For years corporate IT drove technological innovation - and had the huge budgets to prove it. Those days are largely over and now innovation is coming from the consumer market in the form of new devices, applications and means of access. Are IT departments ready for this change or are they in danger of staying behind their firewalls and becoming dinosaurs, unable to serve the needs of their employees?
According to four Booz & Co. authors, in an article ("Friendly Takeover: The Consumerization of Corporate IT") in the Booz publication Information Technology Foresight, "The dikes built by corporate IT departments to protect their companies from the outside world...and to restrict employees from the distractions of the Internet are springing ever-larger leaks."Employees, especially younger, Web savvy ones, are demanding the right to use new devices to do their jobs. Refusing to do so, the authors say, "is not a winning strategy," since it can lead to a loss of employee morale, loyalty and innovation.
Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe: "Nothing happens until it gets sold."
The latest Technology Quarterly in the December 12 issue of The Economist profiles the career of Bob Metcalfe, inventor of the Ethernet, entrepreneur, and venture capitalist. Ambitious IT executives would do well to take a thoughtful read, because here is a larger-than-life example of someone who, though not an IT chief, embodies that magical combination of qualities that makes a CIO in demand. A brilliant technologist who invented the Ethernet at the tender age of 27, Metcalfe was enterprising (he founded 3Com Corp.) and adroit in communication. Indeed, he understood that communication was what turned great technology into money. For Metcalfe that money was his personal fortune, but the same concept applies to technology and business profitability. "Nothing happens until it gets sold," he tells The Economist. Even a technology as compelling as the Ethernet didn't make Metcalfe a zillionaire until he got the likes of Digital Equipment, Intel, Xerox, Sun, and even Microsoft behind it. (Incidentally, before settling on "Ethernet," names batted around for the networking technology included "Bulletin Board," "Parliamentary Procedure," and "Lazy Susan.")
Would it surprise you to know that when it comes to happiness, people aged 18-20 are most likely to say they experienced happiness and enjoyment during a good part of their previous day, according to a new Gallup poll conducted in 2008 and 2009 with more than 600,000 people. That certainly didn’t surprise me. Those first few years of college were particularly stress free for me. Among those interviewed, those least likely to give a thumbs up to their previous day were those aged 86-90. Again, not a surprise to me: From what I’ve seen, people in their late 80s often suffer from the indignities of old age. What did surprise me was that happiness took a dip for people in their 40s and 50s and then started to inch up in their mid-60s. Perhaps it’s because burdensome responsibilities are highest for people in their 40s and 50s, as they struggle with the stresses of work and family life, and then decline when people are in their mid-60s as their children leave the family nest and their work life comes to an end.