's mobile workers. It's safe to assume that it will be everything and more than what we know it to be today, but let's take a couple minutes to hypothesize how it could change the way you do work. Starting with what we know about the iPad 2--and a little help from rumors about what's coming next--we can work our way up to an educated guess.
Similar to shoppers in the trenches of a local Apple store, K-12 schools have made it a top priority to get their hands on the latest gadgets and technology. Teachers are calling for bundles of iPads to be delivered for their students, and its popularity has spread nationwide. To get a picture for what I'm talking about, Apple reported in September at least 600 school districts had begun implementing one-to-one programs where at least one classroom makes a tablet available to every student. Its quite an anomaly whenever a consumer-driven technology can take the learning process such a long way. But who's complaining? Increased engagement is the very reason demand for the iPad continues to increase. It gives young learners something they enjoy using when they're not in the classroom and puts it right in front of them. An added benefit is the ability to stay up-to-date on material. The last thing a school district on a tight budget wants to do is buy in to the repeated process of textbook replacement.
If your company has yet to implement a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, it is likely a plan in the works. And why not? For most organizations, the initial draw is reduced spending. With more employees bringing their iPhones, iPads, and Android devices to work there is no rush to acquire new hardware. And then there's the benevolent element; putting a smile on everyone's face. Employees who are bringing their devices are loving work more than ever now that they've severed ties with their desk.
Tablets and smartphones have become very popular among health practitioners and have redefined the doctor-patient relationship. While universities and hospitals are allocating budgets for developing medical applications for the iPads and iPhones, doctors and nurses are using them to keep track of patient records, discuss medical cases in online forums, view clinical data and issue prescriptions. The mobile technology has influenced the medical industry remarkably.
Smartphones, tablets, and notebooks--more recently ultrabooks--have enriched the mobility space and made it more complex. The influence of these mobile devices can be experienced everywhere: airports, shopping complexes, hospitals, museums, schools, colleges and also our workplaces. They've erased corporate boundaries but at the same time, they've raised many data security concerns.
There is plenty of talk going around about Apple's iPad--and why not? Since its initial release, Apple has racked up over 60 million users across the globe who have helped make the high-end device in its category the most popular. While we toss back and forth ideas about this device--its contribution to society and how it will change work processes heading into the future--why not take a peek into what its users have to say about it? After all, the clashing of words between critics and fanatics creates enough white noise to skew the truth about what defines the iPad. A recent survey by IDG sheds good light on what this tablet means to users around the world, and how they are choosing to use it:
The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend has picked up a lot of steam in recent months and doesn't look to be slowing down any time soon. Technological advances, a growing number of mobile workers, and gadget affordability have all played a role in the takeoff process. In some ways this trend presents cause for concern; an increasing number of employees are sitting in their company's drivers seat and calling the shots in ways they shouldn't be. The device-types supported in a given corporate environment are no longer stemming from the will of the IT director. In many cases the line is being drawn by the employees who are bringing their personal-owned devices to the office.
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