So, just what are these shifts?
- Gatekeepers are being eliminated on a massive scale and at a furious pace. If you want to publish a book, sell music, make a movie, or even go into the IT business you no longer need an agent, editor, publisher, record label, movie studio, or data center. The traditional barriers between innovators, content creators, and consumers no longer exist when people can connect together at anytime, from anyplace, and leverage cloud services with any device.
- Leadership is changing too. Since the industrial revolution leadership has been about gathering additional resources and investing in new things. No leader, whether we are talking about a CEO, mayor, governor, or U.S. president, advanced their career by taking things away. But today, structural economic changes now require our leaders to do so. The challenge is to stop doing the things that matter less while shifting those resources to things that matter more.
- Email and storage services – if you are not out of these businesses yet you are late to the game. Microsoft and Google are ready for you.
- BYOD is a real possibility – but proceed carefully in concert with your students and faculty. We’re not too far from the day when we can begin decommissioning most of the large computing labs that have been built over the past fifteen years.
- Data centers – cloud computing is becoming more viable so start your research now. At some point in three, five, or seven years it will be time to decide that we no longer have to run large data centers when Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM can provide utility services that scale at an incremental cost.