iStart magazine – The social age, for better or worse | Quarter Four 2013

Published on the 01/11/2013 | Written by Clare Coulson

I’m not a speeds ‘n’ feeds person. I don’t get excited by shiny new boxes – well, not the tech sort anyway. When I first began as a technology journalist I was frankly overwhelmed by the thought of having to memorise specifications and feature sets to compare and contrast them. And then I realised, it’s not about the numbers, it’s what you do with them that counts. You have to look at the bigger picture, so in this issue we consider man and his machines… [View emag]



Features: Man, machine and productivity (the history of computing), How to justify your technology choice (the equation for equating cost benefits and ROI), Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf (restructuring and redundancy), Fletcher Building lays foundations (HCM intergration), Freelancers take flight (freelance platforms have defined the way we work), Disruptive acquisition (how companies can leapfrog ahead) and Get your business on the map (how-to guide to getting your business on Google Maps).

IT success stories by industry:
Government, Manufacturing, Not for profit and Health


Everyone knows that more technology equals increased productivity. Or does it? Maybe it was once, but is it still? We take a look at the relationship between technology and productivity with a trip down memory lane, to uncover some surprising truths as we tweet our way through the digital age. Our regular contributor Paul Budde picks up the theme to discuss how technology is at a cross roads between helping and hindering our future. It has the potential to break through the knowledge ceiling and emancipate humankind even further, but can also stunt our brains to the point of incapacity.

Is technology a wolf in sheep’s clothing? A trap in which we could become ensnared? No, used well, technology is the great enabler. We stare down the wolf in our feature on restructuring and redundancy, ‘the big, bad wolf’ of business, looking at how humanity and technology work hand in hand. Fletcher Building’s GM of HR, Sharon Spence, also discusses how a new HCM system will help her organisation to build a solid foundation for its success, and reward and retain its most talented people across 19,000 employees in more than 40 countries. While Fletcher Building is a poster child for getting HCM right, top Gartner analyst Morgan Yeates discusses what happens when we dehumanise HR too much and focus on HCM technology as an administrative tool alone, rather than considering its capacity for informing strategic decisions.

Technology has certainly moved far beyond its administrative roots. Today it continues to redefine the way we conduct our lives and business. Like a meteor hitting the earth, its effect ripples around the world. Freelancers can work from far-flung corners of the globe thanks to a modern working paradigm driven by the internet and its freelancing platforms (Freelancers take flight) and companies turn their business models on their heads by acquiring disruptive technology.

We also bring you a number of case studies that demonstrate the transmogrifying powers of technology in action. It has without doubt helped New Zealand’s Department of Conservation to improve the productivity of its specialised teams around the country and has strengthened electrical wholesaler J. A. Russell’s position as an industry leader. It has helped build employee engagement for South Coast Radiology and slashed payroll processing time for Community AXIS Enterprises. And when you hook up your boat these holidays, be thankful for the smart systems at Best Bars

Putting this issue together has reminded me why I get so enthusiastic about the potential of technology and I hope it inspires you to make the most of your machines as well.

Enjoy the read,

Clare Coulson

THE SOCIAL AGE, FOR BETTER OR WORSE (launch the eMagazine here)
iStart Magazine

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