On the Cusp of Change: A Global, Collaborative IT World

This is HOT:


Coming Soon…A Single, Global, Collaborative Virtual IT World (Phew!)

“Something fundamentally big is happening that will profoundly affect the life of every person and every business over the next five to 15 years — the collapsing of everything into one single, global, ubiquitous, collaborative virtual IT world.”

So said Hossein Eslambolchi, president of AT&T’s Global Networking Technology Services, at the recent Supernova conference co-sponsored by Wharton in San Francisco. The conference, now in its fourth year, explores the forces in technology that are driving computing from a centralized model to a decentralized one, from the center to the ‘edge.’ These forces, which demand new systems and business models, represent both threat and opportunity, said conference organizer Kevin Werbach, a Wharton professor of legal studies and business ethics.

Threat and opportunity. Let’s apply this to libraries. What are the threats of this new model to libraries? Well, for one, if everyone is connected and authenticated and working together manipulating information and generating new knowledge, where does the physical library fall? Meeting spaces for sure. Comfortable collaborative enviroments where it’s ok to talk, plug in laptops and other devices and create stuff.

What if the businesses like Starbucks and McDonald’s that are offering wifi, other technology and more, ramped it up: cafe as information/entertainment space built for people to visit and work/play. What if it becomers the mission of a huge company to take over the “third place” market? That’s scary for libraries. Very.

It also makes me think our web spaces have to be all the more savvy and useful, or folks will pass us by. Read Dave’s Blog for so much more about how to make the Web experience effective…his stuff is rocking my world these days.

Take away: Meeting spaces & useful web spaces..that’s the opportunity for libraries.