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Essential Tools for the New Executive

by Emmett Murphy
August 2011

In today's fast-paced business environment, the new executive is expected to stay on top of emerging new media and technology in order to be competitive. The proliferation of non-stop digital communication, the 24/7 work week, and on-the-go business deals are forcing today's executive to embrace newer technology at a much faster pace than in the past.  

Younger business hopefuls and early technology adopters have a serious competitive edge, as they are naturally proficient at using technology to achieve their career building goals. Utilizing online services, software and state of the art technology to manage your information and work load is essential for staying relevant in your business arena - and ahead of the pack.

Here are 4 essential tools that will help you harness emerging technology to boost productivity and streamline information management.

Embrace the Cloud

Cloud applications are quickly becoming important tools in the business place. While executives have traditionally supported hardware and IT departments, it’s clear that cloud computing is here to stay and can offer great flexibility, innovation and emerging technology to the new executive. These “cloud-ware” tools can be leveraged to manage your business calendar, documents, email and more.

The basic premise underlying cloud computing is simple: a company’s hardware and software requirements can be outsourced to third-party companies, freeing up — or in some cases eliminating — the need for internal IT resources.  In other words, software, hardware and even information are now services, not capital expenditures.

Large corporations and startups alike are flocking to cloud computing services like Amazon and Google Apps. Netflix, 3M, Nasdaq and ESPN are just a few of the corporate entities turning to cloud computing for everything from extra server space to software that helps manage customer relationships.

Government agencies are looking at the cloud, too. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab is currently running various experiments — including work to process vast amounts of telemetry data coming from rovers on Mars — on the computers of Amazon, Microsoft and Google. Likewise, the U.S. Department of Energy recently converted its entire IT department to Google Apps, a move executives there predict will eliminate $40 million dollars in technology expenses over the next three to five years.

Networking

Senior executives and industry professionals may be hesitant to engage in online networking through traditional social networks like Facebook, MySpace or Twitter; however, LinkedIn is becoming a common place for executives to network.

As of January 2011, LinkedIn counted executives from all 2010 Fortune 500 companies as members; in March 2011, the social network surpassed 100 million total members worldwide and firmly established itself as the most important network for executives to build lasting, beneficial relationships and create real professional opportunities.

LinkedIn targets the networking needs of executives with its aptly named Executive Profile. This type of premium account, which costs around $100 per month, gives users robust professional networking features including broader search results, extended profile information from people outside their network and the ability to manage more information.

An Executive Profile account also gives users InMail, which allows them to send a message to any LinkedIn member without an introduction — a feature LinkedIn says is 30 percent more effective than using regular emails to network.

Capturing Brilliance

The new executive is increasingly expected to manage much of their own business communication and output. Productivity applications such as Evernote and Dragon Dictation are essential tools for organizing and documenting notes, ideas and research.

Evernote takes capturing data to a whole new level. The software helps users organize various types of information from different sources into one Web-based location. The product also allows users to clip web pages and archive them for later reference, store screen shots, photos and text notes, all within a customizable storage system. The captured data can be synchronized on every computer a busy executive uses — and on smart phones as well. “It’s a universal memory drawer,” explains Evernote chief executive Phil Libin.

Typically, executives must articulate their delegated tasks in great detail. Dictating messages and documents is far more productive than typing: the average person speaks 125 to 150 words per minute but types less than 40 words per minute.

Enter Dragon Dictation. The software allows users to create documents, send email and instant messages, and surf the Web using just their voice. It’s 99% accurate with no spelling mistakes, allowing executives to quickly and easily convert ideas into text.
The mobile Dragon Dictation application has found success with executives who are also looking to stay connected through social media. ‘I’m finding Dragon to be a much faster, more efficient way to spit out e-mail messages, notes, text messages and Twitter updates,” says David Pogue of the New York Times.

Interface with Digital World

For the new executive, accessing the digital world can be a daunting task, especially for those who rely heavily on Blackberry or office computer systems that are not conducive to media rich content. A whole new world of  digital consumption was born with the invention of the tablet computer.

The iPad 2, BlackBerry Playbook, Android tablets and even the Kindle can be important tools for new executives to participate in the digital world while on the go or outside of work. In a December 2010 study by Forbes, more than half of the senior executives polled stated that their mobile device is their primary communications tool. Furthermore, 45 percent of the surveyed executives predicted that within three years a smartphone or a tablet will become their primary device for business-related use.

The power, capabilities and mobility of tablet computers continue to grow, meaning limited browsing, interaction and connectivity are becoming a thing of the past. Savvy executives are realizing they need — and will be expected — to become fluent with mobile technology that provides not only the ability to work anywhere, but also the ability to work smarter.

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Contact: 

Emmett Murphy
New Media Strategist
212.365.0691 x 5
em@3clickmedia.com
3 CLiCk Media

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