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The gadget that improved my life in 2018: 8 CIOs speak
Gadgets, gadgets everywhere, this time of year – but not all deliver on their promises. IT leaders share the gadgets that are actually making life easier
If time is our most valuable asset, then it’s no wonder we all seek ways to free up more of it. And while technology can certainly suck away our time (do we really need to spend hours on Reddit, Words with Friends, or binging on TV shows), it can also be a real time saver.
To that end, your thoughts may turn this time of year to gadgets - for yourself or for gifting. But no one wants a gadget that will disappoint. We wanted to know: Which ones are really working for IT leaders?
So we asked CIOs to share a gadget that is making everyday life easier. Perhaps not surprisingly, the majority of the responses I received pointed back to the perk of saving time. But not all of them. One CIO beefed up his home office with a standup desk, and another CIO says she’s now in the best shape of her life thanks to the activity monitoring on her Apple watch. Read on to find out how these IT leaders are using technology to make small improvements in their daily lives.
[ Calendar out of control? Read 5 time thieves and how to beat them. ]
Home automation to optimize daily livingNest, Ring, Amazon Echo, and smart power outlets to tech-enable our home. It helps optimize my day and effectively prepare each morning. For example, I have a smart speaker in our bathroom that provides news, traffic reports, and music while getting ready each morning. When it’s time to leave for work, I have IoT-enabled automation in place to make sure unneeded lighting is turned off, the thermostats are set appropriately, and alarms are set. Prior to bed, a similar automation uses those IoT devices to prepare the home for the evening. – Jason James, CIO, Optima Healthcare Solutions
Alexa to remotely start your car and moreAlexa fan. I like that you can code it to interface with things it doesn’t naturally interface with. In my home, for example, I use it to listen to music and news, or to remotely start my car, and I ask it to tell me the day’s weather forecast. It also interfaces with my home security cameras and my lights. – John Marcante, CIO, Vanguard
Standup desk at home makes all the differenceErgo Desktop based on a recommendation from the New York Times Wirecutter. Suddenly, I can work at home the way I work in the office. Easy install, works well, big win. – Lee Congdon, CIO, Ellucian
Nest Hello video doorbell is a perk for grandparentsNest Hello video doorbell because it gives me peace of mind about my home security. It’s great because if someone rings your doorbell, you don’t need to be home to see who’s there because it records and stores the activity. You can review that activity at any time, too, which I especially love when my grandchildren come to visit. It’s fun to replay them running up to the door to see Grandma and Grandpa. – Sam Lamonica, CIO, Rosendin Electric
Electronic doorbell offers comfort and controlAdobe
Home smart lock works well for kiddosRainforest QA
Apple Watch makes life easier and more activeApple Watch. A quick check of the watch tells me who is texting or calling. I’m able to quickly access the timer when I’m cooking and can easily review notifications from apps. However, the best thing about my Apple Watch is the unexpectedly brilliant effect it has had on my activity levels. The device reminds me to keep active during the day and has gamified the tracking of my activity, which has had a very positive outcome. I’m the healthiest I’ve been in years! – Chris Fielding, CIO, Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS)
Smart home – just write a user's guide for familyGoogle Home, and mobile device and tablet apps make the process simple and affordable. Controlling my home with my voice or a click of a button is very efficient and advantageous. The only downside is that I must maintain a user’s guide for the rest of my family to get anything done while I am away. – Scott Terrell, SVP & CIO, HealthMarkets, Inc.
[ Want more time-saving advice from your peers? Read 6 productivity tips for overloaded IT leaders. ]