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    « Badges for failure | Main | We will be unprepared, we will be uncomfortable »
    Thursday
    Dec202012

    Some 2013 Tech Trends - Micro-networks and Human Appeal

    There have already been a slew of '2013 Tech Predictions' or 'Trends to Watch for in 2013' pieces already written, and no doubt the next few weeks will see scores more.  I'll probably chime in with one myself early next year, but would prefer to hold off for a bit and employ the classic 'Fourth Bidder Strategy' from the The Price is Right.  Essentially, I want to read as many of these 'predictions' posts as I can before weighing in with mine. I bid one dollar, Bob.

    In doing research for my upcoming reasoned analysis of the big trends in technology in 2013, I did find this excellent presentation, (embedded below, email and RSS subscribers may need to click through), titled '20 Tech Trends for 2013' from the San Francisco design firm Frog Design. Take a look through the deck, and I have a couple of takes about the HR, HR Technology, and Workplace implications of the trends that Frog identifies.

     

    Some interesting trends and takes for 2013 I think. But there are two that I specifically want to call out as I think that they are pretty accurate and they do have some direct tie-in to the work we do in HR and HR Technology.

    Devices with Human Appeal (starts from Slide 7) - These trends or predictions are a few different aspects of an emerging theme that posits technology, interfaces, machine intelligences.etc. are getting smaller, more ubiquitous, and have the potential to interact with us more seamlessly and more intimately. The suggestion for workplace and HR technologies are many - equipping field and customer-facing staff with more lightweight and intelligent (learning) apps, building tools that do more than collect information, but can interpret it and make subtle workplace adjustments, and technologies that feel more like apps - not in how they are accessed but how they perform, doing one or two things only, but doing them exceedingly well.

    Specialized Social Networks (starts from Slide 29) - Some interesting contexts (in health care, community organizing), that highlight the fact that as networks continue to get larger and larger, than real value and opportunity comes from exploiting the sub or micro networks that from within them. Think of any large organization, (especially ones with multiple locations), not as a collective network, but as a collection of sub-networks.  There are definitely some important implications for HR Tech I think, from designing systems for local needs, to supporting more close-to-the-front-line technologies, and to developing for more flexibility and local adaptation and adoption.

    Mostly these '2013 Predictions' pieces are kind of silly, designed for page view generation and such. But I really did like the set from Frog, as instead of simply extending incrementally the things we are doing today for another 12 months, these ideas challenge us as technologists and designers of the employee/customer/user experience to think a little bolder, a little more expansively.

    The truth is that 2013 will look and feel a lot like 2012. But I suppose it doesn't have to. And for the most successful organizations and people, it probably will look radically different.

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