“It depends.” What a non-committal, unhelpful response that is. To any question, “it depends” is very rarely the answer that anybody is looking for. But in all honesty, whatever has been asked, the answer probably does depend on a number of things.
Let’s take a question that rolled off the tongue of lots of iPhone 4S users in late 2011: “what is the meaning of life?” This question was asked of ‘Siri’, Apple’s ‘intelligent’ personal voice assistant, who would supposedly search for relevant information and present this in the form of a dialogue with the phone user.
At the time, this was seen as groundbreaking technology. Despite its well documented voice recognition issues, that any PVA user who has been involved in (and almost certainly lost) a shouting match with their device will attest to, the idea of your phone doing research for you was too appealing for many to refuse.
Apple worked hard on later versions and the Siri feature available on today’s iPhone 6 is almost unrecognisable from the initial release. (Even more impressively, did you know that only four years on, the processing power of the device that Siri was first released on is only half of that available in a current Apple watch?) http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/apple-watch-firstlook-review-hands-on-with-apples-highlyanticipated-smartwatch-10161523.html
Siri is not alone in the world of personal assistance. She is rivalled by Cortana (http://www.windowsphone.com/en-gb/how-to/wp8/cortana/meet-cortana) for Windows Phone, along with the well-advertised Ok Google feature available on Android. Now, let’s ask a question of these three products – do we need them?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the answer to that question is not clear cut, and again it probably depends. At their best, personal assistants will simplify your life and give you more time to work – in essence, they’ll make you more productive. At its worst, a personal assistant will fail to recognise your voice, or even if it does pick up who you are, there may be problems with understanding what it is that you are actually saying. Although Apple, along with their competitors, have made huge strides with this software, it will never be completely flawless.
Lots of the questions we get asked revolve around cloud computing. Our customers want to know if there is any benefit of changing their IT systems accordingly, and prospective customers are equally interested as to the benefits, and drawbacks, of such a transition. The specific, yet simple question that they ask is ‘should I move to the cloud?’
Thankfully, the answer to that is far clearer cut, because it’s a resounding ‘yes’. There’s just no doubt – it will improve your productivity, make your data more secure, and at the same time, reduce your overall IT costs. In conjunction with the capabilities of Microsoft Office 365, our customers have a way to stay ahead. Time moves fast; technology moves with it. By not moving to the cloud, you risk being left behind in the shackles of inefficiency, and at an affordable price which can be reviewed each month, your moving to it shouldn’t depend on anything.
Our Managing Director, Terry Doherty, speaks in our series of events at The Gherkin building running throughout this year. For more information, visit http://www.doherty.co.uk/events/ or call 02089871150.