Trending Technologies: Why They’re Essential for the Administrative Professional (Part I)

by Jim Spellos

GettyImages-1169192820If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it dozens of times: “But Jim, you don’t understand. These technologies are really cool, but they’re not for what I do here at XYZ Company.” Heavy sigh.

Comments like that have been made for as long as I’ve been working—and I’m sure much longer than that. “What type of comments,” you say? How about, “Do we really need to learn a computer? This Selectric typewriter does everything I need.” Or what about, “Social media isn’t applicable for our company or industry. It’s just for the youngsters.” Or perhaps, “You know, that mobile device is great for me personally, but there’s no way our sales, marketing, and service teams need to use them.”

You get the idea. And it’s OK. We’re resistant to change as a species. Nothing wrong with admitting that. We like what we know how to use and can use well.

Successful businesses today can’t survive using that same mentality. Think about the incredibly successful companies over the last generation: Amazon; Google; Facebook. Not only was their success predicated on enhancing how we used new and developing technologies, but also based on how it disrupted how businesses are successful. Not so sure? Think about how these companies changed concepts such as learning, communicating, and reading.

Still, we need to bring this back to what you do. Your core responsibilities are so varied that any one technology can’t make a significant impact, right? Well, not so much. We can look at some of the most important newer technologies, such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality, and make a case that not only will they be critical to the job of the administrative professional, but they might (and likely will) change the nature of the profession over the next decade.

One example can clearly be seen in some of the artificial intelligence tools that are changing the role of the admin right now. Let’s look at scheduling appointments. The AI service https://x.ai/ is designed to coordinate and schedule meetings using an artificial intelligence interface. Amy (or Andrew, depending on your preference) will connect to your bosses calendar, communicate with clients via email (using excellent grammar and writing skills), and once a meeting time and date has been set, will send out a confirmation and post it to your bosses’ calendar. And the cost for this service? How does under $10/month sound?

To many admins, that doesn’t sound too good. However, the lesson we need to learn from the new technology is that even with these disruptive tools, they won’t take away your job (unless you let it). It will, however, create an opportunity to learn and grow, and potentially become an even more critical (and recognized) player in your organization.


This blog is authored by one of the amazing speakers scheduled to have a session during our one-of-a-kind event, IAAP Summit.

top-vs_bg-fnlSummit 2020 is going to be offered, for the first time ever, in a 100 percent virtual environment. The Summit experience, which is full of excitement, inspiration, learning, and connection is now coming to you. You can learn more on the Summit website, as well as this FAQ document.

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