Once you stop learning, you start dying. -- Albert Einstein By now, you’ve probably heard all the statistics on how much information we create, how much faster we create it, and how much harder it is to manage. While these statistics are all true, there’s an opportunity for information professionals in all this chaos. Organizations desperately need someone to help them clean up their digital landfills. But where do you begin?
Nobody wants to be Blockbustered. It has become almost standard fare in the most presentations involving Digital Disruption to bring up the Blockbuster and Netflix example. So I thought it might be worthwhile to review quickly what happened to Blockbuster and then think a bit about other radically disruptive scenarios in a few other Industries. The story starts in 1985. David Cook sold software in the oil and gas industry. There was a sharp downturn in that industry and he decided to open the first Blockbuster store in Dallas. Blockbuster grew rapidly and by 1994, they were sold for $8.4 billion to Viacom. Check out this new AIIM white paper, by the way, Reimagining ECM in the Modern Enterprise, tied to a number of the themes in this post: A few years later, a fellow by the name of Reed Hastings was annoyed at being hit with $40 in late fees from Blockbuster for a rental of Apollo 13, and decided -- at a point when Blockbuster appeared invincible -- to do something about it. Netflix was born. [I will add as a personal side note that in 1999 my middle son William, at the peak of the Blockbuster era, sold me a $15 Blockbuster card for $15. I didn't realize it until a few weeks later but there was only $1.72 on the card. He eventually wound up in software sales, likely indicating that long-term career choices are hinted at early in a child's development. But all of that's another story. ] By 2004, Blockbuster had hit its peak with 9,000 stores globally and 5 billion dollars in revenues. At the same time, they separated from Viacom and launched their own DVD-by-subscription service -- about seven years after Netflix launched. By 2013, what was left of Blockbuster - now owned by Dish - was gone and the doors were shut. Digital Disruption in Action. Let's take a look at a few more examples. This first chart shows the Google search history for Myspace. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist so see the point at which the “Facebook effect” kicked in. The speed with which this one happened is sometimes hard to believe. Who could have forecasted in 2007 when the iPhone was introduced that it would ultimately lead to the demise of the leading handset provider in the world - in the space of just a few years: The tidal wave of digital photography and Kodak's inability to adjust to that tidal wave is well-chronicled. Certainly the lights should have gone on in 2002 when the sales of digital cameras surpassed the sales of film cameras. Another cell phone example, and another victim of the disruption created by the iPhone. The speed with which the business model for print publishing collapsed is still stunning. Less than a decade almost all of the value gone. The amazing thing about this story is that the value here -- largely driven by classified advertising -- wasn’t “acquired” by another disruptive player. Rather a disruptive player created the conditions under which billions in value was simply distributed in tiny chunks to millions of end users. Craigslist. And lastly, who can forget the example of printed books. The respective curves tell the story. We see the results all around us in the form of closed Borders and Barnes and Noble stores. And lest we think that the content management space has been immune from ignoring the forces of disruption, here are two personal examples. I can remember back in 2007 sitting in meetings of established ECM players, and asking what they thought the impact of MOSS (Microsoft Office SharePoint Services) would be, and hearing the…”Interesting, but they don’t do what we do” response. And a few years later, I recall hearing the same thing from some established vendors after hearing a Board briefing by Box. All of this poses a couple of questions for any business. Where is your disruption coming from? Odds are it is coming from someone that right now you think is irrelevant to you. What are you going to do about it? Have you tied your content strategy to your transformation strategy? ----- Get on the advance list for the Information Professionals white paper HERE. 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. #AIIM16 keynote -- Why the H**** Should You Care About Information Professionals? from John Mancini
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Last month, I put together the following posts containing my thoughts about the future of Information Professionals. The first installment was called -- From Jurassic Park to Digital Transformation -- a Tale of Information Professionals. Part Two was called -- A Short History of Where Information Professionals Came From. Part Three was Disruptive Technologies Create Need for Information Professionals. The last post follows in a moment after two updates... Since I originally published these posts, 2 updates: 1 -- We've published a white paper on the Future of Information Professionals. It's free. Download it. Send the link to your friends and colleagues. Give it to your kids to show them what you do and why it's important! Defining the Information Professional of the Future. 