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Posted by Clay Richardson on March 24, 2011
I've always heard great buzz about Austin's South By Southwest Conference (often simply referred to as SXSW). The conference brings together indie film, music, and tech to discuss and collaborate on building the future. The tech side of the conference — SXSW Interactive — is often where up-and-coming tech ventures break major news. In short, SXSW Interactive often serves as a petri dish for testing out new ideas and innovations.
Last week I attended SXSW to zoom in on emerging trends in social and consumer tech that would likely spill over into the business process — and social BPM — world over the next several years. Of the 15-20 keynotes and sessions I attended, three or four really resonated with the overall direction we see for social BPM and social business:
One other trend I noticed at SXSW was the widespread use of the term "curation" — defined as an individual or group that organizes and points their followers to interesting and helpful content. The concept of curation is not new, but my interest was piqued to see the term applied broadly to different topics and information streams. I sat in one session on social shopping — friends helping friends find shopping deals and best buys — where half of the conversation was around cultivating curators that focus on specific shopping categories and keeping their social networks up to date on new hot trends. I can see this same type of paradigm playing out in the business process and dynamic case management worlds where process and case "curators" become responsible for identifying new patterns and helping colleagues adapt to new process challenges.
Following last week’s event, I’ve invested time in connecting new (and not so new) ideas and concepts introduced at SXSW with critical challenges facing business technology professionals. While SXSW does not traditionally attract a large number of business technology professionals, my prediction is that more business technology and business process professionals will make the trek to Austin as the business technology and social networking worlds move closer together. This year's event had only a handful of session tracks focused on business technology. My challenge to the SXSW coordinating committee is to beef up the number of track sessions that focus on the convergence of social networking in the workplace and helping business leaders better understand how to incorporate the latest innovations into their business models.
I want to hear from you. Do you think new consumer tech and social innovations introduced at SXSW 2011 will bleed over into the business technology landscape? Or will these trends only gain traction in the consumer space with little impact on business technology? Also, let me know if you attended SXSW 2011 and noticed other innovative concepts that you believe will have a major impact on business technology and/or business process. Post your thoughts in the comments section, or feel free to shoot me a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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