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Opinions expressed on this blog reflect the writer’s views and not the position of the Capgemini Group

Tech Predictions 2009: Deliberately Disconnected

Category : Technology

As we are well into November, it is high time we take a few peeks into what 2009 may bring. As the past months have proven though, anything can happen, anytime, anywhere. Volatility is a life style. Yep, and life was easy when we still thought that change was the only constant. At least we had a constant. So what can we do? Predict anyway, of course. Follow this blog in the forthcoming weeks to see what is boiling up in Capgemini’s CTO and Technology communities and let us know next year autumn if we were right. Or better still: join us right now in the comments and share your own predictions with the rest of us. To kick off, here is my first prediction: being Deliberately Disconnected is something we will actively search for. And if not, others will force us. UK commuter train operator C2C already did it: they are using high tech film to block GSM mobile reception in their coaches. Imagine that ocean of calm, everybody having these introspective, meditative moments before embarking on yet another hectic working day. No shouting, no funny ringtones, no text beeps, just serenity. Hopefully this is a lesson to all the doomed airlines that are considering to allow the use of mobile phones on board of their planes: 2009 is going to be tough as it is anyway, so you may not want to chase away your remaining, loyal passengers (believe me, using mobile phones on a plane will lead to unbearable pandemonium, there will be blood). We are living our lives short breathed. The ADHD economy makes us impulse and hyperactive, always hungry for new stimuli and information. We tend to become inattentive, even discomgoogolated. If there is one benefit to the crisis we are currently in, it is that it makes us rethink the essentials, taking a perspective from the outside and actually reserve the time to contemplate. Yes, agile fans, in systems development it might even mean spending some more careful time on architecture, design and requirements specification before hastily constructing the first pilot that can be launched into the user community (I have coined the concept of ‘Slow IT’ for this, analogue to Slow Food, more about it later). If C2C’s coating - which is a combination of metals, chemicals and plastic - blocks mobile reception and radio signals, it will also stop WiFi. Imagine what it will do to meetings: if the attendees can not check their E-mail, RSS feeds, Twitter and FaceBook buzz on their laptop, Blackberry or iPhone (the latter probably won’t have 3G reception anyway, admitted) they may just actually start to participate in the meeting, listen to others, be involved in meaningful dialogues. That will be a change indeed. And as we are in a transformation era anyway, I am most happy to launch the concept of Deliberately Disconnected as my first prediction for 2009. And let’s just hope you did not get this one through Twitter.

About the author

Ron Tolido

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