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sector in particular seems to have n a very short space of time – less spent millions on IT systems and then than a decade really – technology millions more on setting up firewalls has changed the way people live their lives. It has also changed and restrictions to access that limit their the way they work. It was in 2008 that data geographically and departmentally Kevin Roberts, the worldwide CEO of within the organisation. The fact is that Saatchi & Saatchi, told me how his the real excitement of the digital age iPhone freed him from the constraints has been dampened by the entrenched of geography, enabling him to run the conservatism of big businesses – tankers business as effectively from his home in that are turning frustratingly slowly. New Zealand as from his office in New The problem is not just that workers York or Lancashire, where he happened to are not allowed to use personal devices be at the time. Distinctions between work for work; managers think their job is and leisure time had all but disappeared to manage, and that to manage is to from him – the technology control. Despite all the was beginning to enable a talk of empowerment different approach to work people management “It is as if we and to the very structure is seen as directing of the organisation. the behaviour of were fish, which That was five years employees, not freeing after aeons ago, since when platforms them up to pursue the for accessing information ultimate goals of the suddenly became have progressed beyond business. To do that aware of water!” what was imaginable even would mean allowing then. In another five years access to information the capability and reach of – allowing them to knowledge storage and capture systems become iWorkers, a word which (no brand will undoubtedly progress even faster. connotations here) could be defined as The futurologist James Gleick last month intelligent workers, intuitive workers, came up as he can be relied on to do, inspired workers: reliable and skilled with an elegant insight when he said: “It employees who have 24/7 access to all is as if we were fish, which after aeons the necessary information to meet the suddenly became aware of water!” Just needs of the business and its clients. imagine what will be available to us by According to new research 2018 – and imagine is all we can do. commissioned by Ricoh Europe only Roberts and Gleick are far from being four percent of business leaders would the only people who have been excited currently describe the majority of their by the possibilities linking technology staff as iWorkers. This is based on and life, of which business is just a responses from 735 senior business and part. But it seems to have been a hard IT decision makers across eight vertical sell at the corporate level. The public sectors, education, legal, utilities/

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