Project 2012: Day 223
How many times have you heard this conversation:
“I don’t understand the business model of [name technology here], it’s so expensive/I can’t see the benefit?”
Plenty of times.
The first was probably about the PC itself, but very quickly it was colour monitors, then speakers and sound cards, then networks, laptop computers, modems, laser printers, mobile phones, the Internet, broadband, Wi-Fi…
…today I hear the same dismissal of social networking, smartphones & tablets, and cloud computing.
My response to nay-sayers is adaptive. If the conversation is at a BBQ, and the speaker is not in IT, I’ll engage in the topic light heartedly. After all, my opinion about tax laws, or banking protocols is hardly going to change the industry or even the company I work for. Not worth getting upset with my mother-in-law telling me she’ll never use Facebook. Apart from pointing out the benefits of engaging with her grandchildren, there’s no upside to the argument.
But if the conversation is in a business context, with a CTO or CIO, then we need to discuss this in a lot more detail.
Frankly, I believe it is career suicide for any ICT professional to ignore, or resist, these technologies.
5 years ago you could slow down the advance of Wi-Fi in your organisation, at least long enough to secure the deployment.
You can’t do that anymore.
Governments have been won, and lost, at least in part through the mass adoption of social networking. Over 62% of Australian residents have smartphones, over 100% have mobile phones. Tablets are taking off. Broadband has similar adoption rates. Social media accounts for up to 25% of Australian Internet traffic.
The employees at your company go home to a 21st century IT system, do you want them to work at a 20th century desk?
For the first time in history your CEO can procure just about any IT service with her AMEX without coming to you.
This is the time then to embrace change. To lead the adoption of new technologies within the enterprise. To lead your peers through adoption, usage, and education.