Consumerization of IT Increases Collaboration Efforts

Mobile technology, with all of its applications, is leading people to move out of their offices and into media rich collaborative space.

As the line between work life and home life becomes blurred due to mobile technology, the repercussions bode well for business. "Millennials are very comfortable using applications on their mobile devices and desire the same tools to navigate the workplace, "explains John Paul Williams, director of enterprise solutions for PolyCom. "It's almost a 'bring your own' favorite device to work type of environment."

The advance in technology dovetails with the current needs of business as manufacturing becomes increasingly complex across the board. From machinery that is more complex, to product development processes that are carried out by multiple groups across the globe, mobile technology enables the current needs, explains Williams. "If these devices existed ten years ago no one would have used them."

While manufacturers have been using dashboards to secure information, now the information can be accessed in a variety of ways. "We see companies that have set up rooms that have CAD drawings, detailed work process flows and videos, " says Williams.

Video is turning into an efficient way to transfer knowledge, Williams explains. "It places problems in a context. Millennials, especially, are used using video to relay and understand information."

But it's not only the younger generation that is adapting to the new technology. Williams finds that workers of all ages that are employed in fast moving industries such as chip, pharma and aerospace are quick to embrace the technology.

Many large companies are creating innovation rooms that include video components. Companies are bringing suppliers into the area as well. One large aerospace company requires its key suppliers to be on a video network in order to qualify as a supplier. Kaizen events are also conducive to using video which allows other parts of the company to participate in the events.

Video can also be used to capture intellectual knowledge. Williams cites a client in the oil and gas industry and has a formal program to videotape retiring employees. It is often easier to capture and understand the specific skills that longtime employees have acquired in a video format.

A fast growing trend in technology, according to Williams, is that people are moving out of their office into media rich collaborative spaces. Instead of operating from separate work spaces, designers or manager in various geographic locations are in a dynamic situation where information is right in front of them. "This type of environment is especially exciting for the younger workforce. as it incorporates their preferred method of working in teams," says Williams.

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