Technology & Social Media

Caught up on technology? You’re already behind.


Sorry to disappoint all of you late adopters and social media naysayers out there, but here's the deal: If you're not embracing the social revolution, you're quickly becoming irrelevant. Erik Qualman said it best: "The ROI of social media is that your business will still exist in five years."

In a world where people are at the center of everything we do, social media is becoming less optional every day.

But what about mobile?

Sure, we all carry around our iPhones, iPads, Androids, BlackBerrys -- whatever our device of choice is these days. But how many of us truly grasp their world-warping importance?

Reggie Henry does.


Reggie is chief information officer for the American Society of Association Executives, and at an annual gathering of state CPA society communicators, he said the mobile revolution is moving even faster than most had thought it would.

According to Henry, smartphone sales topped PC sales in 2011 -- a year earlier than predicted. In fact, he said it won't be long before most people access the Internet through their mobile devices.

So long, PCs and laptops.

"Things that we were predicting a couple years ago are here now," he said. "It's past time to move on mobile."

"So what?" you might be saying. "I carry a smartphone. I'm up to speed."

Really? Is your website mobile-friendly? Do you have an app? Is it optimized for the iPhone? The iPad? Android?

Let's take the iPad as an example. Some people have been debating whether it's a serious computer, but according to Henry, the iPad is about 125 times faster and has nearly 3,200 times the storage space of the top PC in 1986.

"Not only is the iPad a computer," Henry said, "but it's probably the best computer we've ever seen. ... Our mental models of computers and computing need to go. They're not accurate anymore."

Sometimes, he said, we fail to realize what we're holding in our own hands.

Sometimes, he said, we take too long to lead our clients to the next big thing and risk leaving them behind, doomed for extinction.

Technology is only going to evolve more quickly, folks. It's not going to wait for us to catch up.

Your clients depend on your ability to embrace these trends. Your job, after all, is to make sense of a changing and complex world. Your very existence depends on it.

Today is ancient history. The horizon is where the important stuff resides.


Bill Sheridan