Last month I had the privilege of attending Dell Technology World in Las Vegas where the overriding theme was Business Transformation. This term is being used a lot these days to explain the overall shift from a PC Centric IT world to one where the Cloud sits at the center of an IT universe, and the client can be anything from a PC to a tablet, smartphone, and even IOT connections. It also speaks to the integration of essential tools that provide high-level security, collaboration and many other elements needed for IT to deliver a more seamless way for individuals to work more effectively within their organizations to be more productive.
There is no question that we are moving to a brave new world where anyone who works within an IT organization, whether it is a big one or a small one, is demanding that the tools they use as clients are the ones they are most comfortable with whether it be one that supports Windows, Mac OS or IOS, or Android or Chrome.
Over the years I have worked on well over 100 IT integration projects as well as served as the co-chair of the largest CRM conference in the US. While I understand the overall enterprise space, my specific role in these projects was mostly focused on the client area, and I served as the advocate for the actual user.
In the past, I evaluated hundreds of laptops and dozens of smartphones that were needed in these IT programs and in many cases laptops that were under consideration for various projects. In these projects, I would put myself in the place of the intended user, and looking at the goal and scope of the project, would make recommendations for what type of client would be best for various individuals to meet the needs of both the user and the IT director. I have helped influence buy decisions for up to 50,000 laptops in multiple IT projects over the years and continue to make these kinds of recommendations on all types of enterprise projects today.
With that in mind, I have been thinking a lot about the current state of the workstyles of what has become a more mobile workforce and the kind of tools they need to be more effective as part of any business transformation. More specifically, I have been looking closer at my own needs in client-based technology for me to be more effective in my job.
In this process, I have discovered that my workflow is much like the average knowledge worker today. Today’s workers are very mobile and use things like laptops, tablets, and smartphones as part of their daily activities. For all of us, the most important device is the one that is needed for the specific task we are doing at any given time. Knowledge workers sometimes work at their desk, and other times they are involved in conference room meetings or will take the laptop, tablet or smartphone with them to lunch or some other off-site venue.
However, it turns out that in most cases the laptop is the real workhorse of the knowledge worker and in my case, two essential additional technologies have dramatically impacted my productivity. These come in the form of docking stations or connectivity to various I/O inputs and large monitors. Most laptops screens are in the 12″ to 15″ range, and when working at a desktop for hours at a time, a large monitor has become an even more important tool that enhances my workflow and overall productivity.
Although larger monitors from 19″ inches to 29″ give users more screen space to work with, I found that using a 34″ widescreen monitor is the most useful new tool that has enhanced my productivity. In my case, I use the Dell UlatraSharp 34 inch, curved Monitor.
While I have used large monitors connected to my laptop for two decades, I was surprised how a 34″ curved monitor truly impacted the way I work. Because I have so much more screen real estate to work with, I can put three different applications on the screen to work with at any given time. In my case, the left third has my email; the center has the application I am working on at any given time, and the right third has a Web browser that gives me constant and immediate access to info I may need when writing, researching, keep up with news, etc.
I cannot emphasize enough how something as simple as a large widescreen monitor has impacted the way I worked and enhanced my overall productivity. I don’t say this lightly, but it has changed the way I worked and made working at my desk a pleasure.
Ironically, when most prominent tech companies talk about business transformation and especially the client area, they mostly focus on the role the laptop, tablet, and smartphone plays. But I would argue that in every case where a knowledge worker also spends serious time at their desk, they also need to help their customers understand that docking stations and large monitors can also be an essential tool in the business transformation process.
As an advocate for users in IT projects, I have now been suggesting that adding docking stations and larger monitors to the mix need to be considered and I feel that they add much to the users who especially spend a lot of time at a desk using their laptops.