What ever happened to e- ?

What ever happened to e- ? You remember don’t you?

The time when everything that had some technology element to it was referred to as e-something…. e-enabled, e-business, e-reader, e-marketing.
How time moves on. We rarely see this now. Not only the technology develops, but I suggest the terminology moves even faster. Along with the popularity of the iPhone was the i-everything but that is now not fashionable either.

I was at an Australian Institute of Company Directors event this evening. It was on Digital Strategy, the impact that technology was having on business, on competitors, on industry structure, on internal risk management and a multitude of other critical business impacts. But No, it was not about these, or at least not all of them. It covered some of this ground but not all. It covered, what used to be called e-marketing or perhaps what we could call Digital (Marketing) Strategy.

This is an important area. Social media, marketing, employee engagement, customer intelligence are all critical. But there is more to the impact of technology than this.

My fellow colleagues at the event asked two questions in particular that I enjoyed that were reflective of this bigger picture. One question was about Board capability and competence in relation to marketing, technology and the like. Another question related to competitor behaviour and business model design, and I shall add to that with own interpretation of suggesting a link to industry structure. These considerations are all crucial to forming a complete view of the digital/technology/information age related change impacts on all organisations, and indeed on the community at large.

These change impacts are happening in waves. One of the latest waves is on marketing. Not that marketing hasn’t been impacted before. It has. But now it is gaining pace and importance, and in some quarters, the Chief Marketing Officer is claimed to be a bigger technology purchaser than the Chief Information Officer.

And so now we have the Digital Strategy. The “marketers who do technology” are now getting so powerful they too can reinvent their own terms. After all the “technologists who do marketing” have been doing this for a long time.

There is a broader picture here though. There was a time in history when finance was not a skill or capability pervasive to all business people. Today you would not get far without it. This evolution is happening with technology. Eventually technology related skills and perspectives, and being able to apply these into every role and every part of the organisation will be standard practice. This remains some decades away.

But stay tuned, the changes are continuous and there are many many steps ahead, despite what we have already seen. And whatever happens, there is bound to be a new name we can call it too.

Written by: 

MANAGING DIRECTOR INFORMATION PROFESSIONALS – MARK NICHOLLS

Mark is the founder of Information Professionals and Managing Director. He is one of the most trusted IT management advisors in Australia, and has managed, advised or reviewed some of the most complex IT and Change Management projects in Australia. A full outline of Mark and his Bio is available here.

New Website Goes Live!!!

It went live yesterday.  We have a new website!  www.informpros.com has had a makeover, and we are feeling good.  Its always good to get a project finished and this is no exception.

Management Consultancy Brisbane

Thanks to the old site for its good years of service, but it was getting old and tired and it was time to retire.

And thanks to Vince Usher, our Social Media Advisor and lately, Wesbite Architect, for getting this job done.  You can connect with Vince on Twitter @InformprosHQ

Please take a look at the site, www.informpros.com, check it out, tell us what you think.

You can now get involved and join the conversation with us more easily from the website.  So Tweet, post to Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and get involved.

– The Information Professionals Team.

Post your thoughts and comments below…

Project Manager…or are you?

As management practitioners of all things ICT and business change, us IPers read with note recently that the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) recently held their annual ball, and that it was a masquerade ball.

Now all sorts of thoughts ran through our mind about this..and the funny puns we could make.  Then came the reality of playing this out on social media and the dangers involved in misfiring jokes.  So as management consulting types, what did we do. Well we talked about it.  And after a quick debate we thought we could make some comments, but they had to be good taste and they should not be personal in any way.  Certainly we had to be thoughtful and responsible citizens on social media.

Recent news has highlighted many reasons to stay away from social media, particularly if your name happens to be Jones, Gillard or Abbott, and the last thing we wanted to do was open up a can of worms that we couldn’t close.  But we also know that social media isn’t going away, and every opportunity like this is an opportunity to test the waters of what we could and could not say, and be lively vibrant members of the communities we are involved in.

At the same time, we are very fond of our Project Manager sole mates, in fact we have many of them among us.  I even count myself amongst this crowd, presenting to the AIPM Queensland State Conference last month.  And as we are fond of them, then the brotherly and Aussie thing to do is to reflect that love with a joke or two.  Besides, if the comedy, “Big Bang Theory” can be tastefully funny, rejoicing the diversity of professional life, and do so in a way that is non offensive then isn’t it worth a try?

The question then became, what kind of jokes.  How can we be tastefully funny, non-personal and avoid the cans of worms?  After all, social media seems to have increased the available cans of worms which can be easily and unknowingly opened.

We had a nice repertoire of one liners ready, just perfect for a bunch of Project Managers dressing up in masquerade!  Lines like:

  • I think they should have used a risk avoidance rather than risk mitigation strategy on that outfit; or
  • I doubt they got change control approval from their wife/husband on that dress; or
  • I don’t know whether he has realised he has moved from risk management to issue management as soon as he stepped into the ballroom tonight; or
  • The way she is dressed there could be any number of successor relationships lining up on her schedule tonight


But in the end, we became too concerned about causing offence to anyone .  We gave up.  We have the brain power of multiple CIOs, CFOs and more serious management grunt than many ICT shops in Australia could poke a stick at, but we took the easy way out.  Yes, the risk of social media is a tough battle ground.

This is very much unlike the PMs.  They may have debated the moral hazard of wearing masquerade.  But their own unique style of being PMs allowed them to deal with such matters as being irrelevant.  They were focused, just as PMs can be, on one thing, and that is on having fun, completely oblivious to the world around them.

And good on them for that.  Stand proud PMs, stand proud!



Mark Nicholls.
Managing Director, Information Professionals. 
Mark is one of Australia’s most trusted IT & Change Management advisors. He also has other entrepreneurial business interests that he operates through MaidenVoyages.