Technology Under Your Tree

An Article By: David Tan, Chief Technology Officer

As the year winds down, we like to take a few minutes to look back on the past 12 months, but also take time to enjoy the holidays and time away from the pressures of daily life.  I guess it’s why I do what I do, but I can’t ever seem to get my love of technology out of my mind, so even as I sit here browsing Amazon for some last minute gift ideas, I’m struck how much the advanced technology we talk about every day in the workplace has crossed over into all aspects of our lives.  If you give me a minute to tell Alexa to raise the heat and ask it how many more steps I need today to reach my goal, I’ll tell you why emerging technologies is on my mind this holiday season!

If you read my articles regularly or follow me at all, you’ll know I’ve spent a lot of time talking about emerging trends in technology like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, IoT, wearables, etc.  Most experts have been saying this technology is coming in a big way, and I couldn’t agree more.  It’s a pretty well established pattern that people seem to adapt to and adopt technology more in their personal lives than businesses do – it’s so much easier for 1 person to learn than for a whole company to change.  However, as these technologies become pervasive, we force them into business use by sheer force of will.  The classic example is the iPhone which was always intended to be a consumer electronics device.  People starting bringing them into work and demanding they work with corporate technology, and an entire world of enterprise mobility and device management was born.  This is going to start happening more and more.

Above I joked about some of the technology I use around the house, but really, it’s no joke.  The Amazon Echo is an incredibly powerful device.  It combines the natural language and machine learning power of Artificial Intelligence, with the always-on, always-connected aspects of the Internet of Things.  Of course being connected only matters if there’s something to connect to, and having a thermostat (Nest), lights (Phillips Hue), or even a toothbrush (the Kolibree Smart Toothbrush) around the house makes for a very powerful, very smart home network.  How many of these things are you going to have under the tree this year?

Maybe you’re embracing your new year’s resolution to improve your fitness?  Of course you can’t do that without a wearable, connected fitness devices like the Fitbit.  Or maybe you’ll just integrate health and fitness tracking into your smart watch?  These devices worth with you to monitor your health, habits and patterns, and learn from your past to help recommend changes to your lifestyle going forward.  Sounds a lot like artificial intelligence to me.

The bottom line is this technology is absolutely everywhere, and it has become a very pervasive part of all our lives.  We all have to continue to embrace it, and more importantly, find ways to use it at home and at work.  I think you’ve heard me before say that in today’s world, every company is a technology company.  It doesn’t matter what you do or what business you’re in, you have to be embracing technology to be competitive.  We love helping companies find creative ways to flourish with the use of technology – it’s why I wake up in the morning. 

I guess you could also say that every home is a technology home! So, as you open up your presents this holiday season, and as you make your resolutions for the new year, think about how much the amazing new disruptive technology is changing your lives! Now if you'll excuse me, my Apple watch just told me I have to leave for an appointment that starts in 25 minutes because according to Waze, traffic is heavier than usual. I guess I'll have to reprogram the settings on my refrigerator later tonight. Happy Holidays to all and a Happy New Year!