For the first time, all of our devices and information can be connected in real-time. Whether I am on my phone, iPad or laptop, I now have automatic – and real-time access – to my files, apps and other information. The development of programs like iCloud and Dropbox mean that I can download an app or upload a file on one device and instantly have it available on any one of my devices.
It’s become almost a joke at my house, where we have one iTunes account for the entire family. I recently downloaded a Chicago album (yes, I just called it an album) and my teenage son responded in seconds with “Thanks, Dad.”
But this ”hyperconnectivity” in our world goes far beyond personal or business file sharing. Today, I can change the thermostat, turn on and off all major appliances and connect to a property’s video security system from a smartphone. Our communication is becoming increasingly diverse, complex and integrated with increasing applications and devices on a network.
Today, all things that can communicate through the network will. Much of it is done without users even knowing it. It’s become almost automatic in this mobile-induced, 4G-hungry world. It is known as hyperconnectivity and it is expected to be one of the most significant trends in 2013.
Although not recognized by the dictionary yet, hyperconnectivity is a term invented by Canadian social scientists after they conducted studies of person-to-person and person-to-machine communication in networked organizations and communities.
Here’s a look at three ways hyperconnectivity will impact your business:
· Large increases to bandwidth demands.
The more devices you have, the more bandwidth you will need to support them on your network. At Marco, we have developed a spreadsheet that calculates the bandwidth needed per employee based on the applications they will use. An employee’s demands have increased significantly over the past five years. They now use video, voice, music, data and all sorts of applications from their device. Currently, our calculations show each employee at Marco needs a minimum of 175Kb of bandwidth. Of course, the feeling of users is that you can never have enough.
· A need to manage multiple devices per user.
As I look around my office right now, I can count at least 10 devices connected to the network. How many are in your office? It was not long ago when we had one device per employee. But today, the average is closer to five, with networked phones, printers and computers. The average person owns two mobile devices alone, according to recent research, and they’re bringing them to work.
· Security and privacy procedures become increasingly important and complicated.
The challenge with hyperconnectivity is the ability to regulate – and monitor – all the information 24/7. It requires businesses to implement a series of policies and procedures to protect their network, which essentially has become the master key.
Hyperconnectivity has its advantages in the business world with increased productivity and access to information. It’s already changing the “traditional work day” and will drive significantly efficiencies for business. But it also comes with its challenges. Are you prepared?