Alexa – Are you listening when you are off?

This is one of those questions that will plague us going forward.  In much simpler times all we worried about was whether the fridge light went out when you closed the door or did a tree make a noise if it toppled in a wood and no one was there.  Well with the speed of change in technology we are building a platform of a whole new complexity of worry and question.

At a recent UKAA round table on technology there was a healthy debate about the future, making technology integral into all business planning and how communities will need and use amenities and services going forward.  As an aside if you haven’t ventured to one of the UKAA round tables, you should.  The debates and discussions are fascinating and always educational.  Check out the UKAA website and contact the team to get involved.

Anyway, back to the matter in hand!  There will come a realisation that technology is there for our benefit and in the truism that we are all different we will all embrace technology differently.  For some they want to have the illusion their life is easier in controlling lights and heating away from the home, that they can voice command the TV.  Personally, I am happy exercising the legs, using the remote and waiting till I am home to flip a switch!  Primarily I do not trust the large tech voice elements and giving over all my life to them.  We sat in a round table a while ago and someone’s phone sprang into life from someone else’s voice and started searching the wonderful wicked web – not only was it not the right voice that activated it, it was switched off!!!!!!   And they say they are not listening all the time!

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Already we see the value of data and this will only increase going forward.  The companies who control the data will be where the value is.  It is no coincidence that Amazon are looking seriously at property management and how to enter the market place.  Their parcel lockers are only a toe in the water.  They will be taking a headlong dive and immersing themselves before long.  Followed by the other likely candidates there could be a seed change in the market place.  Will our managers adapt to challenge and change or be frozen to the spot like dinosaurs watching the landscape change?

It is an exciting time and advising on future proofing is a fascinating and challenging occupation.  One I embrace and relish.  The start point is knowing how you use technology, accepting how others use technology and providing the opportunity and facility to embrace all.

So as I head to my golf club writing my fortnightly thoughts and musings to be submitted on the go spare a thought that in my career I have gone from no computers to the early doors of internet of things.  The speed of change is lightning fast – embrace it and bring it in front and centre.  It is not a something else, it is not an afterthought, it informs your business, it shapes what you do.

Make the tech work for you and your business not you working for the technology.
 

Roger Southam, Multifamily Innovator & Advisor

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