Digital Natives Run by Digital Immigrants: IT Services Are Dead – Long Live IT Services 2.0!
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Digital Natives Run by Digital Immigrants: IT Services Are Dead – Long Live IT Services 2.0!

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Slides for a video presentation given at the UCISA Management Conference 2008.

Slides for a video presentation given at the UCISA Management Conference 2008.
See http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/conferences/ucisa-2008/

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Digital Natives Run by Digital Immigrants: IT Services Are Dead – Long Live IT Services 2.0! Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Digital Natives Run by Digital Immigrants: IT Services Are Dead – Long Live IT Services 2.0! Brian Kelly, UKOLN, University of Bath, Bath, UK [email_address] IWR Information Professional of the Year UKOLN is supported by: http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/conferences/ucisa-2008/ This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 licence (but note caveat) About This Talk What might the future hold for IT Services in a world in which the ‘digital natives’ are no longer reliant on the services provided by central services? “ IT Services are Dead” it could be argued. But IT Services have transformed themselves in the past, so maybe we should be saying “Long Live IT Services 2.0!” But how should IT Services respond to this transition?
  • 2. About The Speaker
    • Brian Kelly:
      • Works at UKOLN – a national centre of expertise in digital information management, located at the University of Bath, UK
      • UK Web Focus: a national Web advisory post
      • Funded by JISC and MLA to support UK’s higher and further education & cultural heritage sectors
      • Involved in the Web since January 1993
      • Currently active in promoting best practices for Web 2.0
  • 3. My Previous UCISA Talks
    • UCISA 2004 Conference
      • I spoke at the UCISA 2004 conference in Manchester on “ What Can Internet Technologies Offer? ” when I introduced a range of technologies now known as Web 2.0
    • UCISA 2006 Conference
      • I was invited back in 2006 where I gave a talk on “ IT Services Help or Hindrance ”. At the event in Blackpool I argued that IT Services needed to engage with Web 2.0, otherwise they would find themselves being marginalised
      • And the response was positive – a follow-up event to IT Directors in the East Midlands showed a willingness to transform IT services
  • 4. Today’s Talk …
    • Great, I hear you thinking …
    • But now, two years, on my views have developed:
      • Rather than using the externally-hosted Web 2.0 services (Google Mail, Flickr, Slideshare, etc.) as a threat to encourage IT Services to change …
      • I now feel they can be used to deliver services in our institutions
  • 5. Today’s Talk … Is Crazy?
    • Great, I hear you thinking …
    • But now, two years, on my views have developed:
      • Rather than using the externally-hosted Web 2.0 services (Google Mail, Flickr, Slideshare, etc.) as a threat to encourage IT Services to change …
      • I now feel they can be used to deliver services in our institutions
    • Don’t be daft – some of you may be saying:
      • The services aren’t sustainable – they may go out-of-business tomorrow
      • And what about the levels of service
      • And legal issues, data protection, copyright, ...
    • These are all legitimate issues to raise
  • 6. Apply Risks Equally
    • But let’s apply the risk assessment to the alternatives:
      • What have the UMIST, AHDS, WebCT and Highwaycode.gov.uk Web sites in common?
  • 7. Apply Risks Equally
    • But let’s apply the risk assessment to the alternatives:
      • What have the UMIST, AHDS, WebCT and Highwaycode.gov.uk Web sites in common?
      • They have all been taken over or been merged with other organisations (or will be shortly) and services may have been scrapped or terms & conditions changed
    There are risks that public sector organisations, JISC-funded services, licensed software vendors, etc. may not be sustainable, may changes T&C, etc. Web 2.0 is nothing new.
  • 8. Being User-Focussed
    • The dangers of today’s world:
      • Institutions install / develop software locally – but users fail to use it
    • Why – user issues
      • It’s not cool
      • It’s different from the tools used socially and they can’t share resources with friends & family
      • It’s not available after they leave the institution
    • Why – educational issues
      • Academics who want students to gain experiences of widely available tools
      • Future employers who expect graduates to be familiar with tools available in the workplace
      • New media literacy with students gaining an understanding of best practices for social networks
  • 9. Benefits Of Scale
    • There are issues concerning the costs of replicating services at an institutional level:
