Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Feel The Power

Spending the entire day yesterday in New York City, especially at this time of year, was most enjoyable. I had a few meetings and some parties to attend. It was lovely to get out of the "office" for a change. It struck me that I was still able, thanks largely to Starbucks, to use my free time between appointments as effectively as if I was in my home office. It further hit me that I am as technology enabled today, although an independent consultant, as I was when I was truly captain of the ship, a CIO at a Fortune 500 company.

We have often heard or read that the best technology used to be found in the office where massive amounts of computing power and storage, access to networks and the latest software would be found. Companies, particularly the larger ones, would always have the latest in technology.

Somewhere along the line, people started to have better equipment at home. Desktops, notebooks, tablets and smart phones all became affordable and moved into the realm of consumer products. Old style modems gave way to cable and fiber optics in the home bringing the internet to your front door, often at higher bandwidths than you had at work, and certainly less restricted.

The latest incarnation of the consumerization of technology is the virtual plethora of programs available in the cloud. Microsoft, Google and Apple all provide for little to no cost, whole collections of solutions for all your computing needs.

I am every bit as empowered to communicate and conduct my personal and commercial business as I was a year ago with the resources of a  $5 billion dollar company at my disposal. I cannot think of anything I want or need to do that cannot be accomplished with the equipment, software and capabilities I have.

For the price of a vanilla latte, I can park in Starbucks (or find other free WiFi zones) and use a notebook, tablet or smartphone to read and reply to email, scroll through Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus, write or edit my blog or conduct research.  I can shop or do my banking.

At home the capabilities are even better with dedicated high speed internet and a printer. My desktop is set up with an HD camera and headphones for telephone and video conferencing. No matter where I am, my Google voice phone number can be made to ring anywhere including on my desktop, house phone or mobile devices.

Perhaps the only thing I miss about the company is having someone to crawl under my desk and plug in the cables. Now I have to do that myself.

Captain Joe

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