Ok, so I will now date myself, and many others reading this, but if you don’t know who the Jetons are, I encourage you to search for them and watch these old cartoons. This Hanna-Barbera cartoon creation of the future was originally aired in September of 1962. It focused on a futuristic family known as the Jetsons living in a world of flying cars, robot servants, holographic imaging, buildings constructed using instant cement, video phones and watches, and a wide array of other devices we are now beginning to see on a regular basis. (Yes, even flying cars and printed concrete buildings are now a reality.)
One of the episodes that always stuck with me is when George Jetson is asked about the boss’ latest plans and he responds, “Yeah the slave driver. Imagine putting us back on a four-day work week. What does he think this is? The 20th Century?” The reason I keep recalling this is the number of folks who believed in the early days of document imaging and workflow, and more so today with the new forms of robotics, that technology would free up time for the employees. Some fear it will replace them and become reluctant to accept it. The reality of it all, is technology – to a degree – does such a great job of enabling the workforce that many find themselves working longer hours rather than shorter, in an effort to remain competitive. Even those fortunate enough to work a four day week, find it is a long four days, and they even work on their off days to keep abreast of what is happening with clients and in the office.
In My View
We are entering the Jetsonian Age with technology advancing on all fronts at an exponential rate. The question is, are we ready for it? In many businesses, technology is put in place as a reactive measure rather than being part of a strategic plan. The result is often less than expected and sometimes turns an OK situation into a chaotic one. As an example, I spoke with several people who told me their company had implemented SharePoint without having a strategy in place. Once it was installed, everyone was given access with the directive to migrate their content, and use SharePoint as the main repository. The result was increased difficulty finding content that was once accessible due to a lack of planning and structure.
We are entering the Jetsonian Age and I dare say we already have. If you are not prepared for it, get ready and start planning. The Internet of Things (IoT) is steadily increasing, passing data and information from every device and every location. The winners will be those who have designed their information ecosystems for flexibility and expansion. Is yours?
Bob Larrivee is President and Founder of Bob Larrivee Consultancy, and a recognized expert in the application of advanced technologies and process improvement to solve business problems and enhance business operations. In his career, Bob has led many projects and authored hundreds of eBooks, Industry Reports, Blogs, Articles, and Infographics. In addition, he has served as host and guest Subject Matter Expert on a wide variety of Webinars, Podcasts, Virtual Events, and lectured at in-person seminars and conferences around the globe.