By Phil Simon
With a new decade upon us, exciting new technologies are both changing the very definition of work and engendering a wide array of new possibilities. I would put these possibilities into two broad categories:
- Things not possible even five years ago that are now possible
- Things previously possible but now augmented by the first category
My second book, The Next Wave of Technologies, strikes a nice balance between the two. The possibilities of improving existing technologies via new ones just make me giddy.
For example, check out this short video by Rob Ashe, former CEO of Cognos before IBM acquired the company. Ashe discusses an excellent example of the confluence between a relatively new technology (social networking) and a more established one (BI). (Incidentally, there are chapters on both topics in The Next Wave.) This is a perfect example of the whole exceeding the sum of its parts.
How one technology extends another
I first worked with BI tools back in 1998, in particular Cognos PowerPlay and Impromptu. I was impressed way back then and these tools are a far cry from what they are today. There was always the opportunity for someone to “share” feedback with IT and other end-users. To this end, social networking changes nothing.
Except that it changes everything. As Ashe correctly points out, social networking vastly improves the ease with which data can be exchanged, synthesized, and even improved. By allowing for much greater collaboration, social networking enables better BI. It is for this reason that I consider both technologies part of Enterprise 2.0.