Lexicon Systems, LLC Blog

lex'•i•con: the vocabulary of a branch of knowledge. Thoughts on environment, health & safety (EHS), sustainability and information technology to support them.


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Mobile, social, cloud and big data collide to make the “perfect storm”

You arrive at the airport for a business trip, having left your computer behind. You stash your smartphone and iPad in your luggage to pass through security. As you wait to board the plane, you read e-mails, check in with your team and review a presentation–all on your mobile devices.

Tablet Global Connections

Mobile, social, Cloud, and big data are four of the fastest-growing information technologies. They connect us globally in ways unheard of just five years ago. Their combination creates a “perfect storm” that can cause IT departments huge headaches or generate great business opportunities. Also, they may have unintended consequences, perhaps a smaller carbon footprint for the organizations that embrace them.

Click here to read The Perfect storm of mobile, social, cloud and big data.

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The environmental impact of tablets

Industry analysts predict that tablet purchases will outnumber laptop purchases by 2013. The increasing use of tablets, both business and personal, has quite an impact on the environment. Their use results in lower ink and paper consumption, lower CO2 emissions, as well as lower water consumption during production.

Twenty-five percent of adults in the U.S. own tablets, compared to only 4%  in 2010. And 45% of tablet users say they have decreased printing. 

–morganstanley.com and appleinsider.com 

ID-10081890Uberflip, a Canadian company that helps organizations to deploy content on electronic platforms, identified four environmental sustainability trends related to tablet use:

A decline in printing. Although many people feel that they still require hard copies of just about everything, this is no longer the norm.  Printer manufacturers like HP are feeling the crunch as the demand for ink shrinks.

I work with more electronic documents than paper documents these days. I buy less paper and ink than I have bought in the past. When I need a paper copy, I print wirelessly from my iPad or notebook computer.

Eco-friendly devices. Over their lifetime, tablets result in lower CO2 emissions, notably when people use their tablets as e-readers rather than buying paper books. The CO2 equivalent emissions from a tablet are about 1/3rd that of a small notebook and 1/25th that of a 60-watt incandescent light bulb.

E-waste. The volume of electronic waste will double by 2025. To combat this, electronics manufacturers and big box retailers have implemented recycling programs. I took advantage of this free recycling service at least four times this year, giving up an old notebook computer, a desktop computer, a laser printer and an inkjet printer. I reused the computer hard drives, converting them into external hard drives with a simple enclosure kit.

Green business. More and more businesses use tablets to demonstrate products and services, and for sales transactions. My local grocery chain uses iPads to sign up customers for their loyalty coupon program, which has computer and mobile apps. This replaces printing and mailing costs.

A national electronics chain uses iPads to demonstrate how tablets connect to big-screen TVs to display streaming videos. The Apple store uses iPads that allow customers to compare products and view features. A sales technician is on hand to answer questions and complete the sale–by entering transaction information on an iPhone and then swiping a credit card. You get a small paper receipt and an electronic receipt by email. There is no cash register evident in the store (there may be one in the back for cash sales) and no waiting in lines.

See the full Uberflip InfoGraphic on Sustainability of Tablets.


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Converging IT trends cause IT organizations to refocus strategies

Four trends–cloud computing, mobility, big data and social networking are changing the face of how we manage, analyze and apply information–in a positive way. Like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT), these trends are an example of IT Consumerization, which Wikipedia defines as

the growing tendency for new information technology to emerge first in the consumer market and then spread into business and government organizations.

These trends impact individuals, businesses and IT organizations. According to Aternity in Managing IT through the Lens of the End User,

The emergence of consumer markets as the primary driver of information technology innovation is seen as a major IT industry shift, as large business and government organizations dominated the early decades of computer usage and development.

four-color-puzzle-piecesThese four trends cause IT to shift from a business and operational focus to a user-centric focus. IT organizations need to consider IT availability, performance, value and ROI.

 


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Gartner lists top 10 strategic technology trends for 2013

At its Symposium IT Expo in Orlando this week, Gartner analyst David Cappuccio laid out 10 critical tech trends and technologies for the next 5 years.

Cappuccio said that in the last minute, people sent 204 million emails, listened to 61,000 hours of music Pandora, viewed 20 million photos and uploaded 3 million uploads to Flickr,  sent 100,000 tweets, viewed 6 million Facebook posts, logged in to 277,000 Facebook accounts, and performed 2 million plus Google searches.

The trends clearly point to Mobile, Cloud and Internet. In fact, they capture 5 of the top 10 spots for next year. The top 10 strategic technology trends for 2013 are:

  1. Mobile devices battles. In 2013 more people will access the Internet by mobile device than by PC.
  2. Mobile applications and HTML5. JavaScript and HTML5 will become the mainstream app development environment.
  3. Personal Cloud. The Cloud and Cloud services will become more important with increased use and the need to sync several mobile devices.
  4. Internet of things. An increased number of “things” with sensors will connect to the Internet.
  5. Hybrid IT and Cloud computing. The trend towards increasing information managed in hybrid and Cloud applications allows IT departments to take on a coordination role.
  6. Strategic big data. To make strategic decisions, organizations need to aggregate and analyze data from multiple internal and external sources. This differs from the single data warehouse approach.
  7. Actionable analytics. Big data and analytics meet in the Cloud to allow rapid analysis and simulations. People will be able to conduct analysis via mobile devices.
  8. Mainstream in-memory computing. Increased memory capability can improve performance and decrease response time. New software will take advantage of memory capabilities and will allow self-service analytics.
  9. Integrated ecosystems. Software and services will be packaged as “appliances” to address infrastructure or application workload.
  10. Enterprise app stores. Organizations will deliver business applications through private app stores.


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Information overload is a way of life… do social technologies increase productivity?

Most knowledge workers spend way too much time on email. I know I do. Now, with social networking tools, I find myself reading blog posts at least one hour a day to keep up with IT and business issues. With me, it’s not so much an obsession as the need to have information as near “real time” as possible. Business was not like this fifteen years ago when the fastest technologies were the fax machine and overnight mail. Email and text messaging have put us into information overdrive.

In a June 2012 report on social networking tools and productivity, The McKinsey Global Institute found that knowledge workers spend 28 hours a week on emails, searching for information and collaborating internally. Many businesses are just starting to leverage social technologies for internal and external collaboration and to market and sell products and services. McKinsey also found that unlocking social technologies has the potential to improve knowledge worker productivity by 20-25 percent.