Img: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nishwater/173328833/sizes/o/So I’m here today to talk about technology trends that you should be thinking about as leaders in your organizations. I can tell you right away that I can’t see very far into the future. Mostly because I’m trying to remember what happened yesterday. But what I can do is highlight for you some of the things that NTEN members are talking about around our virtual water coolers. These are the things they are starting to talk about, ask us about, worry about.
Data image: http://flickr.com/photos/ian-s/2152798588/Smartphone image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/goldenswamp/2790584534/sizes/o/Cloud Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kky/704056791/sizes/o/Of the things that I hear people talking about, there are basically three theme:Smart phonesDataAnd Cloud ComputingAnd they are very interconnected. We’ll get to that in a bit. Let’s start with the trends that I think matter and we’ll end with what they all have in common.
Img: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fncll/145149313/sizes/l/How many of you are engaged in collaboration right now? How many of you got grant money that required a collaboration?Funders love it, this economy almost demands it, and it’s actually good for us! You can’t end hunger by feeding people. You end hunger by making sure that people a) are fed b) can feed themselves. This requires that organizations with particular specialties work together to deliver services across their client bases in a cohesive way. That requires collaboration.And increasingly, we’re seeing departments WITHIN organizations feeling the collaborative vibe. The introduction of social media to the marketing mix has really started to blur the line between marketing, program and fundraising. Several large organizations are rethinking their org chart and placing marketing people within different departments. And we see hundreds more holding many more cross-departmental meetings.
Img:http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanr/142455033/sizes/o/There are a lot of stumbling blocks to sharing and collaboration. Most of them require a psychologist to discuss properly, right? Because the hardest part about collaborating Is finding the will and the trust to do it. However, just a few short years ago, you could want collaboration like crazy and it still wouldn’t have been very possible in many ways. That’s because just a few short years ago, the actual act of collaborating was much harder.You had to get people in a room with flip charts and markers. You had to get your IT guy to write the query to get the data that you had to burn on to a CD. You had to wade through 10,000 track changes on a word doc and never really know what the latest draft ACTUALLY looked like.Technology has made that part of collaborating MUCH easier. Where there is a will, there is now a way. And we’re seeing much more collaboration in return. We can use wikis or online apps like Google Docs or Microsoft Live to share draft documents, share our resources, etc. And it’s all much more manageable than before. The data in our systems can get out MUCH easier, and we can send it other places via the magic of the interwebs. Unified and mobile communications means that we can all meet together, from every corner of the world, in pretty meaningful ways.But there are downsides. Collaboration tends to drive up email and other e-communications exponentially. That doesn’t help our information overload. And there are security risks. The more people that you let through the front gate, the more likely something bad will happen. Wikis are not secure (ish). Are they safer than Twitter? Probably. Are they as easy to secure as paper? No. But then again, you’re probably not really securing your important papers well enough either.
http://triangle.bizjournals.com/triangle/othercities/washington/stories/2009/02/16/daily16.htmlImg:http://www.flickr.com/photos/crisdias/211114279/sizes/l/Since most Americans don’t actually make anything anymore (unless email counts), the way we do our work is shifting dramatically. The need to be in the same physical space as your coworkers just isn’t as strong anymore. And, our culture has shifted. We have to be there for the kids now, much more so than we did 30 years ago. Finally, mobile devices like laptops and Internet access available in many more places means that we CAN do our work from anywhere.
Img: http://flickr.com/photos/mikeygottawa/533355476a/There’s a growing body of research abouttele-working. Sun issued a report indicating that tele-workers were happier and more productive. So you may be able to offset some of the costs of teleworking in productivity gains. And, a staffer working at home is a staffer you don’t have to house in your office. BUT, teleworking has other tradeoffs that you will need to plan for.If you have help desk staff, or that accidental techie that supports the office, supporting the tele-worker will require a different skill set than supporting in-house staff. When a computer goes on the fritz in the office, you can walk across the office and diagnose it. When the computer goes down in the next state, what do you do? When Internet access goes out in the remote office, who is responsible for troubleshooting it? Are tele-workers responsible for supporting their own tech needs? There are also LOTS of security risks. Tele-workers will need access to shared files and applications. Teleworkers also email documents like crazy. And email is not very secure. If you are supporting remote workers, you will need to ensure that your systems for supporting their access and sharing of data and files is as secure as possible. HINT: this most often starts with good password procedures. Anyone hear of the Twitter hack?Lastly, remote workers can’t join the gathering in the conference room. If you need their expertise, you’ll need to find software that supports collaboration without being too cumbersome. Tele-conferencing, web-conferencing, video conferencing, document sharing etc.
Know what happens when the policies are broken</li></li></ul><li>Trend 4: Awash in Data<br /><ul><li>The amount of data produced by the world will grow by 650% in the next few years & 80% of it will be unstructured
Data, when used properly becomes intelligence</li></li></ul><li>Awash in Data Implications<br /><ul><li>Prepare for the onslaught
Turn it Into Intelligence</li></li></ul><li>Trend 5: The Cloud<br /><ul><li>A style of computing where scalable and elastic IT-related capabilities are provided as a service to external customers using Internet technologies - Gartner
IT Leadership<br />www.meetyourmission.org<br /> IT Staff need leadership skills to understand and explain how technology relates to mission<br /> NP Leaders need skills to make more confident IT decisions and understand how mission relates to technology<br />
Social Media<br />www.wearemedia.org<br /> It’s not about Twitter. It’s about the transparency, openness, and access now demanded of us.<br /> We need to rethink how we engage with the public and build new skills. <br />