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Anywhere: How Global Connectivity is Revolutionizing the Way We Do Business Hardcover – 16 Feb 2010
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About the Author
Emily Nagle Green is president and CEO of Yankee Group, a leading firm in researching global connectivity change. Yankee Group supports businesses worldwide that use, operate, or help build networks with powerful ideas, forecasts, conferences, and strategy consulting. Green is also vice-chair of MITX, the largest association for digital marketing and media technology in the United States. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
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I could barely read this, the competence level is so low.
In February, 1996, my first grandson, Theodore, was born. The Digital Age was just dawning.
So, rather than send a conventional birth announcement, I sent one via email. I asked friends all over the world to send me the newspaper from their town on the day Theodore was born.
I wound up with stack of newspapers that came up to my waist. Every continent was represented. A friend of mine was travelling on business and was in London when he got the news. He sent a copy of the Financial Times clearly stamped: "Do not remove from reading room."
That year I wrote an article on "Leadership for a Networked World." The next year Jeff Senne and I wrote Cyberpower for Business, which Inc. magazine called "a book every CEO should own."
Today I live a good part of my life online. And I read about and write about what's going on with technology and how technology, business, and human nature interact.
In short, I'm a citizen of the evolving digital world. If you're like me or if you like reading about technology trends and forecasts, give this book a pass. You probably already know most of what's in it and you'll be put off by the breathless "gee-whiz" prose.
But we're not the only kind of potential reader for Anywhere. Some of you are like my friend Jim.
Jim is the VP for sales of a specialty chemical company. He's got an engineering degree. He makes sure his Blackberry is within arm's reach at all times.
Jim uses technology, but he hasn't given the evolution of the Digital Age or its future much thought. He's been busy with other things, like helping his company grow and planning for its future.
When he told me that he'd read the book, I asked for his reaction. Here's what he told me.
Anywhere had a lot of things that Jim either didn't know or hadn't thought about. He picked up a lot of ideas that he wants to research. He liked the way the book sketched out how we got to where we are and suggested where we may be going.
Anywhere has several "quizzes" spread through the book. Jim thought he wouldn't like them, but he found them helpful.
He noted that most of the examples are either large companies or tech companies, so if you bend metal, mix chemicals or run a retail store, you're going to have to work to extract value. Even so, if you want an overview of what the connected world of the future might look like and ideas about how businesses will adapt, this should be a good book for you.
There's a third kind of possible reader who's different from me and from Jim. It may be you if you haven't really paid much attention to how things have been changing. It's certainly you, if you've been saying to yourself, "I really need to learn more about this digital revolution."
If you recognize yourself in that sketch, Anywhere is a great choice. It's well-written and it presents a knowledgeable view of how things may unfold that's as good a guess as anyone's.
No matter what kind of reader you are, there are some things you should be aware of. If they turn you off, this book is a bad choice for you.
This is an enthusiast's guide to the future. It's well written, but almost depressingly positive at times. Pesky issues like security, privacy, learning curves, and cross-border jurisdictional issues have no place here.
Nor do competing viewpoints. Because the book is a promotional piece for the Yankee Group, you won't find much here about what their competition thinks.
If you do decide to read this book, here's something to keep in mind. Peter Drucker said that there are only two things we know for sure about the future. The first is that it's unknowable. The second is that it will be different from today.
In fact, Nagle refers to it more as a revolution. Based on her years of research on several technologies including broadband and internet as CEO of the Yankee Group, she is an authority on the changing connectivity landscape and what it means to individuals and businesses. In fact, Nagle estimates the "Anywhere Network Economy" will generate $1 trillion in global revenues by 2012. This is the heart of what Nagle refers to as "ubiquitous connectivity" that connects us and the things we care about.
Nagle separates these changes into the key components of a common digital network, broadband demand, and wireless ubiquity. Each of these areas represent key puzzle pieces that allow the sharing of intelligent content instantly and rapid response as the norm. Her analysis and examples of how the process is already changing every facet of our lives is amazing. Every second breakthroughs propel people and systems forward in the evolving digital era. If you're looking for a unique overview of how the technology you use today will impact you're your everyday life, Always is a must read.
In "Anywhere: How Global Connectivity Is Revolutionizing the Way We Do Business," Emily Nagle Green paints a clear picture of how tomorrow is going to be very different from yesterday. Green asserts that connectivity will dramatically change our lives in these first decades of the 21st century in much the same way that electricity revolutionized society in the early 20th century. Just as electricity provided the spark for the mass production enterprises that brought large numbers of workers under one roof, connectivity is creating more efficient mass collaboration platforms where all of us can work from anywhere - and we can do it smarter, faster, and cheaper.
No company will be spared as connectivity revolutionizes the way businesses do business. Green asserts that by the end of this decade, fewer employees will work in traditional offices and many workers will be free agents, serving multiple companies at the same time. Those business leaders who see what's coming will have a tremendous opportunity to profit from the change. For, example, Green notes that IBM saves over $110 million per year by allowing 100,000 employees to work from home. Unfortunately, most business leaders are behind their consumers in embracing the new technology, and consequently, are not poised to take advantage of the efficiencies of the connectivity revolution. While consumers, in increasing numbers, are networking on Facebook and other mass collaboration tools, when it comes to incorporating new technology, businesses have not ventured much beyond the electronic memos of their e-mail systems. In other words, as Green poignantly observes, "People are changing faster than their organizations."
There once was a time when electricity was a luxury, and most people could get along without it. But just as that condition soon changed, so will the notion that connectivity isn't really all that necessary. Before the end of this decade, connectivity will redefine the work we do and the way we work. If you want to be prepared for the new world of working without walls, "Anywhere" will do the job.