25 January 2010

IT Savvy? Watch out for the IT Explorers!

There has been a lot of focus on IT Savvy over the last few years.

Some are looking at how an IT savvy organisation makes better use of its resources to employ IT in the successful pursuit of its objectives. To follow-up from the 2005 paper by Peter Weill and Sinan Aral, Peter Weill and Jeanne Ross have recently written a book targeted at business executives discussing the merits of an IT savvy organisation, IT Savvy – What Top Executives Need you Know to go from Pain to Gain. Here is a link to a December 2009 interview with Dr. Jeanne Ross, MIT Sloan School of Management.

Others are looking at the impact of IT savvy on security. This Deloitte article Equipping the Federal Workforce for the Cyber Age, looks at the concept of a cyber savvy workforce to reduce security risks. While others look at the impact of an IT savvy workforce on internal fraud risks.

A recent ZDNet UK article by David Clarke looks at the need to increase baseline level of IT savviness of the public to even out the uneven access to and understanding of information technology. I contrast this view with a look at the potential future workforce. The "Shift Happens" series provides some interesting statistics about the changing world. I particularly like version 3.0 of Did you know? found below.

This video in combination with my experience with my son makes me wonder what the future holds? My son and his friends have no fear of IT. They see it as a landscape to explore. They use social media, videogames and productivity software with the same mindset - exploration. I also wonder about the upcoming generation's ability to take in data. I have found this article on the Spatial Brain and how we use our brains in 3-d videogames along with articles on video games slowing brain development but from my observation, my son and his friends seem to have an ability to suck-in more information from multiple sources simultaneously and react to them then I have any hope of coping with. So what does this all mean?

There has been a concern over the millennial workforce and the security risks from their use of social media on corporate networks as described in Millennial Workforce: IT Risk or Benefit? But looking at my son and his friends, the millennial workforce is the start of a trend towards a workforce of IT landscape explorers that will challenge the conventional IT operations, governance, risk and compliance processes. Anarchy vs. Control? Consensus vs. Autocracy? Barriers vs. Openness? Where will the balance lie in the future? The IT organisation will have unprecedented pressure from the workforce to respond and to partake in the exploration. In the words of Bob Fletcher and Cole Porter "Don't fence me in."

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