Emerging Technology

Male secretaries = cred… Handhelds take hold… Top 5 tech moves… Bling goes Google

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Male secretaries – the new status symbol

Almost 87% of Australian employees believe there should be more male secretaries in the workplace, according to a survey by recruitment firm PKL. With the increase in female bosses, having a male secretary is the next big thing.

More men are working in the role of PA, and 59.3% of the survey respondents said they had encountered a male secretary in a current or previous job. And as men move into the role, it is gaining status.

Roxanne Calder, director of PKL, says: “The role of a secretary has changed dramatically in the last five years. They no longer make tea, pick up the dry cleaning and take phone messages. The role nowadays entails sophisticated research, advanced people-handling and communication skills, as well as being extremely well-versed in technology.”

Or are men moving into the role because it has gained status?

The banking and finance industry is the biggest employer of male secretaries; media advertising and entertainment industries are next, then IT and HR.

True to stereotype, the survey found that the automotive and trade services sector prefer the old roles of male bosses and female secretaries.

“Secretaries are the backbone of the business and in many cases provide valuable insights and advice to their boss. Before World War II, most secretaries were males. The secretarial role needs people, male or female, who are highly organised, are able to deal with stress and deadlines,” says Calder.

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Business owners love their handhelds

Almost half of small business owners say they would have difficulty surviving without a wireless advice like a BlackBerry, according to an AT&T survey of 1000 US business owners reported by PRNewswire.

According to the survey, 51% of business owners say they depend on wireless technology more than they did a year ago, to the point where 42% now say that it would be a major challenge to run their business without it.

Over 40% of business owners say they regularly conduct business while at home or on the road. Of those, 53% said the success of their business depends on having access to efficient mobile devices such as mobile phones, PDAs and PCs with mobile internet.

But technology is about more than just survival – just over 50% say they use wireless technology to give their business an advantage over competitors.

Business owners’ increased reliance on mobile communication and internet access appears to be a function of the increasing burdens of home life coming to a crunch with the long working hours of many small business owners.

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Top 5 strategic technologies for 2008

IT consultancy Gartner has come up with its list of the top strategic technologies for 2008. Here are the top 5:

  1. Green IT: An explosion on environmental regulations, increasing electricity costs and a push for social responsibility will see green information technologies become more important.
  2. Unified communications: Gartner analysts expect major companies to start implementing Skype-style internet telephony over the next three years, the first major change in voice communications since the digital PBX and cellular phone changes in the 1970s and 1980s.
  3. Social software. The enterprise Web 2.0 product environment will experience considerable flux, with continued product innovation and new entrants, including start-ups, large vendors and traditional collaboration vendors. Expect significant consolidation as competitors strive to deliver robust Web 2.0 offerings to the enterprise. Nevertheless social software technologies will increasingly be brought into the enterprise to augment traditional collaboration.
  4. Mashup and composite applications: By 2010, web mashups will be the dominant model for the creation of in-house enterprise applications. Mashup technologies will evolve significantly over the next five years, and application leaders must take this evolution into account when evaluating the impact of mashups and in formulating an enterprise mashup strategy.
  5. Software as a service: Software as a service will spread across industries, and more markets and companies must evaluate where online service based delivery may provide value in 2008-2010.

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Ultimate bling – the Google ring

Gold and diamonds are soooo 2006. For the latest, biggest and best in bling, you need a Google VanityRing. According to OhGizmo, the VanityRing has an LCD display where the diamond would usually sit which shows something much more valuable: how many hits are returned by a Google search on your name. At night, you plug the VanityRing into its ring box and your Google stats will be updated.

The only problem is, you get all the hits for your name, even if the person referred to is not actually you. So the John Smiths of the world come out looking pretty darn cool, whether they are or not.

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