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Taking The Business World By Storm: The Rise Of The Chromebook

Chromebooks have been a runaway success since the first model was launched two years ago. Last Christmas saw Amazon announce a pair of Chromebooks as two of the three best-selling notebooks of the US holiday season. And as is increasingly the way, like tablets, they’ve quickly moved from consumer gadgets to business staples as companies have begun to embrace a new connected and collaborative approach to work. In the US, Chromebooks now make up more than 20 percent of notebook sales to businesses, matching sales of tablets. We are now seeing this same trend in the UK. The second half of 2013 saw a significant increase in deployments of Chromebooks from both commercial and public sector organisations. Why are Chromebooks providing such a hit? One group that’s finding them a great......

3 Reasons Why Warehousing Needs Mobile And The Internet Of Things

I’ve written several blogs on how new mobile technologies, Big Data and the emerging Internet of Things are changing how we work, and today I’d like to discuss three specific challenges faced by the warehousing and self-storage industry. 1. Easier Customer Engagement & Sales The rise of mobile-first computing provides an array of opportunities to engage with the customer both more frequently and in a more relevant fashion, but also allows the customer’s experience to be made simpler and easier; all of which increase the chances of repeat business. With more commerce taking place over the internet and increasingly via mobile, it’s vital to have mobile or web apps that make purchasing simple, and which provide a native user experience across device ecosystems, such as iOS or Android, and......

Unified Communications Make Mobile Workforces Go Further And Work Harder

It’s a commonly held view that nothing works in isolation. But the estimated 6 million people in the UK classified as ‘lone workers’ may well disagree; they’re expected to do it every day. With a sizeable chunk of the UK workforce required to operate alone in remote geographies and high-risk environments, employees increasingly work in isolation. But, despite the obvious challenges of hazardous conditions, unsociable hours and often poor mobile coverage, some organisations’ support for vulnerable lone workers remains sub-optimal. Lone working has a particular resonance in manufacturing arenas such as energy, oil and gas, chemical plants and distilleries. In these disparate environments, employees are often required to work on-site at the isolated extremes of production plants, or off-site ......

Are Mobile Apps In The Workplace A Blessing Or A Curse?

Mobile working – once an alien concept, it has become a constant source of both excitement and worry for employees and businesses alike. It’s easy to see why the modern workforce has become so dependent on mobile devices and the applications (apps) that are available through them. From keeping track of finances and calendar events to updating work documents, timesheets and booking leave – mobile applications enable employees to access, update and respond to things no matter where they are. But as they become ever more present in our daily lives, are these little virtual helpers indeed a blessing, or should we be worried about our increasing reliance on their presence? While our obsession with apps began as a playful pastime among computer geeks, there is no doubt they are now firmly ......

Resistance Is Futile: Welcome To The ‘All-Time’ Era

Recently, whilst collaborating on a new research document with an overseas colleague during my morning commute it suddenly hit me just how much the culture of working technology has changed. Within a only a few years our expectations of IT have completely transformed – we now take for granted complete flexibility and easy access to whatever data we need. Cloud computing has been the driving force in this mindset change, and now, as the technology nears maturity, we’re starting to see mainstream adoption. Now, with the global markets entering their first extended period of growth for nearly half a decade, businesses are beginning to understand that significant IT investment is needed in order to keep the pace with competitors. It’s long often been the mantra for the CIO to hear the wo......

How Businesses Can Take The ‘Remote’ Out Of Remote Working

From the newest mobile devices to the latest innovations in cloud computing, advancements in modern technology have fundamentally impacted the way we work, play and communicate. For employers and employees, the advent of new collaboration and mobile technologies means the days of a strict 9-5 confined to the office are over as they are now able to work from almost anywhere from any device. In fact, according to the latest data from Global Workplace Analytics, there was a 79.7% increase in remote working between 2005-2012, amounting to some 3.3 million people working remotely in the US alone. The remote working trend is even stronger in the UK with around 6.5 million workers (over 20 percent of the working population) taking up remote working in 2012, according to Centre for the Protection ......

