The intensity of Mobile World Congress 2012 is over and Barcelona has returned to its usual more sedate pace.\nFor the last week of February, inside the halls of the Fira de Barcelona companies large and small, new and old, touted their wares to hundreds of thousands of visitors.\nThese goods ranged from the tangible new tablets and waterproof smartphones to invisible innovations such as 4G networks and near field communications.\nRegardless of whether it\u2019s through clever outerwear or hidden chipsets, human ingenuity was really the winner as, once again, we have trumped the previous year\u2019s congress with faster, smarter, leaner and more efficient gadgets.\nThis year, however, there was another story unfolding not far from the doors of the Fira as thousands of students took to the streets to protest against cuts in education spending in a country where youth unemployment currently stands at 50 per cent.\nWhile the future in all its glory of blinking lights and high-pitched sounds was very much in evidence at the Fira, on the streets of Barcelona, that future seemed out of the grasp of many.\nA similar analogy can be found in the enterprise, where technology promises so much and yet the humans in charge of its deployment and management do not always reap the full benefits.\nTake the notion of real-time.\nAlmost every technology company states that they deliver services or results in real-time, or help business leaders make decisions in real-time.\nBut is the concept at risk of being de-valued? Indeed, is the concept even real anyway? In the days when shopkeepers knew all their customers by name, they also kept a mental inventory of the wares in the storeroom.\nThey knew, in real-time, how many tins of peaches were left in the back room.\nToday, the descendants of those shopkeepers won\u2019t know their customers by name, nor how many tins of food are in the storeroom because they don\u2019t have to.\nThey depend on customer loyalty cards to deliver information on consumer preferences, and a database informs them of the levels of supplies.\nProbably, to be fair, with a greater degree of accuracy than the mental inventory of their ancestors. So far, so real-time.\nNow, let\u2019s assume today\u2019s shopkeeper is running a promotion in his store and offering a deal on brand of cereal.\nUsing those customer loyalty cards and his database, he can very easily stay abreast of how the promotion is going on, as the cereal boxes whiz by the till.\nBut what if the information doesn\u2019t meet his expectations? What if it turns out that, even with the deal, the cereal isn\u2019t selling at a faster pace?\nDoes he consider the promotion a failure and leave it at that? Does he improve on the deal? Does he change the brand of cereal on offer?\nLet\u2019s take this example a step further. If the store in question is not a small family-run business but a supermarket chain, the technology is still delivering answers on the success of the cereal promotion in real-time but you can bet your bottom dollar that the executives in charge of the promotion are not acting on the information in real-time.\nHuman instinct finds it hard to accept failure. A promotion that will have cost a few thousand pounds to set up dents a few egos along the way when it isn\u2019t a success.\nAnd the owners of those egos.Those who masterminded and project-managed the promotion, will look at that real-time data in disbelief and take days to act on it, if at all.\nThis is a simple and harmless example of what happens when technology delivers on its promise.\nMuch like\u00a0the differences inside and outside the Fira de Barcelona, the future is here, you just have to embrace it.\nAnd man, as we know, is slow to embrace the future.\nSo technology deals on its promise: it delivers answers in real-time. But the humans in charge are slow to act on it.\nThe same thing applied in Barcelona: thousands of people inside a convention centre, holding the future in their hands, while on the streets thousands of young people were staring that same future in the face and finding it a dismal and desolate place.\nThere remains this dissonance between human ingenuity \u2014 Finding increasingly clever ways to make technology work for us and provide us with these insights in real-time\u00a0\u2014 and our capacity to act on this information.\nIt\u2019s not our ability to analyse this information that is in question, we have already proved that we are good at that, but our\u00a0ability to change our own attitudes so\u00a0we can keep up.