Google Glass: The next huge competitive advantage
In George Orwell's classic tale Animal Farm, he coined the famous phrase, "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others." That could be true as it applies to employees who wear Google Glass instead of simply carrying a mobile device.
That's because for the short term at least, employees who wear a mobile device may be more equal than those who have to stick their hand in their pocket and explicitly pull it out and make it do what they want.
"Now we have Google Glass," Palmer told the audience. "Think about how different a human who has that kind of power is compared to someone who doesn't."
He added, "You can walk around and see the world with augmented reality. How much more powerful does that make you than than a person who has to reach into their pocket to look something up -- and how much more powerful than someone has no digital life at all?"
It's an interesting question.
Palmer suggested that there was a huge and growing gap in the world, one that has always existed on some level, between the haves and the have-nots. In this case, the gap is digital, rather than economic, where those who have smartphones are much better off than those that don't because they have immediate access to information and communications.
"I am holding a computer in my hand," Palmer said. "I am now with that tool an exo-digitally enhanced human being." It got me thinking that his theories could apply to business as well. If your employees are equipped with the latest and greatest mobile devices, that might give them an advantage of sorts over competitors who might be using less sophisticated devices (which is probably one of the driving factors behind Bring Your Own Device).
That's certainly something for the German companies I wrote about last week to think about when they are still handicapping their employees with 4-year old Blackberries because of security concerns.
This idea is especially interesting in light of the blurring of the lines of tablets and smartphones we were seeing at MWC. Suddenly we have gone very quickly from 4-inch screens to 5, 6 and 7 and believe it or not, most of these devices make phone calls.
At the other extreme, I saw the I'm Watch, an Italian designer watch and Android device in one which pairs with your smartphone using Bluetooth and can send and receive calls, read email, and even have apps. The keyboard is too small for texting or replying to emails, but perhaps another solution like Snapkeys (also at CES), which reduces the keyboard to four small blocks with the most popular letters, could help with that problem.
Yet all of these devices could pale in comparison to Google Glass.
There's a sentiment that often comes up when discussing BYOD, the changing workplace, and the consumerization trend as a whole. It's the idea that consumer-oriented cloud services and mobile apps are delivering a much better user experience than an IT staff, business software, and enterprise developers can provide. That's led companies like Enterproid and Apperian to focus on the end-user experience as well as the IT and management experience of their mobile management products. Both companies see the end user experience as a powerful competitive advantage.
Bring your own device is so 2012. The next big push in the consumerization of IT is bring your own cloud. And just as when consumer devices poured into the enterprise, many IT organizations have already responded with a list of do's and don'ts.
Skyhigh monitors what cloud services employees are using and said that most businesses are surprised at what it finds.
A study by Cisco Systems' Internet Business Solutions Group concludes that the value companies currently derive from BYOD is "dwarfed by the gains that would be possible if they were to implement BYOD more strategically."