Tuesday, 30 September 2014

EDUCAUSE kicks off with Disruptive Innovation

Well we're off at EDUCAUSE, after various preconference sessions and workshops, the opening keynote is here. Highlights so far for me have been a tropical storm yesterday which drenched us, and a mirror in my bathroom with a TV embedded in it!
Huge aircraft hanger like space for this talk, 7300 attendees is a lot! From over 50 countries, it's becoming a much more international conference.
Opening keynote is on Disruptive Innovation and the Future of Higher Education and is delivered by Clayton Christenen from Harvard Business School. Following post, like most of them from here, will be in note form as I jot down the key messages.

Decentralisation is disruptive and is hard to catch.
Services and products have to improve to stay competitive. The trajectory of innovation and technology improvements is almost always outstrips the customers ability to use the improvements.
Disruptive innovation transforms a complicated expensive product into something affordable and accessible so that large populations have access to use it. Makes things more affordable. Small companies often win with disruptive innovation. Better products are dominated by existing players, disruptive ones by young entrants. Often not seen by people running existing companies.
Good example of rise of personal computers in 90s and effect it had on big mainframe companies. Just thought they could keep making better mainframes.
Successful disruptive innovators compete against non consumption. ie don't go for better products for people already using them, but a product that is better than nothing! Go for product that will get non users using it.
So, for good new services, try to go for non consumers.
Will electric cars disrupt gasoline cars?
Tesla competing head on against big car companies. To make the cars competitive, have to have really good technology, so are really expensive.
Would be better competing at bottom of market. Golf carts, industrial cars, small cars. ie competing against non consumption. Eventually will reach the top.
On line learning. Harvard business school safe from it because need interactive discussions guided by professors on cases which can't be done on line. Or can it? Yes it can with appropriate technology. Remote discussion can be orchestrated by skilled teachers on line. Lovely picture of an iPad on a robot, complete with bow tie running a course remotely.

Higher education historically has acted using the visible hand of managerial capitalism. I was so entranced by the explanation of this I forget to make notes. Google it :-)
In the future, will move to the invisible hand of informed capitalism.
Modularity will make HE less integrated.
Has happened in technology, you can compete on functionality and reliability by using a propriety independent architecture.
To compete on speed, responsiveness and and customisation need a modular, open architecture,
Good examples from smartphone. Eg Palm vs RIM early on, pAlm were modular but RIM won because v closed therefore more reliable. Too early for open.
Then Apple vs RIM, Apple won, half way between propriety and open.
The android, completely modular.

So many tech companies gone, eg Silicon graphics, SUN, DEC, Wang. All made better and better products, that no-one wanted.
The companies that win are the ones that differentiate their products, eg Apple.

In Higher Education, same thing happening.
Historically how courses interact with each other is unfashionable, but little by little standards are starting to emerge for on line course. Accreditations are being established. Moving towards a module architecture.

Outsourcing often sets in motion disruptive business model liquidation.
Example of Dell gradually outsourcing different components to AsusTek until they didn't exist.

Disruption is always a great opportunity before it becomes a threat because it competes with non consumption

Remember modularity. Where you make the money in the future isn't where you make the money in the last.

Higher Education needs to look at different models for delivering teaching. Don't go head to head with traditional models.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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