TECH TALK: BILL MAGEE says the technological expansion will eat into more of our time at work and at play
A Scottish Government plan giving workers a “right to disconnect” should give businesses across all private sectors pause for digital thought in these uncertain economic times. Commercial upheaval due to pandemic variants driven by Omicron is palpable, severely impacting supply chains, systems, processes and procedures.
One thing is certain. It’ll take more than a deadly and lingering global virus to hold back the pack of ultra-competitive tech giants such as Amazon, Apple, Alphabet/Google and Tesla.
An all-out technological drive on numerous fronts will continue, shaping the world economy as it drives transformational changes across all business segments, also in the endless push for profits, here and out in space.
Back on planet earth, Forbes Technology Council predicts 2022 IT trends – and it’s quite a list.
There are continued digital transformational Cloud Computing advances and the ongoing replacement of legacy systems, upgrades to artificial intelligence, voice search and battery technology.
Add to that a “critical focus” on automation, together with natural language processing and intelligent document processing, each one reducing dependence on humans.
Expect predictive data analytics heavily driving the likes of Internet of Things and cybersecurity, and greater and more transparent software quality standards. That’s not the end of it.
There’s Smart City technologies, Fintech, Web 3.0 encompassing decentralised data architectures and edge computing, ethical AI. Innumerable renewable energy projects and endless cryptocurrency developments.
As for those “humans” in such a challenging high-tech mix, that’s you and me. It’s been said less is more and this could be applied to the “always online” syndrome. It’s a given the internet is both essential and integral to modern work practices.
But research shows it can lead to less getting done, says alifeofproductivity.com claiming when we’re connected all the time, we’re prone to waste time, become more distracted and bring less focus and energy to the tasks at hand.
Rather, we should schedule pockets of time, disconnecting from the internet to dive deeper into our work. Unfortunately, this comes as tech companies are under increased pressure to sell to the customer through intense online marketing strategies.
This can prove overwhelming on daily working practices. Market researchers at Yankelovich claim the average person is estimated to come up against between 6,000 to 10,000 ads every day, a significant amount via the internet.
Sounds a crazy statistic. In an attempt at context: BBC World Service science news reports we make 35,000 personal decisions daily.
Not looking at adverts during work time? Easier said than done. Online users are endlessly exposed to what is known as “native advertising” blurring the boundaries, often without realising it. Think of those “recommended articles” or “posts you may like” at the bottom of the vast majority of blogs.
Also great swathes of advertorials, special reports and, at least a smidgen more honest, sponsored content. All designed to draw your attention to something that’s usually absolutely nothing to do with your actual work.
Such ads look identical to user-generated posts within a user’s feed, but on closer inspection it’s clear they’re not. There’s also paid search ads, in-app banners. video ads, streaming ads, social media ads, digital banner ads, in-game ads, product placement, pay-per-click..
Public Technology’s editor Sam Trendall maintains the best employers are those already recognising the importance of striking an agreement with their staff on boundaries between work and home life.
Known as the “new normal”, hybrid working is claimed to lead to better employee mental well-being and greater productivity. Sounds commercially sensible in such uncertain times.