I’ve been doing a lot of travelling lately and a few things have caught my attention as I’ve been getting on and off planes, buses and trains. The first one happened when we were due to take off and the air hostess came over the loud speaker asking everyone to make sure all electronic equipment, “such as iPods, iPhones and iPads” was switched off. I remember when I used to fly as a child and the safety card in the seat pocket depicted electronic equipment as a Furby, the Ewok-like children’s toy with eyes that blinked. My, haven’t we come a long way?
The second was in a train where every single passenger around me, including myself, was using either an iPhone, iPod or iPad, and sometimes all three. The girl beside me settled herself in for the two hour ride with a virtual game of Monopoly on her iPad, frequently receiving calls and texts on her iPhone.
Both these instances not only go to show the influence Steve Jobs and his Apple products have had on the world, but also how we have become a society of mobile technology. We don’t go anywhere now without our mobile devices, and even though they originally started out as companion communication devices and entertainment consoles, mobile devices are fast becoming the norm in the way we conduct business.
Apple has definitely been one of the pioneers, but other technology giants are quickly following suit, with Microsoft addressing the CRM user group summit last month highlighting plans for its CRM technology for the next year and beyond. Sparked by Apple’s iPads and iPhones, the evolution of tablet computers and a mobile technology society is revolutionising Microsoft’s development of the next versions of CRM. New developments mean future Microsoft CRM technology will be context aware as to whether we are on the go, on a desktop, or projecting onto a big screen. What’s more, the limitations of tablets such as document creation and powerpoints, mean Microsoft is also putting time and effort into enhancing the PC experience. Sure to bring a smile to many Mac users faces, Microsoft is developing a plug in for Mac in order to make CRM accessible for all PC users.
For project managers using IPM on the CRM framework, this means managing projects either from a desktop or on a mobile device will become increasingly easier and more efficient. And as the very nature of project management requires you to be more flexible, mobile and accessible, developments in mobile technology propose exciting possibilities for project managers.
So whilst at times we may feel we’re living in an Apple dominated world, the technology and innovation that has enabled the existence of these products means other technology giants are also working hard to push the envelope in order to stay in the race. And this can only mean great things for us as consumers as we continue to benefit from development and advances in technology to make managing and organising both our personal and professional lives easier.