This caught my eye recently in a CIO-focused publication. Titled “Ten Ways To Re-energize Your IT Workforce”, it is advice from a workforce motivation expert: “Jon Gordon, a consultant for the NFL and numerous Fortune 500 enterprises, and the author of ‘The Shark and the Goldfish: Positive Ways to Thrive During Waves of Change.’ He offers ten recommendations for reenergizing and engaging employees in the face of economic turmoil.”
Even with year 2009's challenging economic environment, learning has not taken the drastic hit some pundits feared. In fact, in the past year I have heard more executives talk about the importance of keeping employees well-skilled and knowledgeable than ever before. Knowledgeable employees equate to greater business success. I've also seen CLOs and VPs for HR and Learning focus on making sure that learning experiences are in line with company's short and long term goals.
That call may surprise you. You might have put storage or Gigabit ethernet or the Internet itself at the top of the list. But when I think about what's different in the life of your average information worker as the decade comes to a close, it's the instant-on access to just about everything that the adoption of consumer broadband has fueled.
From our Consumer Technographics(r) survey of over 50,000 consumers every year for the last 12 years, between 2000 and 2009, consumer broadband soared from 2% to 63% of US households. For context, home PC adoption grew from 51% to 77%.
But why is consumer broadband the workforce technology of the decade? Three main reasons:
1. Telecommuting has become a way of life for xx million information workers. We have been watching -- and forecasting -- the growth of telecommuting. The impact is immediate and obvious: more hours to work; more location flexibility in hiring and retaining; and more work-life control. Telecommuting in the US is dependent on cheap broadband to the home. Telecommuters will rise to include 43% of the US information workforce by 2016.
2. Broadband-enabled markets have triggered massive IT innovation. Google; Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, and LinkedIn; WebEx, ZoHo, and Smartsheets.com; Amazon EC2, Google App Engine; and Windows Azure; open source and Web 2.0. All of these and thousands of other technologies and companies are built on the back of broadband to the home. The network innovation over the last 10 years makes the Internet 1.0 era look like a pre-season warmup game.
Almost every day I hear people suggest that social media is at best only valuable as a marketing tool. There are people who believe that social media has no reach beyond a few "geeks" sitting at their computers all day. What these naysayers focus on is the technology and not the people connections. I believe it is the people connections that drive social media and it is the value of these connections that will continue to change the way we work and communicate.
With your help, I'm looking to measure the potential social media to connect people worldwide, even those senior executives and naysayers who are not already using social media. Here's how:
Three Simple Steps
We've built a very short survey on social media's value in business – nothing new here – but here's the twist: We're using social media as the vehicle, and social media evangelists (you) as the fuel, to get the survey into the hands of as many people as possible who are not yet using social media.
Here are three easy and quick steps to becoming a social media evangelist for this research:
In September this year (2009) I was invited to New York City by IBM to preview their soon to be released CIO study. Very soon after my return home I wrote up an insightful, relevant, and actionable blog post on what I learned at the event. Of course you are going to have to take my word on this, as for some reason I can't find it... It has disappeared into the ether (perhaps I didn't hit the "Save" button at the bottom of the page?). So, despite that fact that the study was released three months ago, I am going to redo my analysis of the study - although now that some local (Australian & Indian - sorry rest of Asia Pacific!) results have been released there is some more relevant information available.
We often hear about how important enterprise mobility is to businesses. For years ICT events companies have been holding events about "enterprise mobility" and "the future of wireless" etc - and they have filled halls with attendees and sponsors/exhibitors.
Many executives are hoping that the UN Conference in Copenhagen, currently in progress, will negotiate an international deal on carbon reductions this week, providing stable directions to governments and businesses about how to deal with climate change. I think that for industry leaders such an outcome would be very nice, but not essential. Most of these leaders — companies such as BMW, Nokia, Roche, or TNT — are already committed to manage for sustainability and:
Take actions to reduce carbon emissions. Leading organizations launch carbon reduction initiatives before being forced to do so, to reduce their own costs and boost operational efficiency.
Address environmental impacts strategically. Leading organizations integrate energy efficiency and carbon reduction initiatives into their overall strategies for preserving economic health in the long term.
For Infrastructure and Operations (IO) Professionals, 2010 will be a critical year as the global economy begins its long road to recovery and the post-recession era takes hold. Businesses want to put the last decade behind them and come out of the starting gate of the new decade fast with new applications and new market initiatives. For our IO clients that translates into three major imperatives: (1) build an IO technology plan for the new decade, (2) plan and prioritize the critical infrastructure projects that were either postponed, delayed or cancelled during the recession and (3) execute on those plans with a sharp focus on controlling costs and improving efficiency.
In 2009, we completed an in-depth, outside-in “role deep dive” study to better understand what our IO clients want and don’t want from us in 2010. It will drive our research efforts and make what we do more relevant to you in your daily work lives. In the New Year, we’ll be hosting a free webinar to outline our plans and get your feedback. I do hope you’ll be able to join us and share your thoughts. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll hear. In 2010, the Infrastructure and Operations team will:
This past summer, Forrester conducted a series of in-depth interviews of CIOs (as well as some directors of IT planning and finance) to get a better understanding of their roles: how they see the role in the context of their organizations, how they are evaluated by senior management, their key success imperatives, and their information needs. We sat down with each of them for an hour to help shape how we support the most senior executives within IT.
Pal Henry Dewing and I heard yesterday from IBM's Rob Ingram about Lotus Sametime 8.5, the real-time collaboration product available on December 22. Lotus Sametime is the client/server product that first made enterprise instant messaging a global possibility back in 1998.
This dot release is IBM's first major overhaul of its real-time messaging product in three years. (My take is that IBM kept the 8.x version number to align it with the current Notes/Domino version.) For those firms that understand the power of real-time collaboration tools -- the ability to get an immediate answer, hold a virtual ad hoc meeting, or ping someone without bothering them with a phone call -- this product is an important upgrade.
Why? Because it's got the core elements of click-to-conference -- not just instant messaging and presence -- baked into it. And for ad hoc collaboration, click-to-conference is a much richer and easier thing to do than loading up separate applications for instant messaging, video conferencing, and Web conferencing.
I think of click-to-conference is "the ability to have an ad hoc meeting supported with rich media whenever you are online." It includes these elements:
One click to send out an invitation via instant messaging.