Information Technology Forecasting

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LSC 742: Library Automation and Project Management - Graduate class presentation.
The Catholic University of America - Spring 2009

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  • Well, what is forecasting of information technology and why do libraries and other information professions do it? Forecasting of information technology tools is an attempt to predict the future-needs and trends of users. As the business models teach us, if you can anticipate or predict tomorrow’s customer needs, you’re likely to succeed in business. Libraries use forecasting of information technology tools and trends for the same reason - to stay in-touch with their customers.
  • Information Technology Forecasting

    1. 1. Forecasting Forecasting of Information Technology Tools in Libraries Albert Franklin Bakasara Kazooba
    2. 2. Technology Forecasting Librarian Tools Customers
    3. 3. Why Bother? When is he getting off that new computer? OMG! This thing is slow I Can’t stand them! All they do is stay on that computer all day – when do they read? I feel your pain!
    4. 4. Principles involved in Forecasting <ul><li>Understanding your customers/users </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping abreast of new technology trends </li></ul><ul><li>Selecting those technology tools/software that best fits your customer needs – you simply can’t follow everything </li></ul>
    5. 5. Understanding the library customer/user <ul><li>Conducting Surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Frequently Asked Questions </li></ul><ul><li>Other Internal Statistics </li></ul>
    6. 6. Conducting Surveys <ul><li>Clearly define goal s of the survey </li></ul><ul><li>Select a representative sample </li></ul><ul><li>Choose a simple interview methodology </li></ul><ul><li>Create a simple easy-to-use questionnaire </li></ul>
    7. 7. Customer FAQs <ul><li>Most reference desks keep detailed statistics on what kind of questions customers/users frequently ask. These FAQs are a useful gauge that can be used to measure the ability of some technology tools/software. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Internal Statistics <ul><li>Internal statistics – like those kept in accounting, circulation, acquisition, and other departments, could be evaluated to measure customer abilities. For example, high reference desk questions about a relatively easy-to-use library feature on an existing ILS system, would be an indication that maybe, the customers will not be able to use a newer sophisticated upgrade – unless, its one designed to solve the problems they (customers/users) are currently facing. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Keep abreast of new technology Ah excuse me, do you have an IPod docking station in this library?
    10. 10. Keeping abreast of new technology trends <ul><li>Continuing education for librarians </li></ul><ul><li>Technology fairs/shows </li></ul><ul><li>Reading industry and professional magazines </li></ul>
    11. 11. Continuing Education <ul><li>Library professionals must constantly keep upgrading their skills to keep up with current service delivery trends/tools in the in profession </li></ul><ul><li>Some states, the continuing education component is tied in with their certification requirements </li></ul><ul><li>In Maryland, library professionals are required to have an equivalent of 9 college credits every 5 years </li></ul>
    12. 12. Technology Fairs/Shows <ul><li>Library professionals should be encouraged to attend technology fairs/shows to get a glimpse of upcoming software/tools </li></ul><ul><li>Directly discuss software/tools issues directly with knowledgeable vendor representatives </li></ul><ul><li>Compare products </li></ul>
    13. 13. Reading Library Literature <ul><li>Reading technology software/tools related articles in magazines like library journal, American libraries, Children and Libraries, Computers in Libraries, and so many others </li></ul><ul><li>Visiting vendor websites and consumer reports </li></ul>
    14. 14. Selecting the Technology Tools/Software <ul><li>The mission of library organization </li></ul><ul><li>The budget </li></ul><ul><li>The technical abilities of the IT Department </li></ul>
    15. 15. The Mission of Library Organization <ul><li>Defines the library’s reason for existence </li></ul><ul><li>Scope of its services </li></ul><ul><li>Customers </li></ul>
    16. 16. Budget <ul><li>Funding: </li></ul><ul><li>How much money does the library have? </li></ul><ul><li>How much can it justifiably spend on this software/tool? </li></ul><ul><li>Cost-benefit analysis: </li></ul><ul><li>What are the benefits? </li></ul><ul><li>Is this the most cost effective way to acquire this particular software/tool? </li></ul>
    17. 17. Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) <ul><li>Lower up-front capital investment in hardware and software </li></ul><ul><li>Service can be up without the need to add on a server or any other internal infrastructure upgrades </li></ul><ul><li>Pay-as-you-go pricing allows quick roll-out and a streamlined ROI of information process </li></ul><ul><li>Maintenance costs are eliminated, allowing the IT department to focus energy and time elsewhere </li></ul><ul><li>Updates to the software (and patches) occur without disrupting the service </li></ul>
    18. 18. Summary <ul><li>In summary, libraries can and should strive to keep up with the new technologies and trends. Yes, budgetary constraints, the inability to predict the lifespan of some these tools and trends, but all things considered, the benefits of customer service improvements and keeping the library profession relevant to today’s information seeker are worth the investment. </li></ul><ul><li>In the March 2009 issue of the American library Magazine, Keith Michael Fiels, observes that “times may be tough – and getting tougher – but we do have a new set of tools to help us do the job. So let’s all roll our sleeves up, we’ve got libraries to save”. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Resources <ul><li>References: </li></ul><ul><li>St. Clair, Guy (2008). &quot;Software-as-a-Service (SAAS): Put the Focus on the KM/Knowledge Service Core Function,&quot; SMR International. URL: http://www.smr-knowledge.com/articles/EOS SaaS White Paper 2008.pdf (accessed 1/4/2009). </li></ul><ul><li>Lynn Jurewicz and Todd Cutler ‘High Tech High Touch: Library Customer through Technology’ ALA library series </li></ul><ul><li>Keith Michael Fiels, American Library Magazine; March 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>RSS Feeds monitored: </li></ul><ul><li>Technology forecast to pull world from recession - vnunet.com </li></ul><ul><li>Library Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Bookmarked Items: </li></ul><ul><li>Top 10 best things about the web - vnunet.com </li></ul><ul><li>Oracle starts up SaaS supply chain software </li></ul><ul><li>Firms urged to embrace social networks for marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Forrester forecasts the future of software-as-a-service </li></ul><ul><li>Juror slammed for tweeting during trial </li></ul>
    20. 20. Questions? <ul><li>Thank you! </li></ul>

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