Updated - From Jurassic Park to Digital Transformation -- a Tale of Information Professionals
John Mancini

By: John Mancini on May 3rd, 2016

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Updated - From Jurassic Park to Digital Transformation -- a Tale of Information Professionals

information professionals

It is literally 20 years to the day since I first started at AIIM. I've been thinking about how the technology landscape has changed since I first walked on the scene at AIIM and what the implications of these changes are for how we think about what it means to be an “Information Professional."  This was the heart of what I spoke about during my keynote at AIIM16, and we've now published as a new e-book.  Click on the image to get it!

Future of an Information Professional


How We Got Here

Slate.com did a good article a while back talking about how much technology has changed since 1996. They used the term “Jurassic Web” to describe 1996, and I rather like that characterization.



So let's think a little bit about what 1996 looked like:

  • Only 20 million American adults had access to the internet.
  • Something called “a blog” was still three years away.
  • 99% of phone users did not find text messaging to be of any use whatsoever -- assuming they even knew what it was.
  • The first iPhone was still 11 years away.  That’s right, 11 years in the future.
  • Microsoft Office 97 was published in December on CD-ROM but also - get this - on a set of 45 (forty-five!) 3.5 inch floppy disks.

In 1996 there was no YouTube. No Huffington Post. No Google. No Twitter. No Facebook. And no Wikipedia.

In 1996, AIIM was also in what I would call the pre-web phase of its existence. One month before I joined AIIM, the association's magazine, INFORM, had this quote:

“Despite the area of Internet enthusiasm and the hyped up selling palaver of some web services providers, we remain uncertain as to the long run substitute benefits the internet will bring to businesses and to individual users.”


As Yogi would say. “It's tough to make predictions especially about the future.” I'm especially glad that this AIIM prediction was before my time.

How did AIIM Survive for all of these years?

So that's the backdrop for the past 20 years. Of course, against this, AIIM goes back even further. Many people do not realize that AIIM was founded in 1943 as the National Microfilm Association. Many people are mystified about how an organizational journey could somehow begin in 1943 with microfilm, and wind up in 2016 with content and information management.

So what is the connective tissue in this strange story?

I think it boils down to 3 words.

People. Process. Technology.

CIP Study Guide


Here's the keynote deck in case you missed it. Socialize it and share it if you are so inclined. Also a fun compilation of AIIM16 Tweets HERE.



About John Mancini

John Mancini, president and CEO of AIIM, is an author, speaker, and respected leader of the AIIM global community of information professionals. He is a catalyst in social, mobile, cloud, and big data technology adoption and an advocate for the new generation of experts who are driving the future of information management. John predicts that the next three years will generate more change in the way we deploy enterprise technologies and whom we trust with this task than in the previous two decades. His passion about the evolution of information workers into information analysts spurred John to establish the Certified Information Professional (CIP) program to enable anyone, anywhere to benchmark and develop new and strategic skills. His commitment to education includes the continual development of leading-edge training and publishing of ongoing industry research to help guide new thinking. As a frequent keynote speaker, John offers his expertise on the transformational challenges and opportunities facing information professionals and attracts over 100,000 visitors annually to his blog Digital Landfill. He has published six e-book titles including “#OccupyIT — A Technology Manifesto for Cloud, Mobile and Social Era” and the popular “8 Things You Need to Know About” e-book series. He has a Klout score in the high 60s, is ranked #5 in online SharePoint influence by harmon.ie and #42 in the KnowledgeLake SharePoint Influencer50. John can be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as jmancini77.