Markus Persson, known as “Notch” online, has just finished a blog post about his newest update. As he’s finished it, his flight to the United States has ended. As he prepares for the convention specifically made for his product, he pulls out his smartphone to tweet about it. He then calls his developer, Jens Bergensten, to ask for their progress on the newest update. Bergensten then tweets about his progress and sends back information about a youtube user who has some great videos. Notch then hires Lydia Winters to be their “Director of Fun” because of it. Daniel Frisk then sends out an e-mail about a bug that their crowd-sourced beta testers found, which is shortly tweeted by Bergensten as being looked into. Two days later a patch is sent to all copies of the program that fixes the bug.
The business world has, like most aspects of human life, been irrevocably changed by the new digital age. Long gone are the days of mere board meetings being the go to for in-house communication. E-mail, conference calls, skype, and smart phones have all broadened the way that businesses behave. This new hyperconnectivity has widened the scope even further to a global scale. Mojang, Notch’s company, has completely embraced this hyperconnectivity in order to ensure their success.
Hyperconnectivity can be summed up by the idea that “anything that can be connected, will be connected (cnet).” This does not simply mean that your company’s computers are connected together, but that every aspect of communication is utilized and connected to the business. With current advancements, this has included cars, with their ability to map out locations to meetings, and even some coffee makers and refrigerators, which have access to the internet; Twitter in particular.
Nortel Networks had triumphantly declared that they were going to use the hyperconnected business model to succeed where they had once failed. Many critics have attacked their statement, as they have also boldly claimed to have coined the term. Hyperconnectivity has, in fact, been a phrase that has been thrown around since 1995. What Nortel should have realized is that they should already be hyperconnected, as they most likely already invest in multiple communication methods.
Crowd-sourcing is one of the more popular aspects of hyperconnectivity, as shown above. By keeping the user base equally connected to your company, you can reach out for solutions to problems that your company hadn’t even been aware of. Twitter and social media in general can allow for instant feedback on every decision made, which can be vital to making the right business choices.
Microsoft, for example, had released information about the new Xbox One during E3, as well as in prior press releases. They had revealed that users would not be able to share, borrow, or sell games, and that they would need to be connected to the internet at all times. In addition to that, users would not be able to travel with their Xbox One, and if they were banned from the Xbox Live service, they would lose access to all of their games. The flurry of negative reactions was overwhelming; users on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr all began to protest, while Sony released counter-advertisements and E3 press releases of their own to openly mock Microsoft. In response, Microsoft listened to their users and reversed their more controversial decisions. If not for their hyperconnectivity, they would not have known that their business strategy was viewed so strongly by their customers.
While some companies, like Mojang, have completely embraced the idea of a fully connected workplace that relies on constant feedback from its customers, there are some consequences to this. With nearly every system being hyperconnected, reliance on the internet becomes problematic. If a server goes down, your business could spend hours in the dark waiting for it to be fixed.
People are easily distracted, as well. With the over saturation of technology that demands their attention, it could be difficult to complete tasks in a timely manner. Companies that lack the proper training for their staff could find hyperconnectivity to be a major downside, as user error can frequently wreak havoc on digital work. If there is confusion in your company, a Tweet could clash with a Facebook post, or any number of potential mix-ups. The internet rarely forgets a mistake, and will immortalize them.
Time zones can be problematic, too, if your company is relying on global hyperconnectivity. While it may be a perfectly acceptable time in one country, it could be early in the morning or late at night where a business partner lives. Finding the ideal communication time is essential when working globally.
In addition to that, multiple studies have been conducted which report that modern users of the internet demand instant gratification and lack critical thinking. This could lead to shoddier work output and less critical thinking. Face-to-face interaction may be harmed by growing accustomed to face-to-machine interaction instead.
However, this new hyperconnected stage of the business world holds some promise as well. Workers who are hyperconnected are superior multi-taskers, able to juggle personal and work life with far more efficiency. No longer do they particularly need critical thinking, as they can instead utilize their hyperconnected world to find solutions to problems. The use of crowd-sourcing can cut costs and keep customers motivated to continue purchasing from a business. Keeping on the cutting edge of technology allows your business to remain ahead of the curve, especially in terms of hyperconnectivity. Professionals seeking work can now work from home far more easily than before, as they can choose to work for any business around the world so long as they can remain hyperconnected through various face-to-machine technologies, even if they can’t use face-to-face interaction.
Hyperconnectivity is the new game of the business world. Thanks to the internet, people from all around the world can communicate instantaneously. Some businesses are capitalizing on hyperconnectivity, while others are utterly ignoring it. If your company ignores that, or remains closed off, you will not be able to compete in the hyperconnected market.