Kids of today will drive your IT in the future

I listened to a really interesting talk last night by JP Rangaswami, managing director of BT Design.

JP, who has a very popular and well read blog, Confused of Calcutta, was talking to the CW 500 club about the future of corporate information.

One of things that JP talked about that particularly struck me was that it is the kids of today that will shape businesses’ attitudes to Information Technology in the future.

The key point being that if you want to attract those kids with talent to work in your organisation then you will need to offer them a better, or as least as good, an experience of IT than they currently get at home.

That means open access to social networks, blogs, twitters etc, because these are the online environments where young people have conversations and water cooler moments.

That means a non-proprietorial attitude to the work laptop – kids see their work laptop as their electronic wallet that stores all their photos etc…

It means a more enlightened approach to home-working and a more sophisticated approach to uniting diverse sets of employees across multiple time zones and regional boundaries of jurisdiction.

JP’s believes that companies need to shift cultures and attitudes from the “control and command environments” and encourage sharing and collaboration between employees, customers and suppliers. As Aristotle famously said: “The whole is more than the sum of its parts.”

Business development is hindered far too often by the failure to adapt and move on. Young people are adopting Web 2.0 technologies like social networking while corporate companies are seeking to ban it for compromising productivity or security.

This reminds me of Tony Blair’s speech a few years ago that said we needed to beware of the forces of conservatism (note little C). Indeed we do. I agree with JP, the next information revolution will happen, so now it’s time for corporate companies to review their structures and management practices to harness the new environment, rather than stifle it.

There will be more from JP on soon. We shot a video interview with him, so you’ll be able to catch some of his views next week.

You can also understand far more of JP’s thinking about the future of information from his blog, Confused of Calcutta, which is shortlisted in the CIO category in ComputerWeekly IT blog awards.