More Boring Computer Chatter
Bill Quick

Why 2014 will redefine who ‘mobile workers’ are | TabTimes

Select tools based on their ability to integrate the mobile device with day-to-day business processes, content delivery and interaction, and engagement with peers and experts, anytime and anywhere.

I had an interesting thought as I read this.  When I first went to work in the corporate world (RCA Victor) the PC did not yet exist.  Nor did networks, or any of the other appurtenances of modern business computing.

I started out as a customer service rep for the RCA Victor record company.  I would come into work in the morning, pick up a stack of hand-written or typed letters (!!!) from customers, handle their problems (usually involving putting in for a refund or allowing a return of vinyl albums), and dictating a letter in reply into my Dictaphone.  When the Dictaphone tape was full, I took it out of my machine, carried it across the room to the typing pool, and they transcribed my dictation and prepared the mail for sending.

When I started working as a programmer there, I worked with pencil and paper, and physically carried sheets back and forth for comment from my supervisor, or down to the keypunch room for keypunching.

And in the 1970s, at one of the office jobs I had in Denver, I worked with huge, hand-written ledgers, which we humped around the office as necessary.  But all of this stuff was, essentially, portable.

By the mid-1990s, though, clerical workers – in fact, most office workers – sat at a huge desktop machine that was about as portable as a lead boxcar.  You want to show your supervisor something?  You have to wait until she can come look at your screen.  Or you email it and hope for the best – if it’s something you can email.  Take it home and work on it there?  Pshaw!

I think we’re going back to physical portability of the workplace toolset.  I couldn’t drag my desktop into a meeting.  I can do that with my tablet.  And the tablet I use today is more powerful than the computer I used four years ago, before I retired, and easily runs all the softward I used then to do my job.

Mobile means mobile.  Physically mobile.  You carry your workplace around with you.  This presents modern workplaces with huge potential benefits, as well as huge potential challenges, mostly involving security and effective integration.

I don’t know the fine details of the future of enterprise computing, but I’m fairly confident in predicting that the basic governing equation will be Cloud (Proprietary or Leased) to (Mobile) Device.  How that shakes out will be interesting to watch.


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Bill Quick

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.

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