HONG KONG—Technological advances are poised to redraw even further the ways that people interact with each other and organizations, heard delegates at today's In2Summit in Hong Kong.
The comments were made by Microsoft senior director of communications Andrew Pickup, in a keynote session that explored the disruptive power of technology. "This is an inflection point," said Pickup. "Today you work for the technology, in the future the technology works for you."
But he warned that regardless of how 'delightful' new technology might be — such as new mobile apps that predict your travel time — privacy and security concerns must be addressed, particularly from a communications perspective.
"The fundamental is, regardless of how fancy your technology is, people will not use technology they don't trust," said Pickup. "The adoption of technology is all about trust. Building that up and communicating it is absolutely crucial."
Pickup also pointed to the importance of transparency — for example, how many government enquiries Microsoft has had. "Being transparent and more authentic."
With that as a foundation, said Pickup, companies can use technology to turn traditional audiences into much more "rabid" advocates. "Today, in a network world, you want fans and followers," he said.
Pickup also outlined how technology can change a company's internal culture, even a "middle-aged" one like Microsoft. "We recently changed our CEO," he said. "Cultural change has to start at the top. Our CEO now has a monthly Q&A — everyone can tune in. He's active on Twitter and Yammer. This has changed the culture of the company. It's more transparent."
Pickup zeroed in on four areas where profound advances are occurring, using examples from Microsoft to demonstrate how information is becoming more mobile, social, intelligent and natural.
In terms of mobile, for example, Pickup noted that "we will move from a world where time and place dictate what we can do to a truly mobile world that revolves around us so that any device can become your device."
Pickup left delegates with four learnings:
(1) Any device is your device
(2) Empower social productivity
(3) Anticipate and prioritize
(4) Learn to work the way we do
Ultimately, said Pickup, "it's an amazing opportunity to personalise and create content Finally, with all of that data, you have better measurement. The holy grail of PR."
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