|By John Webster||
|October 26, 2005 05:30 AM EDT||
Prior to the year 2000, business was a world in love with office spaces and corporate travel. We traveled to work (the office) every day. We traveled away from the office for customer meetings, for internal meetings, for conferences, for awards ceremonies. We traveled because we could and we believed that it was necessary for the competitive advantage. That all changed rather quickly with the economic downturn of the early 2000s and, of course, 9/11. In short order, we relearned how to do business by staying put.
Another consequence of the most recent recession was corporate payroll compression. As good corporate citizens who are mindful of keeping our jobs, most of us were tasked with far more work than a single individual could perform adequately. To help make us more efficient, we introduced cell phones so that we could make calls while traveling, and WiFi-enabled laptops that enabled us to take our work anywhere and exchange messages with anyone, provided a "hotspot" could found.
Conference calls, cell phones, and laptops have pushed personal multitasking to unparalleled levels. For example, workers are now able to process the relentless stream of e-mails and instant messages as well as review financial and marketing documents, all while supposedly being active during a conference call.
The preceding has been unsettling for some of us, but not so for others. In fact, for those who are able to do three things at once, it is a stress reliever. Prior to this work style, employees who were required to be physically at meetings (even on-site) would worry about e-mail that was piling up as well as a half-written product presentation due the next day. Stress would slowly build as the meeting drew long. The productiveness of a conference call definitely suffers because multitasking participants are only slightly paying attention. However, no matter - overall efficiency is increased for those who can draw the connections together and somehow manage to stay engaged in the "here and now" at the same time.
Consider where we've come from and where we've now arrived. Before we had limited ways to "connect." Now we can create multiple connections and converge them. Perhaps even more important, we can do much of this connecting and converging ourselves, without advanced degrees in IT or telecommunications, and using technologies that are available at the local shopping mall. Also, we can create our own virtual office spaces.
Building the Momentary Enterprise
Among the many consequences of connectivity and convergence that lead to the virtual office space is the momentary enterprise. The momentary enterprise takes advantage of an opportunity that may only exist for months. When it has been fully exploited, the momentary enterprise is reconfigured - Lego-like - to pursue another opportunity. A "pop-up" business model is born, thereby changing the competitive balance and leveraging pervasive data.
It is likely that in the coming years we will see sizable businesses (based on yearly revenue) come and go at what will seem to be alarming speeds. Businesses can now be created in a matter of weeks to capitalize on whatever important trend or market demand is surfacing. Huge amounts of venture capital in many cases will not be required for establishing the infrastructure, the billing and accounting systems, the transport or supply systems, the IT function - and the list goes on. Such commodities will be expertly and automatically leveraged by super-deep, business-to-business automation, and new enterprises will start up by focusing their energy on differentiating their value in the marketplace rather than creating and supporting all of the associated accoutrements. Also, the fact that their life spans will be measured in months or a short number of years will not be grounds for dismissal from Harvard Business School. A successful business model doesn't need to be measured by its staying power.
Interested? Below is a checklist of things that will help you on your way to the momentary enterprise.
Hybrid PDAs (Personal Communicators)
Hybrid PDAs combine three entirely different business and personal communication mechanisms (cell, e-mail, IM) into a single embraceable device. Their expected ubiquity will enable significant efficiency gains in both our business and personal lives. Hybrid PDAs offer three important features for momentary enterprise entrepreneurs:
- The ubiquity of cell phone use - after all, it is no longer "weird" to be on your phone while in a supermarket, and you can be sure that someone next to you on the street is carrying a cell phone (to the same extent that you can be sure that those around you are wearing shoes)
- The seemingly overnight change from one type of cellular technology that is optimized for voice to a completely different architecture that is optimized for voice and data
- The immediacy of digital information sharing when you're away from a computer desktop
- Send and receive e-mail
- Play games online
- Access iMode-compatible Web sites and play downloaded music
- Take digital photographs
- Record sound
- Read bar codes (and someday RFID tags)
- Oh... and make phone calls
XML formatting allows proprietary databases and records to now have a nearly universal method for describing their contents. One does not need to be a sophisticated programmer who understands how to read a "schema" document or how to encode SQL statements to make sense of XML statements. A computer-literate teen could happen upon an XML fragment and derive some sense from it. He or she could likely import it into a favorite spreadsheet package and sort or average or trend it with a few keystrokes.
Business back ends are now XML-crazy. Information that needs to be expressed to another computer system is now expressed in some XML format. Most significantly, XML enables far higher business-to-business cooperation that is squarely aligned with the Web's chief goal: information exchange (as opposed to data exchange). XML has been enthusiastically embraced by business and allows for significant efficiency gains and better customer experiences. We will see XML reaching into the consumer world and our homes as well via wired and wireless appliances, for example. For the momentary enterprise, XML is the magic glue that allows vast sources of data and internetworking infrastructure - from PDAs to wireless video cameras - to share information.
Virtual Officeware (VOware) and RIAs
Currently, groupware is an effective collaboration tool used for large project management by equally large companies. For smaller companies, ad hoc usage of a shared file server often suffices. Small Web servers are also now used by more physically diverse groups.
Groupware, despite early hype, has remained somewhat hidden - deployed appropriately by those large multiregional companies, but avoided by the rest of the world. A trained administrator is usually needed to set it up, and typically it requires an additional capital investment in server and storage hardware and administration. Groupware also focuses heavily on managing shared document repositories, thus making it vulnerable to competing products with a broader vision.
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Aug. 28, 2015 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 403
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 28, 2015 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 827
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Aug. 28, 2015 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 181
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Aug. 28, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 314
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
Aug. 28, 2015 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 409
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
Aug. 28, 2015 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 171
A producer of the first smartphones and tablets, presenter Lee M. Williams will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, COO of ETwater, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater.
Aug. 28, 2015 02:00 PM EDT
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
Aug. 28, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 151
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
Aug. 28, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 201
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
Aug. 28, 2015 11:30 AM EDT
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Aug. 28, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 101
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
Aug. 28, 2015 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 562
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
Aug. 28, 2015 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 361
The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of IoT applications and projects. Business operations, IT, and data scientists need advanced analytics t...
Aug. 28, 2015 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 356
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
Aug. 26, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 113
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 546
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Aug. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 476
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
Jul. 30, 2015 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,561
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
Jul. 30, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 275
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Jul. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,218