Age of disruption, age of transformation, era of information chaos.
These are ways that speakers used to describe the here and now to a CEO audience at the ASAE 2014 Technology Conference, this week in DC. In short, CEOs must set up their industries and organizations to be flexible to absorb the drastic changes technology is bringing.
This year's tech conference was revamped to include no general session. Instead, the time was spent introducing the participants to the five "pathways" of learning offered in the program. Thought leaders were (pictured, from left) ASAE CIO Reggie Henry, CAE; content pathway - Kristina Halverson and Karen McGrane; CIO pathway - Dion Hinchcliffe; mobile pathway - Herbert Lindo; CEO pathway - John Mancini; and technical pathway - David Coriale.
The CEO pathway was kicked off by Mancini, CEO, Association for Information and Image Management International, Silver Spring, Md. Mancini said CEOs must own the organization's IT strategy because it's going to determine success moving forward. "People expect your IT to act like Amazon," he warned. Mancini described the three parts of what he calls the Era of Information Chaos:
- Consumerization is transforming what users expect
- Cloud and mobile technology has created the expectation of anywhere, anytime and total access.
- Technology is changing the nature of work - we're forced to think flat and agile. Managing information chaos is to manage the volume, variety and velocity of the information.
Mancini stressed that technology must start with simplicity, both for staff and for outside users. He advised to not customize your software, but to configure software that someone else already developed and is available for others to use. Also, you might not need all the bells and whistles that a software offers.
"We might want the Porsche, but you might need a Ford," he joked. Figure how open a system is to integration, the cost, how straightforward it is to use, and also the staff expenditure on implementing it.
Also forcing change are the professionals coming into the organization - the Millennials. Henry and Educause VP Thad Lurie, CAE, addressed this in their presentation on The Crossroads of Technology and Business Innovation.
Millennials, who always have had the Internet, are interested not only that they are being heard, but how their ideas are being heard. They expect to be listened to, and their ideas taken seriously. In short, if you don't give Generation Y an organization they like, they'll start their own organization.