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it roundup

The IT Roundup: News we're still talking about in October

October 01, 2014

Not another article about the iPhone 6

Tech news this past month was somewhat dominated by Apple: What new features will the iPhone 6 have? iPhone 6 released: Review of features here! iPhone 6 and 6+ record sales! iPhone boasts unexpected flexibility feature!

There is, undoubtedly, a cult of the mobile device. We subscribe to it because having access to everything at our fingertips makes our lives a little easier, a little more productive. Just being able to “move things along” in a business world where processes happen 24/7/365 is a huge benefit. After all, isn’t being more connected supposed to be a good thing? Or are we becoming slaves to our mobile devices?

When it comes to work, that might be the case. A recent survey found that 50 percent of IT professionals say the ability to access work (e.g., applications, documents, email) via a mobile device has increased stress because they are never able to disconnect. Sixty-one percent of respondents stated that if they had their choice, they would prefer to work in yesterday’s world where they would be inaccessible outside of business hours.

And yet, BYOD is forecast to be a huge part of organizational policy, with Gartner estimating that half of all companies will require employees to bring their own devices by 2017. However, the recent BYOD ruling in California has sparked conversation about what the future of BYOD in the workplace will look like. Sixty-four percent of IT professionals reported that either no official BYOD policy exists at their organization or nothing at all has been communicated about BYOD. A possible reason for this is that the influx of devices is continuing to grow—and the amount of management required is very hard to justify—at least until a major issue surfaces to make it high priority. So while our collective passion for the latest and greatest device stays strong, the organizational passion for device management is as droopy as an iPhone tucked into hipster jeans all day.

Healthcare: Big Data, big solutions

The ability to find patterns is at the core of Big Data’s usefulness—more data points equals more pixels in the picture. For healthcare, a big picture view can streamline processes, save money, and of course, save lives.

The behemoth of healthcare is slowly but surely moving towards being 100 percent digital. Clinical data, costs, R&D, patient behavior and sentiment are among the data points being catalogued and analyzed, wrote James O’Brien in a Mashable article, Big Data is Changing the Way We Get Well.

O’Brien outlines some key ways Big Data will revolutionize healthcare:

Influence real-time decision making by medical professionals Increase efficiency of medical facilities using patient-traffic trends Clarify big picture trends, enabling solutions with widespread potential for good

Accelerating both the complexity and the usefulness of this data is its volume and diversity. “The other megatrend is the explosion in the number of wearable gadgets and gizmos that measure health,” wrote Drew Harris in a Wall Street Journal article, Two Ways Big Data is Reshaping Health Care. Huge amounts of data are generated for each individual using a wearable device, with great potential when it’s all pooled together.  This personal “small data” can also be leveraged as part of the Big Data big picture—if we can overcome issues of privacy and security so it can be shared for the greater good.

As part of TEKsystems’ public relations team, Vanessa Ulrich reads everything she can about the technology industry and emerging trends. Vanessa blogs about where technology and society collide, giving context and commentary to top news stories.

Like what you read? Get more details on California’s BYOD ruling or read about how governments can adapt to the digital landscape.

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