2 -- We've launched the brand spanking new CIP (Certified Information Professional) Copies of the new study guide are FREE to AIIM Professional members and $69 to everyone else. CIP Study guide is HERE. Defining the Information Professional of the Future I concluded my previous post with this thought: In the mainstream, the focus is still on on-premise applications built on and for the PC. The core skills that are valued in the mainstream are focused on building and developing systems. At the edge, the focus shifts to the cloud, mobile technologies become the Lego building blocks of systems, and the skill sets that are valued within our IT staffs shift from building and developing to configuring and connecting. More to come in the next post. ----- So continuing.... So let’s return to our PEOPLE -- PROCESS -- TECHNOLOGY triad and think about how the world has changed -- and will continue to change. On the PROCESS side, a revolutionary thing has happened. Process owners can now implement their OWN solutions. This creates incredible pressure to take monolithic business processes and turn them into applications. On top of this, the world is rapidly shifting to one in which most interactions will be on mobile devices. This means all processes must be reformulated from a mobile perspective. This has interesting implications when we think about the world of TECHNOLOGY. As mentioned earlier, configuring, connecting, and mobile skills are now critical and in short supply. We need to rethink the entire notion of security. Security that was once defined purely in terms of what was inside and outside the firewall now needs to be reconstructed around individual information assets. And organizations are experiencing a massive Legacy drain on their ability to innovate. Perhaps the most extreme change has been on the PEOPLE side of the equation. We have moved into a world in which usability is EVERYTHING. Even individual users can implement their own enterprise-like solutions, and if we try to get in their way they will do it anyway. There has been an enormous blurring of the lines between what is the home and what is the office. There is no way to put this genie back in the bottle, and organizations must understand that Millennials operate in a fundamentally different fashion than the email generation. The implications of this relative to how we manage information are profound. The kinds of questions that are being asked in our organizations vary greatly depending on whether you view the world from a PROCESS perspective, a TECHNOLOGY perspective, or a PEOPLE perspective. And in an era in which enterprise-like capabilities are increasingly available without IT intervention, the short-term pressure for each of these people to actually communicate and cooperate with each other is decreasing. Each of these players in the information management story has a different role to play in the organization, and in some ways they are all versions of information professionals. However their needs and requirements are vastly different. End users need education on responsible computing practices and need to understand how their organization wishes to place boundaries on their use of information. Now that process automation solutions are available to a much wider range of companies than ever before through SaaS solutions, line of business executives must be educated to better understand what is possible. And technology specialists must keep up with a wide range of content and information management solutions, understand the relative strengths and weaknesses of each, and try to forecast the survivability of individual companies into the future. But this still leaves the fundamental question of the role of the Information Professional in all of this. Someone needs to own the big picture. Someone needs to provide adult supervision to the process people, technology people, and end users that interact with content and information management systems. Someone needs to help the organization think through what it means to manage information as a critical business asset. Someone needs to act as the translator of the unique language of each of the people who interact with our information systems, whether they are from a PEOPLE perspective a PROCESS perspective or a TECHNOLOGY perspective. We believe that that person is an Information Professional, and the CIP (Certified Information Professional) is his/her badge. Free e-book -- What is the new Role of an Information Professional? ----- A bit more from my keynote at #AIIM16 on the Future of Information Professionals. #AIIM16 keynote -- Why the H**** Should You Care About Information Professionals? from John Mancini
Make sure you check out our new (FREE) e-book on the Future of Information Professionals. Disruptive Technologies Create Need for Information Professionals. I concluded my previous post with this thought: The CIP has come to represent a badge of competency and knowledge at the top of the knowledge worker pyramid for those entrusted with the task of building an information STRATEGY in a time of digital disruption. Broader than Records Management and Information Governance, Information Professionals are charged with these questions: Who owns the BIG PICTURE for how information is managed in our organization? Who owns our information management STRATEGY? Who can helps us treat information as the critical business asset it has become? The accelerating pace of Digital Disruption makes this role more important -- and different -- than ever. But before going there, how exactly is the emerging era of Digital Transformation different from where we are now? ----- So continuing.... While the concept of professionalism was emerging at AIIM and ARMA, back in the real world a lot of AMAZING technology changes were going on. I have spoken for the past few years about three key disruptors: Disruptor #1 -- CONSUMERIZATION is transforming what users expect from applications and how we deliver them. We are now in the era of user-centric IT. Disruptor #2. CLOUD AND MOBILE are creating an expectation of anywhere, anytime access and transforming