“Don’t just ask what the role of the IT department in the Enterprise should be; Ask what the role of Technology should be in the Business of the Enterprise.”
That was the tagline for last week’s sell-out event at the BCS, Chartered Institute for IT, which featured Capgemini’s CTO, Andy Mulholland. Attendees were treated to riveting talk by Andy, in which he described the trends, implications and impact of innovation, especially the evolution (in back-office) and revolution (in front-office) of technology and the enterprise. To further drive home the point, Andy outlined what he calls the top ten game changing technology shifts for enterprises to watch and understand, e.g.: people and social tools, the user experience, big data, user driven IT environments (aka consumerisation), and mobility, to name just a few.
And if that wasn’t enough, the second speaker / session at this event provided a practical hands-on demonstration of what might be described as a prototype for ‘crowd-sourced innovation’ in action. This session, which was led by Destination-Innovation’s Paul Sloane, involved attendees forming into small groups in order to explore painful ‘real life’ problems, and to come up with an innovative approach to resolving one of them. The outcome was then played back to the larger group, and suffice it to say that some of the suggestions were astonishing, and one attendee commented afterwards, saying: “It’s amazing what you can achieve in a short period of time”.
Overall, this event provided a great mix of comprehensive knowledge and innovation foresight, along with some practical application of innovative techniques to address them; resulting in a balanced, demonstrable experience of how challenges posed by technology disruption may be met in turn by an innovative approach designed to harness individual creativity. For an event organised, in their spare time, by a bunch of volunteer committee members / helpers of the BCS, North London Branch, (including yours truly), I think this was an excellent outcome.
I was kindly invited to attend a ‘narrow table’ discussion session about the key challenges facing innovation and startups when dealing with a copyright system that is clearly not fit-for-purpose in an increasingly digital world.
This session focused on teasing out the real needs (and supporting evidence thereof) for a Digital Copyright Exchange, as recommended in the Hargreaves report, which would help to address key challenges facing UK innovation and entrepreneurship in the world of digital. This is part of the diagnostic phase of an independent feasibility study led by Richard Hooper.
Attendees included entrepreneurs and start-ups (in music and other digital media) as well as participants from the publishing, legal, academic, public sector, and consulting industries. Highlights from the discussions include:
- Academic publishing – e.g. universities get double-charged for publishing academic works; i.e. for researching the content, which is provided free to the publisher, and again for the published work
- Costly clearance – e.g. according to one attendee, the British Library’s Sound Archives proportionally spent the largest amount of time negotiating / clearing rights for the materials, than on creating archive itself.
- Orphan works – DCE could provide a useful mechanism for managing orphan works.
- Small / Medium Scale Enterprises – SMEs and startups experience the most difficulty with licensing, especially as they lack the resources and money to go through the hoops in negotiating with rights owners. E.g. the lack of a clear and comprehensive licensing system hampers start-ups in establishing their business models (this is particularly acute with music streaming services)
- Price versus value – Collecting societies may not have the right pricing models for music content. E.g. On-demand streams are considered more expensive than scheduled streams or download.
- Physical versus digital copyright – The old world approach of counting instances of works for remuneration does not translate well for digital copyright and new usage scenarios
- Rights owners are scared – they don’t wish to make the wrong decision and risk cannibalising their existing business
- Software Licensing – The DCE should also extend to include software and software licensing
- Navigation – This is a cross industry issue with copyright. A single platform approach to cover all licensing needs would be great as this would provide a single point of reference for information and guidance for users
- Government copyright – It was suggested that government owned IP (e.g. ordnance survey data, census, land or electoral register data) should be covered by the DCE
- Social Media Data – Increasing use of social media data streams for powering new applications makes it a crucial element for future services which will need addressing, sooner or later, perhaps in the DCE.
The above are only a few of the sentiments expressed on the day, and attendees were encouraged to send in their responses to the call for evidence as soon as possible.
Overall, this was a very informative session which seems to confirm something I’ve often stated, which is that the key role of any new digital copyright mechanism should be to simplify and facilitate the use of copyright material within and outside the digital environment. If the Digital Copyright Exchange had those as key principles, it would go a long way to ensuring successful outcomes and delivery of the promised benefit of over £2 Billion to the UK economy.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for Judeumeh’s blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.
Oh, and I promise to try and do better this year 🙂