2014 Will See A Different Mindset Of IT Decision Making

I envisage 2014 as a transition year for businesses and a pivotal moment as the broader macroeconomic environment improves. In the past few years, we have seen a number of new technologies and approaches emerge, their development and adoption driven by their ability to save on cost as well as deliver new business opportunities. Examples include the likes of virtualisation, software defined networks and “bring your own device”. Yet as organisations ease in austerity and shift from survival to growth mode, we will see a mindset where IT decision making is based on long-term value as opposed to short-term competitive advantage. Whilst this may mean putting disruptive technology implementations on hold, CIOs will be actively looking to leverage proven technologies to create new opportunities f......

Could 4G Sound The Death Knell For Public Wi-Fi?

For a whole year EE had the 4G market to themselves. But now, thankfully, competition has arrived in the shape of Vodafone and O2. But, who offers the fastest connection? I decided to take to the streets of London to find out, and ended up asking the question: could 4G be the death of Wi-Fi? Let us rewind slightly: when I took part in the O2 4G trials in 2013 the results were spectacular (43Mbps in the Devonshire Arms pub off Oxford Street) if confined to a few places; O2 used 25 cell sites for these trials. The results were great, partly because I doubt that there were that many people using the network given that we all had dongles and not phones. You also had to have your laptop out which, aside from my coverage experiment conducted from the top deck of a moving number 25 bus, meant tha......

Mobility: The Technology Tsunami

Mobility. It’s simply the wrong word to describe a technology trend that is washing away decades of previous IT wisdom, strategy and investment. All mobility implies is that you can do what you did before, but in a different place. Whilst you’re out the office, on the road or at the airport. However, the magnitude and impact of the change we witnessing right across the globe, is far more profound and far-reaching than that. You can get a sense of the impact when you start with numbers. Forrester estimates the total technology economy of the world will be around $3 trillion in 2015. By that point in time, mobility will account for more than one-third of the predicted figure, or over $1 trillion. The adoption rates of mobile devices and their counterpart applications are staggeri......

Mobile: Taking The Channel Out Of The Experience

Online development today is all about mobile. Yet with many companies still playing catch up, the focus is on technology issues such as responsive design rather than the role mobile plays within the overall customer experience. Customers are buying from a brand – not from a brand’s mobile channel, web channel or high street shop. They are completely channel agnostic – and expect a good, consistent experience irrespective of device, location, time of day or activity. Mobile is just one part of the overall customer experience – not all of it. Mobile First Strategy Digital strategies are increasingly becoming mobile-first. Any new features or ideas are only considered if they work on a mobile device. The design of the mobile customer experience is shaping design of the desktop site and is hel......

Seriously, Wigs? The Effect Of Wearable Technology In 2014

Sony has filed a patent application for “SmartWig“, as companies continue the tousle to lead the way in wearable technology. It says the SmartWig can be worn “in addition to natural hair”, and will be able to process data and communicate wirelessly with other external devices. As fun as it sounds, this signifies just how seriously these technology companies feel wearable technology is becoming. Companies like Sony don’t invest this kind of money for fun, they do it for big bucks and I predict that 2014 is the year that wearable technology goes from something people snigger at to something that becomes second nature at home and within the workplace. Small strides are already being made… how many of us will have unwrapped the hi-Fun hi-Call, Bluetooth Gloves from John......

The Open Road Ahead: The Success Of Open Source Software

Open source has irreversibly changed the current software landscape. Any developer will tell you how over the last decade open source projects have helped democratise and innovate software development. It has had a huge impact in particular on mobile technology; but open source projects have also been changing the face of the Internet for some time. In many respects it’s been something of a silent partner. The revolution has been so quiet that many users still don’t even realise that the technology they are engaging with is in fact open source. The time when Microsoft’s Internet Explorer dominated the browser windows of the world is behind us. Let’s take a look at Firefox: the browser transformed a stagnating market and helped reinvigorate Web development. It was a real game changer and in......

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