Closing the Technology Gap

By Andrea Susman

There is an indisputable gap in early adoption of new technologies between generations. Millennials—who grew up with Internet-connected computers in their homes and had cell phones before they could vote—are generally quicker to adopt new technologies than Generation Xers or Baby Boomers. Because they’ve been using technology for as long as they can remember, Millennials learn to use new technologies quickly and have fewer pre-technology habits to shed.

The generations that came before Millennials, on the other hand, may be slower to adopt new technologies. After smartphones were introduced, they may have waited years before purchasing one. However, being slower to adopt does not necessarily mean that Generation Xers and Baby Boomers are opposed to adopt and utilize new technologies. Consider these statistics from a 2016 Pew Research Center report:


  • In the U.S., 65% of people ages 35+ own smartphones.
  • People with more education and higher incomes are more likely to own smartphones. In the U.S., 81% of people with a bachelor’s degree or higher own a smartphone.


What has driven this adoption among those individuals in generations who have a steeper learning curve is the convenience of utilizing a smartphone to perform necessary tasks. Few people these days—if anyone—stop at a gas station on a road trip to check a map and make sure they’re heading the right direction. They use their phones for directions. Gen Xers and Boomers may not have led the pack in adopting this technology, but they use it today nonetheless. Hey Siri...



The Technology Gap in Briefings

In briefings, the hesitancy of adopting new technologies is often used as a default reason to continue using outdated and expensive practices. Meeting agendas are printed, changed, and reprinted. Meeting and briefing attendees are spammed with emails citing changes in meetings rooms, agenda updates, and canceled presentations. By refusing to adopt new technologies that simplify these processes, organizers confuse and potentially frustrate attendees.


While some attendees may prefer older methods of communication—email updates and printed materials for note-taking—the statistics show that most people in the demographics applicable to briefings and meetings have smartphones, and chances are they use them for more than just making phone calls, checking email, and browsing the internet. These individuals are decision-makers in high-ranking positions and are likely to depend on their phones frequently to conduct business and connect with employees.

“65% of consumers download business-specific apps for more convenient access to information.” - Salesforce


The use of enterprise mobile apps is not going away, but is in fact illuminating the need for more robust solutions in every industry. Business people use enterprise apps because they simplify transactions, reduce the likelihood for confusion, eliminate tasks from a to-do list, and provide business-specific information right at your fingertips from the home, to the car, to the office etc. In the same way, a briefing app can simplify and streamline attending a briefing.


Benefits of a Briefing App

With a briefing app, participants have constant access to the most up-to-date agendas, locations, and presentation information—no matter how many last-minute changes need to be made.


Participants can use the app to access critical logistics and briefing details: they can make travel accommodations, view maps for ease of navigation, access briefing locations and details, and get real-time notifications when something changes.


This mobilization serves to simplify the process of attending an event for the participant, and, as a bonus, improves perception of the organizer and helps reduce costs related to printing—and reprinting—briefing materials.


For nearly a decade, businesses have been able to avoid integrating smartphone technologies into their business models because of slow adoption. However, in recent years, mobile technology has improved to the point where it’s making life easier for those who adopt it, creating a value proposition that compels even the most technologically inept individuals. According to Statista, even the age group closest to retirement spends more than 50 hours a month using phone apps.


For businesses who have adhered to the old ways of doing things in order to avoid alienating latent technology adopters, or for the simple reason of ‘change is hard’, the time has come to advance without offense. As more and more people adopt smartphones and the diverse technology they bring to meetings and briefings, adopting these technologies serves as a form of future-proofing.


Mobile on-boarding for briefings and meetings is no longer a novelty; it’s on its way to becoming a requirement. By getting ahead of the curve and abandoning outdated processes, modern businesses are able to reduce costs and simplify the process of attending briefings—an advantage that could lead to exponential success.



Tags: Blog, Innovation, Thought Leadership

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