The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) revolution is in full swing. According to a global survey of CIOs by Gartner, 38 percent of companies expect to stop providing devices to workers by 2016. As BYOD adoption accelerates and consumer smartphones and other devices evolve, the technology we use at work must find a way to keep up.
Consumer devices are tightening the bond between ‘Man and Machine’, and one thing is certain: our smartphones and smart watches are getting smarter. In fact, it’s eerie how smart they have become. There are the widely used personal devices: the explosion of smart watches like the highly-anticipated Apple Watch™, the enormously popular fitness bands like FITBIT®, and smartphones like Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge™ that are making strides in streamlined app management.
And now there is also the mind-blowing ‘telepathic tech’ being developed by companies such as Emotive Insight and NeuroSky. Known as ‘brainwear,’ these technologies read your brain waves and turn them into applicable, understandable information. While there are just a handful of brain data analysis devices on the market today, some experts are predicting that everyday ‘brainwear’ will become mainstream by 2020.
With all of the progress being made on the consumer front, is the pace at which personal technology is evolving finally being pulled through to the more sluggish business technology? For certain unified communications (UC) providers, the answer is yes. Some UC systems are hosted 100 percent in the cloud with no reliance on physical hardware. Development of 100 percent cloud platforms takes place one level higher than their Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) technology counterparts. Since SIP is, by its nature, a computer-to-computer protocol, it requires some processing and data to be stored in local device hardware. However, the true cloud UC systems fully utilize the web, rather than the local hardware, such as the phones themselves. Because they are not limited to the physical phones, they have the greater benefit of the web for superior ease-of-use and greater development flexibility.
This cloud technology allows professionals to personalize their experiences quickly and easily much like consumers personalize their smartphones and other devices. In the traditional business technology world, a new employee who needs to be set up on a desk phone, for example, must call the help desk and have a technician program the physical phone at their desk. Then, if they ever want to make changes to their set up (i.e., speed dials, features, etc.), they have to go through that process all over again. In contrast, since 100 percent cloud-based systems do not store any information in devices themselves, there is no need for anyone to program anything. Instead, all the settings are accessible online through customer portals designed to be intuitive enough for employees to use without any IT assistance. One such example is the MyOfficeSuite™ portal from Broadview Networks, which enables users and admins to personalize their OfficeSuite® cloud voice, email and online meeting services.
How does the personalization of business technology translate into benefits? If businesses let employees personalize their everyday tools easily by themselves, it gives them a big boost in both morale and productivity. It also lowers support costs and lets companies refocus IT teams on strategic projects. In short, giving people the same amount of power and control over their business technology as they have over their personal technology makes for happier workers, which is good for everyone.