We are more connected than ever before, and mobility is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’, but is core to business strategies, public policy, healthcare and our everyday lives.
With the end of the year just around the corner, I thought I’d take this opportunity to take stock of some of the key moments and milestones for the technology and connectivity industries in 2013.
Of the 40+ posts I’ve made this year, here are the four that, for me, really highlight the key themes of 2013.
1. The future workplace
It isn’t just about the technology. Mobility is also a cultural revolution that businesses must address or risk disruptive change being forced upon them.
One of the big drivers of this – and something that shone out this year – is the emergence of the millennials into the workplace, aka Generation Y. Quite simply, as mobile devices get smarter, as connectivity gets faster and as Gen Y take on more senior positions in business, employee expectations for mobility will only increase.
2. The year of 4G
We are seeing how 4G is transforming businesses as it penetrates every corner of the UK, from our towns and cities to the fells of the Lake District.
We have thousands of organisations in the UK using 4G and they are telling us that this superfast connectivity is enabling them to do business in ways they have never done before.
Construction firm Kier, for example, is trialling 4G to reduce the set-up time for remote construction sites and to enable its design teams to work on-site, while London Air Ambulance is using it to help medical teams get to patients faster, saving precious seconds that can save lives.
3. The connected consumer
Technological innovation continues to ruthlessly disrupt traditional business models and nowhere do we see this more than in the retail sector. We are at a technology driven tipping point for the consumer shopping experience and retailers must step up to this challenge if they are to survive and succeed.
My post on 5 ways the connected consumer is transforming the shopping experience highlights some of those challenges, including the new mobile-driven purchase cycle and the future of physical retail store.
4. The internet of everything begins to emerge
We have seen the launch of some interesting innovations around technology, with Samsung and others introducing a new generation of mobile-enabled smart watches, while Google waits in the wings with its augmented reality glasses.
Beyond this wearable technology battle for the body, an increasing number of businesses are getting real value out of machine-to-machine (M2M) applications, from smart meters and telehealth services to the tracking and monitoring of everything from vehicles to cattle.
Fast and reliable connectivity is finally making the futuristic vision of a smart world of connected people, objects and sensors a reality as we enter the era of the internet of things.
I would really like to thank everyone who follows my posts and for the stimulating feedback and debate over the past year. I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and festive season and see you at the start of another exciting year.