Responsibility for this situation is apportioned widely — from users who lack basic ICT skills, to IT staff who can’t or won’t connect with the people they serve, to a tech industry which iSociety says is over-hyping its products and failing to deliver on its promises.
But the report gives particular mention to the “lost generation of low-tech managers” who don’t understand what technology is about, and therefore fail to make the right strategic decisions.
“Much of UK management make up a ‘lost generation’ that does not understand ICT, because it did not grow up immersed in technology,” the organisation said in a statement. “Technologists, who do have this knowledge, tend to be sidelined in key decision making and are disconnected from the management mainstream. In effect, low-tech managers are forcing the UK economy into a low-tech equilibrium.”
The quote above is from a news story about a 2003 report that was in part the inspiration behind my consulting philosophy. The report, Getting by, not getting on: Technology in UK workplaces, was an output of the UK’s Work Foundation‘s iSociety project but unfortunately it appears to have disappeared from the Web.
The reason I’m mentioning it again now is that I’m reflecting on the comments to my post, Enterprise 2.0: Show me the money (a spreadsheet might help).
Everything this report talks about is still true: Yes, the vendors are over-hyping Enterprise 2.0 and some of the geeks have trouble explaining it. But fundamentally, if you don’t want to even try to understand the impact of this technology trend then you too are part of the problem of getting by, not getting on.
BTW Coincidentally, Lee Bryant from Headshift blogged about this very same report back in 2003 too. 🙂