INSIGHT: Inside the Digital Business: paved roads, good intentions, IoT, and Analytics

As the Digital Business takes off, we often focus on external business opportunities - new revenue, new products, and new markets.

As the Digital Business takes off, we often focus on external business opportunities - new revenue, new products, and new markets.

But what about internal organisational efficiency? An article about using technology to “make us happier” came across the desk the other day.

Physiological biometric measurements - like when you are getting depressed, or aren’t focusing enough, or aren’t performing at your peak.

The Internet of Things makes the possibility of real time measurement of physiological status just a matter of time – all with good intentions…an obvious IoT opportunity for healthcare. But then the question of just how much should be done in the workplace by any employer comes into play.

“Preposterous!” you say.

How many of our companies give smoking cessation opportunities, or Fitbit purchasing programs, or places to share Fitbit results amongst employees, or awards for Fitbit progress monitored by HR?

All that indicates a propensity to start monitoring, measuring physical and psychological well-being – in the interests of company productivity and reduced benefit costs.

If there is anything we take away from the recent Amazon working conditions kerfuffle in the press (whether accurate or not), is that Bezos likes metrics and analytics, and the world is going his way.

1984? That’s old news. We are getting closer to individualised medical technology that (supposedly) can make us happier - or at least measure it.

I say “happy” – but read: “productive”, or “behaviourally improved” or any other human based emotion or quality.

If our companies don’t get on the personal analytics bandwagon, we as individuals certainly will.

Like Muse - you know you want one - especially if you want to measure your effectiveness at meditation. Wearables, like the Apple watch, Spire (measuring stress levels), Lumo Lift for slouch prevention, systems that detect real time facial expressions and emotions (just a step beyond high speed toll-based license plate detection, now common), and just monitoring and measuring geolocation or that little green Lync status light could lead to important conclusions on your emotional well-being, and organisational productivity.

Companies may quickly jump into the game, and even if they don’t, we (as employees) will – and then the question is one of just how much we share with each other, and our employers.

By Jack Santos - Research Analyst, Gartner

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