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    « Off Topic: The Joker | Main | What's 'Study abroad' got to do with it? »

    Tech Things to Watch in 2013

    At the start of the New Year the marketing/branding/digital (I confess, I am not completely sure what exactly they do), firm JWT releases a really cool and interesting collection of '100 Things to Watch' for the upcoming year - a collection of new ideas, trends, technologies, societal shifts, etc. that are meant to stimulate thinking and generate discussion. Many of the 'things to watch' are kind of uber-trendy and destined to be largely unimportant and fleeting, (chia seeds, bee venom, and faux meat), but others, particularly the tech trends that JWT identifies have the potential to be more significant, enduring, and even influential in the design of workplaces and the nature in which work is performed. And we even had some fun talking about some of these items, 'Adult Playgrounds' in particular, on the HR Happy Hour Show last week.

    The entire JWT slide presentation is embedded below, (email and RSS subscribers may need to click through), and after the deck I'll pull a few of the 'things to watch' that are likely to be more relevant and meaningful to work and workplaces.


    So which of the 100 things should you as an HR and Talent pro be on the watch for?

     Here are just a few I think you should keep an eye on.

    11. Biometric Authentication - As a means to combat fraud and improve information security, systems of all kinds (building access, financial, smartphones), are moving toward biometric means (iris scans, fingerprints) of authentication. For organizations with particular security concerns, we may see a shift towards making employees access data and facilities with their bodies, rather than some complex passwords they have to leave posted on sticky notes on their desks.

    22. Data Scientists - The New Hotshots - So maybe you've heard of this little mega-trend known as 'Big Data' - well everyone else has too, and just about every organization is soon going to be wrestling with not just the technologies required to collect data, but with finding people with the right skill sets that can help them assess, analyze, interpret, and make 'Big Data' actionable. Have fun finding, (and affording) these geeky geniuses in 2013.

    39. Geofencing - This idea, the ability to target and message consumers who are in or near a particular location using smartphone GPS information has been around for some time. But in 2013, JWT sees it growing in use and importance, particularly in retail locations. But how about for recruiting? Could a technology that dynamically messages potential candidates at a conference or career fair be all that far off? 

    43. Human Centered Tech - This one is a bit related to the Biometric Authentication trend, if just a little more vague and esoteric. The basic idea is that technologies will increasingly adapt to their users, more fully, more flexibly, and by 'learning' about their users. Think about this trend in terms of HR systems you may have deployed today that have versions or interfaces for wide swaths of users, (managers, staff, executives). Going forward this trend

    80. Self-service -  Wow, self-service? Really? Haven't we had self-service all over the place for ages? Well, yes - but in 2013 JWT suggesting that we will see self-service in even more applications - tagging your own bags at the airport, monitoring your own vital signs, and handling even more support and service requests on our own. And even though we've had 'self-service' applications in HR forever, in 2013 and beyond whether it is due to advances in the technology, the prevalence of mobile devices, or the increased acceptance by all employees to 'do their own HR', we should expect to plan for even more self-service applications.

    What do you think? On the mark? Crazy?

    Time will tell.

    If you take a few minutes to have a look through the entire list, let me know what other 'Things to Watch in 2013' you think will impact the world of work.

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    Reader Comments (3)

    Morning, Steve. Great piece and I like the pull-outs you highlight here. Very interesting that many of these are related to the human aspect of everything from marketing to healthcare. Very relevant since "social" has become so digital lately and the human element has become secondary. I am dying to see humanity return and for social to incorporate that more. Regardless, tech is really embedded in our daily lives and engrained in nearly everything we do...this will only grow as we move forward unless we move to some remote mountainous region in Tibet!

    Note: As soon as they make it mandatory for everyone to have something implanted to make all of this bio-tech stuff happen without the use of a mobile device, they can put it in my left ass cheek under the Tatoo that says "property of Apple!"

    January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDamon Lovett

    Thanks for the share, Steve. I found #35 to be particularly interesting. I have a friend whose cousin participates in food sharing with a group of mothers who wish to feed their babies whole foods. Each of them makes a lot of baby food weekly and then brings it to a Sunday swap. Stay with me here... office food sharing. Take your normal lunch group and rotate cooking a meal each day of the week for each other. Saves money, time and in most cases it's probably a lot more nutritious.

    January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHD

    Damon - too funny, but some great points. I think there will continue to be a push toward making technology more personal and human while at the same time having tech do more and more for us.

    HD - Cool story - thanks for sharing that. I like the office food share idea - could be a novel way to build more cohesiveness as well as learn a little about each other. You should try it at your HQ!

    January 10, 2013 | Registered CommenterSteve

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