how we engage with customers and employees. Disruptor # 3. THE INTERNET OF THINGS is generating massive amounts of new data and information creating enormous new challenges and opportunities. An now to make things even more challenging, the impact of these disruptors is accelerating, with profound implications for how organizations manage their information assets. Klaus Schwab, World Economic Forum: “The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent.” Steven Kottler: “For the first time in history, the world's leading experts on accelerating technology are consistently finding themselves too conservative in their predictions.” Dion Hinchcliffe: “The old days of doing it all ourselves using traditional IT projects are receding and even counterproductive much of the time.” I think one way of thinking about the radical disruption that is upon us is to think about how “Life in the Mainstream” is different from “Life at the Edge” across four variables: MINDSETS -- “How do we look at things?” MESSAGES -- “What stories do we tell when we get together?” MONEY -- “Where is the money going?” MACHINES -- “What are our technology building blocks?” In each case, I will talk about three representative data points that describe what life looks like in the mainstream, and compare this to what life looks like at the edge. This is not to imply that life in the mainstream is universally bad or undesirable, or that life at the edge is universally good and desired. Rather, the point is the highlight how things are changing and to urge organizations to think through the dimensions of this change and how it manifests itself in your particular organization. So let's start with MINDSETS and how we look at things. In the mainstream, if we have a technology need, we think these terms: 1) Set up a meeting with IT; 2) Make sure we control the information we have; and 3) Look at how we might update our legacy systems. Compare this to life at the edge. At the edge, we think in very different terms: 1) How I can do it myself without IT intervention? 2) How do I set information free and put it to work? And 3) How can I quickly roll out an app -- without being dragged into endless discussions about updating a legacy system? Similarly, the MESSAGES we use to communicate in the mainstream -- the stories we share -- tell a lot about our fundamental assumptions with regards to technology. In the mainstream -- when we get together around expense-account lunches and around the water cooler -- when it comes to collaboration, we often talk about SharePoint. We also talk about how we might take traditional processes like bank teller facilitated deposits -- these typically cost $0.65 each -- and how we might automate that process. Linked to both of the above, our IT Heroes are those that bring greater efficiency into the organization. Compare these messages and stories to the ones that we tell at the edge. The Cool Kids on the Block are all talking about Slack, an enterprise collaboration platform that in the span of less than 18 months has grown to a market valuation of over three billion dollars. Now Slack may very likely not be the solution for many large Enterprises, but the way of thinking about the problem of collaboration that surrounds Slack -- its nimbleness and openness -- needs to be part of the way that we rethink collaboration. Taking the example of bank deposits, at the edge, the focus is on mobile deposits, which typically cost less than $0.03 each. Mainstream organizations try desperately to automate a core set of processes and services that have $.65 as their foundation. Edge organizations seek competitive redefinition by ignoring mainstream processes and reinvent the banking industry around processes with $.03 as their foundation. These types of market disequilibriums are occurring in countless processes and industries throughout the economy. This translates into a new set of IT Heroes -- those who can quickly bring innovation and value into our organizations. Let's turn now to MONEY. Where is the money going and what does this mean? In the mainstream world, the market valuation for General Motors is $55 billion. At the edge, Uber is now valued at $68 billion. In the physical world -- in the bricks-and-mortar world -- we seek to add digital capabilities to our existing physical business models in order to compete with companies that are natively digital. That is challenging enough. But the challenge is about to accelerate as digital companies like Amazon seek to open up physical storefronts and as digital companies like Uber seek to extend their value proposition into logistics and package delivery. It is worth thinking about how fundamental Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Google have become to our collective economic future and what their models of success say about the future. These four companies alone have a market value of $1.3 trillion. This is the same as the GDP of Korea. These four horsemen of the digital world provide perspectives on what life at the edge looks like that we need to incorporate into our mainstream thinking. Lastly, let us turn to the question of MACHINES. What are our technology building blocks? In the mainstream, the focus is still on on-premise applications built on and for the PC. The core skills that are valued in the mainstream are focused on building and developing systems. At the edge, the focus shifts to the cloud, mobile technologies become the Lego building blocks of systems, and the skill sets that are valued within our IT staffs shift from building and developing to configuring and connecting. More to come in the next post. Get the free e-book HERE. ----- 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. #AIIM16 keynote -- Why the H**** Should You Care About Information Professionals? from John Mancini
