1. The Networked Society blog

Workcations – An exercise in flexibility and fun

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As I type this, I’m sitting 3,000 miles from my office, awaiting the start of a visit to out-of-state friends for a holiday weekend here in the United States. I’m very lucky to have a boss who trusts me to do my work wherever I am, allowing me to arrange my travel plans for the holiday around where I want to be rather than where I need to be.
 
This summer marks the rise of the “workcation” – employees working from exotic (or simply remote) locales and enjoying a vacation or just time with faraway friends or family in off hours. It allows you to save money by traveling in off-peak seasons and at off-peak hours and save discretionary days off for when they’re truly needed. The workcation requires a flexible and kind boss, of course, but remote access to necessary work tools – not to mention one’s colleagues – wouldn’t be possible at all without the Networked Society connecting us from anywhere.
 
From VPNs to smartphones, all manners of technology connect modern businesses across borders of geography, time and language. There is no denying that the modern era is more globalized than ever, so much so that some people complain there is never a non-working minute – it’s always the start of the working day somewhere.
 
But with this inexorable bleeding of work time into personal time, flexibility in the work place in terms of location, hours on-site, and more is helping to keep employees satisfied with their work-life balance. It’s no wonder that almost half of the global working population considers it important to have flexible working hours.
 
That flexibility allows for enjoyable workcations by the beach, in the mountains or in a new cityscape, but it also enables working families to be together for more hours of the day, have more options for medical appointments and care, and enjoy myriad other means of life enrichment. Perhaps that is the true meaning of work-life balance – having the ability to work when you need to and take care of all of life’s minutiae (good and bad) when you need to do that, without restrictions.
 
In the new era of work, companies and employees alike need to adjust to make the most of available time, from working hours to vacation hours, keeping both satisfied. I’ll happily log off at the end of the work day for some beach time with friends, but if anyone needs me I’m a phone call away.

What does open source software have in common with ice hotels?

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Open source software is one of the key building blocks of data centers. It is a vital enabler for the transition to open ecosystems as carriers modernize their networks. But many struggle to get their arms around the real value of open source and if its “free” brand is the key to reducing systems cost. Continue reading

Will the cloud turn today’s smart home devices into homeless tech?

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Did you iron your shirt this morning, and, if you did, did you remember to unplug the iron before leaving home? If you didn’t unplug it, please stop reading right now and go home. If you did unplug, would it not have been very convenient if your iron told you when it was unplugged and shut down? We have been talking about connected appliances for years but has anything really happened yet? Or are we still dependent on our own memory to know if we unplugged or not? Continue reading

Are you ready for a world where 70 percent of us have a smartphone?

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What did your first touchscreen smartphone look like? My wild guess is that it didn’t look vastly different from your current one, right?

Mine at least, looks more or less the same as the first one I got back in 2009. But how it is used! There has been a huge change in how and for what I use my device compared to back then. Continue reading

Significant system source shift – how will operators access cloud technology?

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The market for cloud hardware and software systems has been stable for a long period of time. Enterprises have bought their servers from established IT providers. Large cloud service providers have built their own systems. As the industry merges into an ICT market, the landscape of viable options is changing. Continue reading

Networked Society and cloud – not business as usual

Editor’s note: The following is a three-minute presentation by Networked Society evangelist Geoff Hollingworth on cloud and industrializing digital infrastructure in the Networked Society: Continue reading

Whose side are you on in the Networked Society?

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I heard a comment that stopped me in my tracks the other day. In a review of the Cannes film festival, critic John Powers said that his moviegoing experience had forever changed thanks to social media.

He said: “When people come out (of the theater), everybody has to have their tweet ready, or their comment ready. They’ve already girded their loins in order to argue some position.” Continue reading

Cloud center conundrum coming – where will operator cloud centers play-in?

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As part of the mobile, broadband and cloud-driven evolution, operators face the challenge of defining the role in the market for their cloud data centers. Deploying a cloud for their own IT operations and for hosting Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs) is a given. The real action is around the public cloud opportunity serving enterprises. Operators are entering a cloud market that is defined at global and local level, but with large untapped enterprise potential. Continue reading

Go big, go digital – preparing for the Networked Society in the Philippines

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In a recent news item in one of the leading newspapers here in the Philippines, the head of one of the largest operators in the country talked about “taking significant steps to ensure that we are ready and prepared for the digital future.” I counted how many times the word “digital” appeared in that news item: 9 times in an article that only had 11 paragraphs. Continue reading

Reflecting on the transformation of public transportation at UITP 2015

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It’s the middle of June and summer is in full swing in many parts of the northern hemisphere. It’s time for another interview with some of my interesting colleagues. This time I’m speaking with Sander Maas (on the left) and Tim Wouda (on the right), who reported in from the UITP (Union International des Transports Publics) World Congress in Milan, Italy – the largest event on the calendar for anyone interested in public transportation. Continue reading