How many friends do you have? How often do you tweet? What apps do you use? These were some of the questions Artie Decker was asked after he was fired in one of the opening scenes of the 2012 movie Parental Guidance. Billy Crystal’s character, Artie Decker, is a long time baseball announcer for a minor league baseball team when he is called into the boss’s office at the end of the season. He is told that as talented as he is he doesn’t have what it takes to be successful in the job any more. The job requires more than just announcing the baseball game. Artie has no idea what his boss is talking about or even why this is important to his job. And so he packs his things and leaves.
Integrating Technology into Your Career Management Strategy
What Artie missed is how technology is changing the way we work, how we socialize and how we communicate. Artie is not alone in failing to pay attention or intentionally resisting the change. Some people believe they run their lives perfectly fine without Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, or smartphone. And this may be perfectly true right now. However this view misses the long run implications for their career of failing to develop an understanding of these tools and how to use them. Would Artie Decker have been fired if he had a Twitter following of 30,000 fans who followed his tweets during games? Probably not.
Whether it’s your mobile device, social media, analytics or high-powered servers technology is becoming increasingly pervasive in all aspects of business. Even businesses whose core function is not technology are increasingly using technology to increase efficiency, lower costs and increase sales by putting technology in the hands of their employees. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2014 US CEO Survey “86% of US CEOs say technological advances will transform their business over the next five years”! (p. 6).
While some businesses are faster at adopting the latest technologies than others, the march toward increased use of technology continues across industries and jobs. You have likely already experienced this trend.
A Look At PwC’s 2014 US CEO Survey
The PwC 2014 US CEO Survey provides some guidance about the technologies CEO’s see taking a greater part in their business. The annual survey conducted by PwC is a road map for business trends in the around the world. You can use this information to understand where the growth jobs are so you can start preparing today for the jobs of tomorrow.
Understanding these business trends enables you to anticipate the skills you will need to learn and experience you will need to gain in the coming years. Those who are both aware of these trends and skilled in these areas will be rewarded financially and personally as leaders in these areas.
The 2014 CEO Survey covers a lot of ground about how business is going to be transformed in the coming years. Technology is no longer being thought of in isolation or component parts. Soon the days of thinking of your laptop, LAN, mobile devices, social networks and more as independent and separate entities will be gone. Businesses are seeing the power of creating technology ecosystems.
Feeling overwhelmed by the pace of technological change and keeping up? You’re not alone – 57% of US CEOs are concerned about keeping up, an increase from just 43% in 2013. CEOs are particularly concerned about the business disruptions that occur as a result of technological innovations and adoptions (p8). Such disruptors include everything from 3-D printing to sensors to robotics, advanced analytics and big data. With increased connectivity come increasing threats and the increased need for cyber security.
Knowledge of Technology Goes Beyond the IT Department
As the use of technology spreads across a business it becomes increasingly important to be aware of the technology, what it does and how to talk about it. While there is certainly too much to be an expert at all of it, you need to at least know where to go to find out more information and get help when you need it. Start integrating technology and using it in your daily routine. Understand the technology ecosystem that is being build around you if you want to maximize your effectiveness at the office.
Start by understanding how each of the areas in the bar chart to the right can relate to the work
you do. For example #4 cyber security affects virtually every job where there is an electronic connection. With thieves installing “skimming” devices on credit card readers in stores it pays for front end cashiers to know what to look for. Cyber Security can be influenced by far more people than the IT guys back in the home office looking for intrusions, data transfers and unusual patterns. Businesses are increasingly looking to employees to be brand ambassadors on social media (see #2 in the chart). If you are significant brand ambassador for your company online what benefits and drawbacks can you see? How about integrating mobile technology in what you do (#3 customer engagement on mobile).
Investing in Your Tomorrow’s Career
We are using technology increasingly in all aspects of our lives, whether at work or at home. Learn and use the technology in each area and apply what you learn to the other. If you don’t see how apps can apply to your work today learn what an app is and find one you might like in your personal life. Understand how it’s used. As you learn more that knowledge will be transferable. If you don’t understand how LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook can help you in the future, pick one and start to use it in an appropriate and professional way. Just start posting materials about topics of professional interest to you. It takes years to build a large following, especially if you are not already a celebrity. All it takes is a little time each day on a consistent basis.
The next 365 days are going to pass whether or not you learn about or engage with the latest technologies. The question is would you like to be in the same place a year from now? Would you like to take the chance of being the next Artie Decker? Or would you like to be somewhere else?
Technology is Everyone’s Business.
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Larry Boyer is an analytics strategist who people turn to when they need help to reach their goals. He has 20 years of experience creating innovative analytical solutions requiring cross functional collaboration with business, analytical and IT experts. Larry is a regular Top Contributor in several LinkedIn Groups, including groups for the Big 4, Advanced Analytics, Big Data and others. Through his company Success Rockets, Larry helps select individuals and business with leadership and career development.
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