On my flight back from Los Angeles to Sydney a few weeks ago I sat next to a lovely person named Martin. As he is also working in the IT industry (surprise, surprise…) we started talking about mobile applications and cloud computing in general. Martin mentioned that he had a fantastic experience on his flight from New York to Los Angeles early December… he flew with Virgin and they offered wireless Internet connection for $9.99.
Sounds almost too good to be true, but it got me thinking…:
- Are we being ‘played’ by the airline industry?
What happened to the old “please switch off all mobile phones and electronic devices with wireless connectivity.. at no point during the flights are they allowed to be turned on again”.
We are led to believe that the wireless capability in your mobile phone (or furby) will interfere with the plane’s navigation system. So, what does that mean for the Virgin flights? Is it more of an adventure when you fly Virgin? “Yes, I know you booked a New York – Los Angeles flight but we ended up in Seattle… isn’t it cool?!”…
- Über Cloud Computing?
Having wireless connectivity in a plane is Cloud Computing to the max! It really takes Cloud Computing to a new level; you can now send your emails and upload your photos at 30,000 feet. Is this what will give us the ultimate technological edge?! And will the charges be part of your global roaming plan?? This will probably only be on domestic flights as I can’t imagine the legal battles you will have to fight in relation to sales taxes when you start offering this to international flights… or would this be part of the on board duty free shopping?!
- Is switching off a bad thing?
What will happen to our emotional state? I must admit that I enjoy the fact that in a plane I can’t log onto the Internet, I can’t check my emails and I can read a girly novel without feeling guilty.. I don’t have to do any business related activities and I can switch off my brain because I have an excuse! It is my ultimate relaxation… but when there is the option of wireless Internet I know I will take it and I continue to answer emails, write blogs, articles etc…
So even though with my company we educate our clients on the benefits of hyperconnectivity, cloud computing and IT Service Management in general, I must admit that sometimes I feel that it is better that there are times where you can not work on your laptop, you can not get connected to the Internet, and not be in touch with other people. (and usually I don’t talk to the people who sit next to me on the plane… hence the girly novel!)
As business people we all need time to reflect, time to completely distance ourself from our business, our clients and partners… we need time to recharge our business battery and to take a helicopter view on everything that is happening.
And reading a trashy girly novel can give you some amazing business ideas… trust me! It is a great strategy to build your business. (but that is a different blog entry altogether!!)