Magazine article New Zealand Management

Digital Strategy: Why Managers Should Care the Government's Digital Strategy Document Released in 2005 Met with Hardly a Murmur of Managerial Interest. Its Latest Iteration, Released in April, Should Not Meet with the Same Studied Executive Indifference Suggest David Chapman and Prashanta Mukherjee

Magazine article New Zealand Management

Digital Strategy: Why Managers Should Care the Government's Digital Strategy Document Released in 2005 Met with Hardly a Murmur of Managerial Interest. Its Latest Iteration, Released in April, Should Not Meet with the Same Studied Executive Indifference Suggest David Chapman and Prashanta Mukherjee

Article excerpt

Managers may be snowed under dealing with the tough realities of a slowing economy but they need to spend time engaging with the Government's recently released Draft Digital Strategy 2008 (www. digitalstrategy.govt.nz/digital-strategy-2).

Why? Because the "Digital Age" is rapidly becoming central to management processes and strategic thinking.

Just a month ago a national debate erupted over Opposition Leader John Key's announced plans to spend $1.5 billion on providing most New Zealanders with fibre-optic connections by 2014, if he and his party should lead the country after this year's General Election. And Labour minister David Cunliffe's determination to deliver better and cheaper local broadband services has been instrumental in the operational separation of Telecom into two entities to deliver more competition and, consequently, cheaper broadband.

There's more to the 2008 Digital Strategy than just another rationalisation for funding inter-generational infrastructure development.

It sets a stretch vision for New Zealand as we search for our new global niche. It challenges us to ponder what the equivalent of the "refrigerated ships" that transformed our land-based industries in the 19th century might be? Digital, not distance, contains the opportunities for our future.

The digital vision for New Zealand, according to the strategy, states: "New Zealand will be a world leader in using information and technology to realise its economic, social, environment and cultural goals, to the benefit of all New Zealanders."

This implies moving our thinking towards an economic base that is characterised by, in the words of the New Zealand Institute, a greater degree of "weightlessness".

It simultaneously discusses new "weightless" businesses like TradeMe, Xero and Right Hemisphere, and the case for adding a digital component to all the nation's "weightful" produce.

Managers not working in the information communications technology (ICT)/ digital industries may not even be aware of some interesting and seminal changes in information processing behaviour now taking place. Consider just two:

Recent research from the University of Southern California's Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future (www.digitalcenter.org) states that the typical internet user spends roughly four hours per day "actively using" the internet and the majority of that time is spent heavily multitasking, often running streaming multimedia applications in the background while focusing on less bandwidth-intensive applications in the foreground.

The millennial generation (often referred to as Gen Y) is demonstrating a capacity to adopt innovative digital applications in widespread fashion in record time--12 to 18 months or less (eg YouTube, Facebook). These are the future workforce and next-generation managers who will take New Zealand forward. Today's managers must take the time to understand and plan for this new way of working.

Consider this scenario by US-based niche research firm Nemertes (www.nemertes. corn): "MIT researchers have already developed devices that allow users to set up a variety of 'always on' video connections between friends and family members. These can be displayed on wall-mounted high-definition displays, or carried as low-definition keychain-sized trinkets (with wireless access to the internet). Either way, they enable users to set up sustained interactive connections between remote parties."

Science fiction? Why would anyone do this today or before 20187 Consider for a moment the context of some real changes we are living through:

* Constantly increasing oil prices will directly impact the cost of all forms of travel and make us think before getting into a car or aircraft. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.