      • Installing blog software in every institution
      • Maintenance costs, developing support materials, etc.
      • We could reduce costs by providing national services such as JISCMail
      • But won’t the cost saving be greater for international services. Let’s look at a case study
    OU Case Study : Moodle manager spotted Slideshare was down one weekend & blogged about the risks. OU Web 2.0 developer tried to respond, but OU server was down. And Slideshare was back up before the OU’s server!
  • 10. IT Services 1.0 Are Dead!
    • Summary:
      • Initially we were sceptical about Google search engine
      • Now we all use it, we run training course on it and there’s an industry based on it.
      • Web 2.0 won’t go away – but there will be some casualties – just as there will be with conventional software vendors and indeed public sector institutions, funding initiatives, etc.
      • So we’ll have a blended environment for the delivery of services
      • And we’ll need to develop approaches to risk assessment, risk management, data migration, new media literacy, etc.
    To conclude, IT Services 1.0. which only concerns itself with hosted systems is, dead
  • 11. Long Live IT Services 2.0!
    • What is the future for IT Services in a world in which our institutions will make use of externally-hosted services?
    • Let’s reflect, for a moment, on the strengths of the UCISA community and UK HEIs:
      • We’ve a well-established tradition of working collaboratively
      • We’ve professional bodies (such as UCISA) and funding bodies (such as JISC) to support collaborative working
      • Collaborative approaches are scalable because of the size of the country and the numbers of institutions
  • 12. Looking Overseas
    • Christine Sexton, IT Services Director at Sheffield University has a blog. In one post she described her experiences of the Educause 2007 Conference:
    Christine is right – the US is too big, too diverse, to benefit from community activities which can help IT Services exploit the potential of the social and collaborative Web
  • 13. A Tradition Of Collaboration
    • In the late 1980s & early 1990s I was a member of ISG & IUIC – predecessors to UCISA TLIG
    • One activities was the establishment of a document sharing archive
    • It didn’t get off the ground – the technology was too hard in pre Internet days.
    • In the late 1990s another attempt to set up a distributed archive with a centralised indexed tool failed, due to the complexities of managing the indexing software
    http://www.ucisa.ac.uk/groups/ tlig/docs/docshare.htm Broken since demise of Mailbase!
  • 14. What I Spent 10 Minutes Doing
    • List of IT Services documentation is still available (but not all the links work)
    • I took the links that worked & added to the Google Custom Search Engine
    • I filled in a form, pressed save - and now we’ve got a usable service 
    http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/ events/conferences/ucisa-2008/
  • 15. What I Spent 10 Minutes Doing
    • List of IT Services documentation still available (but not all the links work)
    • I took the links that worked & added to the Google Custom Search Engine
    • I filled in a form, pressed save - and now we’ve got a usable service 
    The software isn’t open source, we can’t play with it, develop it, .. Should we be concerned? Is it a problem if software just works?
  • 16. How We Can Be More Effective
    • IT Service departments in UK HEIs have an opportunity to:
      • Build on the strengths of the community
      • Exploit the potential of lightweight tools
      • Make use of social network services to develop the IT Services communities of practices
  • 17. How You Can Help
    • IT Service managers can help by providing a supportive framework & adopting policies which encourage openness e.g.:
      • Creative Commons licences for your support materials e.g. documents, slides, podcasts, etc
      • Asking staff to justify local developments when other solutions are available
      • Encouraging staff to participate in community activities e.g. contributing to a UCISA wiki on best practices – such as wiki started recently for the TLIG Communicating With Users event
    http://ucisa-communication-workshop. wetpaint.com/
  • 18. Conclusions
    • To conclude:
      • IT Services will need to transform themselves (yet again)
      • The “IT Services 2.0” concept summarises a transformation based on being collaborative and user-focussed
      • IT Service managers have a role to play in this transformation
  • 19. Conclusions
    • To conclude:
      • IT Services will need to transform themselves (yet again)
      • The “IT Services 2.0” concept summarises a transformation based on being collaborative and user-focussed
      • IT Service managers have a role to play in this transformation
    And a proposed title for a talk from a IT Services manager for UCISA 2009 conference: “ How I learned to stop worrying and love Web 2.0 ”