Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Futurists and mindsets

The second session I went to today was delivered by a futurist, and was supposed to tell us what IT leaders need to know about the future. Very entertaining, and delivered in a very energetic style, and he got us to do some small group work, looking at the years 1987 to 2017 and diving them into computational eras. Interestingly most groups came up with the move from mainframe, to internet, to social, but very few groups did anything about the years up to 2017 which is a very long time away in technological terms. Smugly I can say that our group did, thinking that it would be the era of human augmentation. We also worked on what technologies we would stop offering to make way for the new ones, I think he meant services not technologies which led not some debate in our group. Apparently, sustainable successful organisations manage 3 interconnecting technology portfolios. Now, next (3-5 yrs), and later (more than 5yrs). Later is 5 years plus. Most people focus on Now, dream about Later and forget Next. Big data, social media, mobility, and cloud are the four big changes we should be concentrating on when we move our horizons out to 3 years away. Quite entertaining, but not an awful lot I didn't know already.

Next session was the winner of the EDUCAUSE leadership award, Marilyn McMillan, from New York university. She talked about the issues facing IT departments in connecting clients to "sun never sets" services, and especially the introduction of service management. Very relevant to us as we're on that journey as well. These days our customers expect services to be available all the time, just to work, to be able to access them easily but securely, to know what's changed, and how to report a problem and get it fixed.
Requires great deal of process maturity to get provide all of those expectations. To demonstrate customer expectations, Marilyn referred to the Beloit college mindset list, which I'd never heard of, but you can see here, together with past lists so you can see how things have changed.

She finished with her thoughts on leadership, RAISE:
Results with others, for others.
Alignment of purpose and vision
Interdependence needs fostering, can't work on our own.
Sway, and be swayable. Influence, and be influenced
Enthusiasm. Renew your own energies, and uplift the energies of others

Good session.

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