Saturday, October 29, 2011

How IT Costs More Jobs than It Creates

Interesting article about the effects of Information Technology on jobs.  For the first time, this decade has seen the economy and productivity grow while jobs shrink.  Although this has not happened before, it will likely be a continuing trend. IT allows companies to continue to expand profits and growth, while simultaneously reducing jobs. According to this article, the main solution has to be continuing education so that workers are being retrained for the new jobs and opportunities arising.

Further cementing the concept about disappearing jobs is the recent excellent article from the McKinsey Quarterly,"The Second Economy".  In this enlightening article, the author lays out a very clear scenario in which information technology advances result in the tremendous reduction of necessary workers.  Very interesting and well supported developments have resulted in fewer workers being needed---and a mismatch of skills with the jobs remaining.

Well worth reading both----harbingers of the uncertain future we face.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

State of the CIO circa 2011

An excellent report, State of the CIO 2010, should be must reading for all those involved in IT or who wish to become CIO's.  The report outlines the dramatic changes in process relating to the roles and duties of the CIO.


Here is one chart showing some of the key findings of the survey:



Note the changing priorities and use of time for CIO's.  Several areas are increasing in importance and some are decreasing.  Clearly, the CIO is becoming much more of a business partner for the organization.  There are several other equally insightful charts and results from this survey---well worth spending some time.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Case for Citizen Centric Mobile Gov

Very interesting article about government developed 'apps'.  The government is actually very active in developing applications for smart phones and needs to educate the users on how productive these apps can be by:
  • educating federal department and agency leadership, program staff, and IT staff on the benefits of mobile use;
  • developing criteria to identify better projects and better ways to implement them;
  • encouraging mobile strategy and technology investment decisions to meet agency mission goals; and
  • spurring and modeling interagency collaboration to accelerate Mobile Gov.
The use of apps also has grown impressively over the last year as illustrated by this chart:

Chart from Pew Internet showing the change in use of non-voice data applications on cell phones from April 2009 to May 2010 based on a survey. 66 percent used their cell phone to take a picture in April 2009; 76 percent in May 2010. 65 percent used their cell phone to send or receive text messages in April 2009; 72 percent in May 2010. 27 percent used their cell phone to play a game in April 2009; 34 percent in May 2010. 25 percent used their cell phone to send or receive email in April 2009; 34 percent in May 2010. 25 percent used their cell phone to access the internet in April 2009; 38 percent in May 2010. 21 percent used their cell phone to play music in April 2009; 33 percent in May 2010. 20 percent used their cell phone to send or receive instant messages in April 2009; 30 percent in May 2010. 19 percent used their cell phone to record a video in April 2009; 34 percent in May 2010.

According to the article, "Agencies are starting by taking existing information or services and repackaging them for new devices. In mobile form, these services can provide immediate alerts, save call center costs, and make the most of existing government data stores.
  • Citizens can have health information sent directly to their phones by signing up for a daily text message (SMS) health tip from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Taxpayers can check their refund status on the go with the Internal Revenue Service’s app, IRS2go—saving the IRS expensive, call-center interactions.
  • Travelers can learn about airport delays and what they can carry on a flight from the Transportation Security Administration’s My TSA app for smartphone and mobile Web. While there are contact center savings here, too, TSA also updates answers for all information channels--website and call center-- based on feedback that users share via the mobile app.
  • People with concerns about food safety and handling can access food-safety information anytime, anywhere with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Ask Karen. Users with iPhones and Androids can also get questions answered by live chat."
Further, mobile websites provide pertinent information on top government tasks, saving mobile users time and headaches. Some agencies are creating mobile websites for specific audiences and tasks.
  • Disaster survivors can use their mobile devices to access to find disaster recovery centers and find out how to let their families know they are safe. The Federal Emergency Management Agency designed it to meet the needs of people who don’t have electricity but who have a charge left in their cell phones.
  • Spanish speakers can use mobile to find government information in Spanish.
  • Prospective employees can look for jobs and internships using USAJobs, NSA Career Links, and NCI @ NIH Summer Internship Program.