My youngest daughter is doing a study abroad and an internship in France this summer. Taking advantage of the situation, we decided to travel with her to her destination and have a long overdue family vacation, a week in Paris.
Since she was going to be there for a while, she naturally brought her PC along. After we checked into the hotel, I asked if she had brought her Ethernet cable with her. That's when I got "the look."
All of you fathers know the look I'm talking about. It's the one that tells you've said something incredibly stupid. Despite her look, she politely said, "Why do I need a cable? Don't they have wireless?'" Having spent the last two years in an academic environment, she simply could not comprehend wireless not being available.
Later that day, when we returned from our sightseeing, we asked the hotel desk clerk about wireless. He informed me that, yes, they had wireless, and gave us the login information. I then asked if there was a charge--and that's when I learned that, apparently, French hotel clerks and young American women learn non-verbal communication at the same place. The clerk also gave me "the look," and politely informed me, "It is free." Again, in their worlds, Internet access is always wireless and free.
The point in all this is that there is a new generation of potential employees and customers that are accustomed to a variety of technologies being available, and they expect to see and use them in the corporate world. Whether and how we deploy these technologies likely will have an impact on our ability to attract new talent to our companies and to find and retain customers. Here's a sampling of these technologies: