A quick look at how rapidly our technical world is changing

From the Principal’s Office

It hit me recently again that technology, even confined to the products and services offered just to our industry is moving so fast that it s makes it difficult for those of us who have to keep up with it and understand it (CIOs and Consultants alike).  There are consequences, but they are for you to determine.  I wanted to provoke some thought among our readers.

Bob Amster – Principal, RTG


A quick look at how rapidly our technical world is changing

By Bob Amster – Principal, RTG

This article is intended more for us to ponder how quickly technology is moving around us than for any other purpose.  I consider it important to stop and take stock of the technical concepts and products because I personally believe that it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with them at the speed at which change is happening and because, for many leaders in information systems and technology it will become increasingly difficult to explain to top management ‘…why we have not implemented this yet…’ or ‘…when are we going to have that…’ The reality is that we can’t embrace all these technological changes at once.

The iBeacon came in early 2013 and is being used by software applications developers to improve and almost revolutionize the way retailers will be able to reach and connect with consumers once in their stores.  As an example, in an unusual deployment, GE in association with ByteLight is using the iBeacon technology in the lighting system to communicate with the smartphone (of customers that have ‘opted-in’) via the device’s camera.  For more information of varied uses of iBeacon, visit this site: http://www.computerworld.com/article/2490466/apple-ios/apple-s-ibeacon-gets-fun.html?page=2.

More recently, you may have read articles about wearable technology, strategic partners Theatro Labs is actually piloting the concept for use of the technology among retail associates to make them more efficient and deliver more personal (heads-up, hands-free) customer service.  Additionally, wearable technology will now be woven into the fabric of apparel sold to consumers.  Read this article about ten differences instances of wearable technology for consumers.

Rumored for some time, and finally announced recently, is Apple Pay – a new and purportedly more secure payment method available with iPhone 6, also a new development.  While adoption of Apple Pay by retailers is left to be seen, it promises to be disruptive.  Major issuing banks credit card processors are already on board.

Then there is the simultaneous announcement of the Apple Watch.  Who knows what other things, besides being a very smart watch (in comparison to a smartphone) the Apple Watch will enable consumers and retailers to do?

Finally, we direct your attention to the number of applications and services now being developed for cloud-based platforms.  More and more such applications are accomplishing at least two things: first, they enable the provider to switch its offering to an automatically renewable subscription-based application as opposed to a one-time license and (more revenue for them over time), second, it enables the subscriber to access the application or stored data with the simple use of a browser from any location with internet access and from whatever computer with a browser to which he/she has access (more mobility and freedom for the end user).

The wealth of these new concepts, products, and apps in what is relatively short period of time is truly mindboggling and difficult to absorb, even for those of us who understand it.  Mankind has been on this earth for millions of years, spending many of those just evolving into our present state.  Out of all those millions of years, recorded history is only about 5,000 years old at the most.  Yet these almost revolutionary product advancements have been in development maybe for 5 years and released to the market in the space of ONE YEAR!  Many will trivialize these advancements because today’s society is growing accustomed to seeing them, but this proliferation of technological development is anything but trivial.

Can present-day humans keep up will all these advancements that supposedly make our lives easier?  Are we going to take more leisure time as a result, to enjoy the benefits that the technology brings us?  Think about it.