Geert Tilborghs

The sea change in IT: from technology to information and beyond

by Geert Tilborghs, Corporate Communications KBC

When was the latest major shift in IT? When we started having digits instead of pointers on our watches? Despite all evolutions since ‘digital’ came around, the real changes are happening now and it’s not about technology in the first place. It’s about the information in information technology.

The IT focus is shifting to the business and customer value. Towards the true meaning of information technology: managing information, making it available, turning it into insights and using it in collaborative ways. Information in human context.

Knowledge workers at KBC expect tools and platforms that allow this type of folksonomy creation throughout the workplace. Younger generations will introduce new technologies and expectations themselves. The IT department needs to get ready to support this drive for innovation, another meaning of the I in IT. Denying its existence (or its value) will not work,  nor will strict guidelines that forbid innovation: the digital natives are likely to “vote with their feet” and try to find solutions  elsewhere. [Read more...]

Pierrette de Leeuw-Koumans

How real-time can it get?

Digitizing with my head in the clouds

By Pierrette de Leeuw-Koumans, Senior Marketing Manager

Do you sometimes think about how much the world has changed the last ten years or so? I do and it’s probably kicking in an open door but I keep being impressed by the speed at which all aspects of our lives and society have become digitized. When looking at all today’s evolutions, we can’t but realize that despite this speed, we’re just at the beginning. The real-time world has arrived and we’re only starting to see what that truly means.

Another question: do you remember the days when you had no mobile phone or e-mail? Sometimes I think about them as a blast from the past. It makes me wonder how back then -well, I’m starting to belong to a somewhat older generation- I was able to make an appointment, keep in touch with friends, get money from my account, let alone share my views and ideas with the world through blogs or Twitter. [Read more...]

Nicola-Millard22

What is a balanced communications diet?

The past decade’s advances in communication technologies – such as smartphones, tablets and social media – have been spectacular. While the benefits of these technologies are obvious, there are negative consequences as well. As we compulsively check incoming messages from multiple channels and devices, are we not killing our productivity, increasing our stress levels and destroying our home life? BT’s in-house futurologist, Nicola Millard, runs through the facts.

What is the problem with communication technology? Or perhaps I should first ask, is there a problem?

Absolutely. BT recently conducted an international study together with Cambridge University on exactly this topic and the results speak for themselves. One in three of our respondents reported that they feel overwhelmed by communications technology. The main problem is that we are constantly distracted by communication and that can have a negative impact on our productivity and our general well being. London Business School’s Future of Work Consortium estimates that during an average day we are interrupted every three minutes. That’s a lot of distraction! [Read more...]

As fast as a call but no accent

The Genius of the Telephone.

I will admit that for many years I dreamt of being Maggie Philbin or Philippa Forrester and present TV science programmes. So I leapt at the chance when I was asked to appear with Dr Michael Mosely on a BBC programme celebrating the invention of the telephone, ‘The Genius of Invention’ (BBC Two).

On arrival “on set” it was fabulous to see BT’s network control centre in Oswestry, Shropshire, looking so 007-ish, having had a makeover from the BBC lighting team. Oswestry is both the eyes and the ears of the UK’s communications network. It ensures every one of the five billion calls passing over BT’s “core” network every month gets through to their intended destinations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – whether you are ringing your aunt in Sydney or a contact centre in Sidcup. [Read more...]

ipads  busniess

Children and digital technologies: it’s a bit like business

According to research mentioned on Forbes.com, 48% of American children aged between 6 and 12 want an iPad for Christmas. The digital wish list further contains the Nintendo Wii U, the iPad Mini, iPod Touch and iPad. Santa will have to be mobile and digital this year. I have four children, all belonging to the same age group as the research looked at (well, one is 13). I see them using the digital devices they have as if they never did anything else.

Of course daddy plays a role in their digital curiosity. After all, they never saw me without computers or mobile devices. But my role is not that big. Digital is big. It’s not my own ‘digital lifestyle’ that’s influencing them most. It’s peer pressure.  [Read more...]