Big shifts

In the State of the Asian CXO Survey 2012 by T.C Seow, there has been a clearly identified increase in corporate culture being an inhibitor of innovation. Seow speculates “that there is now conflict between senior management and the younger, so-called Generation Y executives or millennials who do not see eye-to-eye with their bosses. Perhaps there is work to be done to bridge the widening gap between the millennials and the older generation who lack savviness in dealing with their culture.

Generation Y, who have grown up surrounded by communication technologies, is having an increasing level of influence in the workforce. Similarly, tech-savvy Gen-X’ers are rising into positions of significant influence within large organisations. This is creating big shifts in the way that many industries operate and even on corporate cultures as Seow identifies above.

The big shift underway is that ICT is increasingly moving from the server room to the board room in many industries. Thought leaders within the OSS industry have to make a similar shift in mindset, from having the tools that support back-end processes, to having the tools that drive the business via front-end processes.

The big shifts to OSS that correspond with that change in mindset include:

  1. Business-driven innovations (not technology-driven) that means that ICT (and OSS) have the oportunity to lead the charge in the boardroom rather than in response to other initiatives
  2. Mobility (eg BYOD, spatially-sensitive data, working away from the office, etc)
  3. Secure hosted services (eg cloud, SaaS, IaaS, OSSaaS, etc)
  4. Speed (speed to market, speed to change, speed to innovate, low latency communications, automation such as machine-to-machine communications)
  5. Customer transparency. More businesses are becoming e-businesses  or heavily dependent on ICT so reliability and visibility of that infrastructure is paramount
  6. Business Intelligence and Analytics (eg Big data) is required to sort the important from the noise as we become deluged by an ever-increasing amount of data
  7. Ubiquitous connectivity (ie commoditised bandwidth, increased reliability, increased number of people/devices connected, increasing number of CSPs and differentiation by business model, OTT service innovation, etc)
  8. Social media and social enterprise

The OSS tools and platforms of the past will be quickly left behind by these massive demographic and technology shifts. The OSS of the future must designed from the ground up to be able to handle rapid change and be built upon frameworks that are equally flexible and scalable.

It is clear that more OSS time must be dedicated to strategic thinking rather than just on the maintenance of existing systems

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