Make sure you download our new (FREE) white paper on the Future of Information Professionals. A Short History of Where Information Professionals Came From. I concluded my previous post with this thought: 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. ----- So continuing.... A Short History of Where Information Professionals Came From. Of course, what People + Process + Technology adds up to IF DONE RIGHT -- is intelligent information management, which is what AIIM is all about. The reason I say “If Done Right” is that over the course of managing this triad, organizations have tended to get parts of this equation right, but seldom do they get all three working in sync. Which is why there is so must frustration out there. I happen to think that an “Information Professional” is the person that weaves this story together, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me go through a very short pre-history of how we came to think there was even such a thing as an “information professional” in the context of this triad of PEOPLE and PROCESS and TECHNOLOGY. From 1996 to 2006, the PROCESS questions we asked in our organizations centered around this fundamental question: “How can we automate content-intensive, complicated, and mission-critical processes?” On the TECHNOLOGY side, most implementations in this period were complex and custom and expensive. There was no standard body of knowledge. Technology expertise was lodged in the consulting community. Looking over to the PEOPLE side of the equation, solutions were difficult to use and required LOTS of training. But nobody really cared because the people who used the solutions were specialists and were only a tiny percentage of the overall number of knowledge workers in our organizations. “Professionalism” in this world was narrowly defined. If you think about the overall universe of knowledge workers, you can divide them into Gurus, Techies, Line of Business executives, and Everybody Else (in other words, those pesky end users). “Professionalism” in this world was defined principally by AIIM with its MIT and LIT designations (“Master” and “Laureate” of information technology) and by ARMA/ICRM with its Certified Records Management (CRM) certification. And the focus was on the tippy top of the pyramid. In this tight little world, something was missing. Even 20 years later, there are still less than 1,000 CRMs in the world. The CRM certification was (and still is) extremely valuable, but it only tapped into the surface of the education needed by technology and business people. There was clearly a need for industry-standard technology education, focused on standardizing the hodge-podge of consultant delivered training that was the norm in 2006. In 2006, the nature of content, records, and information management training changed with the launch of AIIM’s ECM Practitioner, Specialist, and Master training programs. AIIM followed up its standardized ECM training with training in Electronic Records Management, Business Process Management, SharePoint, and a host of other content technologies. By 2010, the concept of “professionalism” was stretched to also include the “techie” and line of business communities via the AIIM designations. In 2010, AIIM came to the conclusion that there was an opportunity to standardize an even broader body of knowledge under the concept of a “Certified Information Professional,” or CIP. AIIM’s original conception of what it meant to be an “information professional” was not unlike the definition of professionalism that came to be accepted in the 1980s and 1990s in project management. In the early stages of the professionalization of project management, if you had proposed that there was a common body of project management knowledge that could stretch across a wide variety of domains and industries, people would have thought you were crazy. “How could the project management knowledge to run a software project possibly be similar to that required to build a bridge or that required to construct a building?” In the course of the 1980s and 1990s, the Project Management Institute succeeded in establishing the PMP as the standard body of knowledge associated with project management across a broad variety of disciplines. It its original conception, AIIM thought the CIP would become an “everyman’s” certification, relevant to gurus and techies and business people alike. The reality after 1,000 CIPs and six years is that it has come to signify something different. The CIP has come to represent a badge of competency and knowledge at the top of the knowledge worker pyramid for those entrusted with the task of building an information STRATEGY in a time of digital disruption. Broader than Records Management and Information Governance, Information Professionals are charged with these questions: Who owns the BIG PICTURE for how information is managed in our organization? Who owns our information management STRATEGY? Who can helps us treat information as the critical business asset it has become? The accelerating pace of Digital Disruption makes this role more important -- and different -- than ever. But before going there, how exactly is the emerging era of Digital Transformation different from where we are now? More to come in the next post. ----- 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. #AIIM16 keynote -- Why the H**** Should You Care About Information Professionals? from John Mancini
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! 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.” Oops. 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. ----- 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. #AIIM16 keynote -- Why the H**** Should You Care About Information Professionals? from John Mancini