Time to Turn Trouble Tourist Thrilled

54. Time To Turn Troubled Tourists Thrilled - 1610 edited

Most cities are dependent on a healthy flow of tourists exploiting what the city has to offer. As we enter a city in a new country, most of the smartphone data tools we use at home move into “restricted use” mode. We switch off roaming to save money. We hope for a Wi-Fi spot at the hotel, and we turn off “location” to save battery power. This “phone-box-like connectivity” is no longer good enough. So what could make life a lot easier for tourists with widespread and affordable access in the city?

The first issue we typically face as a tourist is to find our way around and to decide what to prioritize. We could enjoy our networked map while walking around. We want to know what is going on in terms of special activities and events – and have this information at our fingertips throughout the day. When we’re hungry, we want to see what the whole neighborhood has to offer. Maps and location-based services are key assets in these situations.

Public transportation is your extended feet in the city. Finding nearby bus and subway stops, getting timetables and buying tickets used to be exercises we did on paper. These are now digitized for locals. But the challenge for us as tourists is that we expect to have the same mobile data access we have at home. The operating model for taxis varies extensively, and where to flag a secure one down and how to pay is not always an effortless experience. And do not expect hotspots in these locations as standard when you need them.

Visiting new cities is a great moment for us to share our experiences. This sharing has gone from targeted text messages and updates on Facebook and Twitter to the picture and video age. We want to show what it really looked like; pictures of us in front of major landmarks and the snippets of life that become memories from our trip. We used to capture these moments with a camera and show digital or physical albums afterwards. In the Networked Society, we want to share them instantly where we are, and with the right geotag included.

My predictions for the future of networked tourism are:

– Turning off roaming and relying on hotspots only restricts the tourist experience of the city, and this will be a major negative when summarizing the trip as a whole.
– Proactive cities and operators will offer new solutions with universal access across the city, and tourists will accept certain application restrictions for their tourist package in exchange for an affordable price.
– Dedicated city apps will replace tour and brochure stands in the hotel when affordable connectivity is in place.

STEM Students Soon Society Scarcity

STEM students Soon Society Shortage

In a world where all business sectors will migrate into the Networked Society, certain competencies will become a precious resource. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) talent will be the crude oil on which the future Networked Society will run. Demand will surpass supply for the foreseeable future, and the STEM shortage will not only be an issue for the tech sector.

As business migrates into the Networked Society, it becomes increasingly dependent on technology. Is a connected watch a clock with a tech addition, or is it a piece of technology that is also capable of showing the time? Is a connected car a car with a tech add-on or a computing platform mounted on a rolling chassi? Is a connected camera a phone with integrated camera or a camera with integrated connectivity? The thing that all sectors will have in common is their connection to, and dependency on mobile technology. And this aspect is rapidly growing, reaching the point where mobile networking is becoming an integral part of the development of most businesses.

STEM talent is already in short supply globally, and shortage is not going away anytime soon as demand rise across multiple industry sectors. Computer science and mobile networking skills are perhaps the safest bet today for a future career in the Networked Society. The biggest difference from the past is that future skills will be more application-centric, and will work across technologies.

Just adding STEM talent will not be enough. The surge in demand will drive new forms of cross-company collaboration. STEM talent has historically been an in-house resource for tech companies. Many Networked Society companies will rely on external STEM resources for certain parts of their business processes. A related challenge involves what to define as your differentiation in the market.

Some predictions of the future are:
* The transition to a Networked Society will drive technology deeper into most business sectors that we today consider as non-tech.
* STEM talent will face high demand and short supply for the foreseeable future.
* The transition to a Networked Society will create new interfaces between companies, often with critical tech skills residing outside the company.