Can the enterprise be as tech-savvy as Star Trek?

written by bethburgee on March 22, 2013 in Big Data and Industry Trends and Mobile and Startups and Under The Radar with no comments
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starship
Jean Luc Picard was the full embodiment of what the modern-day enterprise is growing up to be: smart, savvy, ahead of the curve and prepared to battle even the most curmudgeonly villans who hack into their view screen. The Starship Enterprise was every kids geeky fantasy of what the future would entail – super-evolved people with even smarter technology. From the massive amounts of big data, digesting and using that data, to security and workforce management, enterprises today find themselves in a warped technological frenzy.

The Fleet
The recruiting and interview process has become much like the experience of young Kirk applying for Starfleet. Startups are finding ways to reduce the time and money wasted on hiring the wrong person. Spock-savvy video interviews, online skills testing and potential-hire information algorithms are all ensuring that the enterprise brings on board the right people with the right skills. All the while, candidates are finding more innovative ways to display their career path via nifty companies like Vizify, About.Me, and, well, these guys.

jeanlucpicardThe Daily Log I always imagined Captain Kirk would be the ideal manager, there’s a reason he’s been a mainstay on the big screen since 1966. The issue with modern enterprises is that internal systems and processes are antiquated and no longer serve the speed and mood of XYZ Millennia’s. No, we didn’t create the technology, but we are the beta, alpha and zeta testers of it all. Everything from payroll and healthcare to performance reviews and internal communications have to be tech-savvy and well-designed with a hint of gamification. You can’t give us the iPhone and then expect us to use AOL for “chatting”.

The Black Hole of Data
Dorsey and Zuck probably didn’t realize with their social channels back in 2006 and 2004, respectively, that they would have contributed to daily terabytes of generated data. We are literally a black hole of ”big data”. Even the CTO of the CIA is grappling on how to digest it all. Big data to the enterprise is what Chief Engineer La Forge was to Starship: the fuel to go further, literally, where no man has gone before. Whoever can store, categorize, filter and translate this data into meaningful insights and actions will be enterprise gods. 

Data’s on the Move
Data and evil twinThe issue of mobile access and BYOD is akin to the android Data (ironically the COO of Starship) – you just don’t want any random device with bad information walking into the Captain’s Bridge and f*ing everything up. Reversely, you don’t want that device to beam down data to a foreign place where it’s not supposed to be. In the old days, if it wasn’t Federation approved, it didn’t get in – but today, it’s impossible to avoid, and the global galaxy of internets is a scary place to just be letting your company’s data loose. Startups tacking the mobile BYOD security problem are getting REALLY creative – from ‘sandboxing‘ data on personal smartphones to scanning each application that’s entered the enterprise force field. Policies on BYOD are probably as “loose” as they are ever going to be as the startups today have some clever applications to keep information where it’s supposed to be.

Just as numerous generations were captivated by the Star Trek futurisms, little did they know they were devised in an effort to maximize efficiency. Today’s successful startups are doing exactly the same thing by creating more efficient methods as a result of broken processes within the enterprise.

In the words of Jean Luc Picard, ‘there is a way out of every box, a solution to every puzzel; it’s just a matter of finding it’. So can the enterprise be as tech-savvy as what our imaginations did with Star Trek? What do you think? Twenty startups presenting at Under the Radar are pushing the enterprise to a new tech frontier, so the odds seem promising.

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