“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency” – Bill Gates.
Technology has become all-pervasive today, and executives especially are using various gadgets to be more productive, efficient and get work done on the go. For example, smartphones that have evolved from revolutionary gadgets to efficient work tools and tabs that enable seamless multiscreen movement for the executive on the go. These technology tools are not only power houses for personal consumption, but also help boost efficiency within the professional sphere!
Today, the workplace has been redefined as businesses have become social. With employees involved in cross-border, multi-location projects, global teams are a reality and 24x7 connectivity is a pre-requisite. Therefore, adoption of technology across functions and through the organisation is no longer an option, it’s a must. In this context, even the traditional boardroom environment has changed rapidly. Some of the key technology priorities in a boardroom today are focused on increased ability to collaborate, secure technology, easy-to-use, inter-connected and most-importantly agile and productive technologies/systems.
Collaboration is key to boardroom meetings
Meetings in the modern day are becoming increasingly global. Teams and remote workers from anywhere and everywhere are connected, and there is a growing focus on video-centric collaboration. Reports suggest 25% of meetings have at least one mobile video participant on the call.
A survey commissioned by Canadian telecommunications gear maker Mitel Networks Corp recently revealed the bottom-line impact of subpar communication and collaboration capabilities, which are costing businesses millions. Employees spend more than two-thirds of their day communicating and collaborating and lose almost 15% of total work time.
Hence, there has been a significant increase in spending on technology to strengthen meeting-room environments with the right collaboration tools. Be it a unified, mobile device to project content without the need of wires, or handhelds with video and audio capabilities, meeting rooms are the newest place to be wired with technology.
The technology available today allows virtually anything to be controlled, automated and integrated into a sequence with everything else. Automating a meeting room also enables anyone to get the most out of technology without really needing to know how everything works.
Inter-operability of devices
Ease of use is a key imperative for today’s business professionals. Mostly, it is defined as an intuitive experience! In the era of connected devices, technology in the boardroom should be inter-operable and secure at the same time, enabling an easy experience. Our research showed that a worrying number of employees experience regular downtime. In fact, when it comes to meetings, on average 12% of the time is spent on trying to set up or connect to technology. This explains why employees are turning to their own devices to facilitate sharing and conferencing. BYOD (bring your own device) is a major trend in boardrooms today and it is increasingly important for devices to be able to talk to each other and work seamlessly with each other.
At a time when users are a screen tap away from connecting with peers, friends, and family, businesses are faced with many choices for enabling employees to communicate. This often leads to a mashup of conflicting and incompatible applications and tools. As a result, productivity takes a back seat and teamwork breaks down as silos appear across organisations.
Inter-operable technology is definitely a boardroom choice, hence!
Security is of utmost priority
We are all aware of the cyber-breaches and the loss they entail. There have been multiple instances when gadgets of top executives containing confidential data have been compromised, resulting in significant business loss and the exits of those executives.
For example, BlackBerry’s security capabilities were a major reason for its popularity in the White House.
Similarly, gadgets at the boardroom need to be built with security in mind, and not security as an afterthought.
Using the right gadgets in the 21st century has become essential, even in the boardroom. The right gadgets can function as a great tool to increase productivity and efficiency.
Take the new iPad Pro 2018, for example. Content creators, especially YouTubers, are using this device extensively to edit videos and create compelling social media content. Similarly, executives in advertising/marketing are using similar gadgets for designing and creating content.
The form factor and laptop-like internal specifications make such products compelling companions for executives, who are always on the run!
Similarly, it is critical to use solutions that let executives seamlessly share content with large-projection screens to enable a true scenario of collaboration without the need for wires and other factors like ports in laptops.
As we step into 2019, such products will only grow in popularity. These devices are portable, comfortable to use while on the road and have tremendous capabilities to be agile, and help executives to be more efficient and productive. Technology and its implications across the drawing room and the boardroom today are indisputable. It’s time for businesses to make it a part of boardroom discussion as well!
Rajiv Bhalla is managing director, Barco India, a unit of Belgian display and visual systems company Barco. Views are his own.