Radically Rethinking Government: The New Digital Strategy

Posted by Dr. James Canton on June 30, 2012 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

There is a New Digital Strategy that is just released by the White House. It calls for a revolution in mobile, social, cloud, analytics and the interoperable use of data. It is the most far ranging attempt by any government to get tech savvy. It is part wish list and part logic: if we are going to build the next generation of 21st century governments then we had best rethink how we use technology and then rethink who we are.

Government 2.0 is a paradigm of rethinking what government agencies do, how they serve citizens and how they could operate more cost-effectively and be innovative in an era of complex change. The use of technology with work process transformation and better strategic planning is part of this model. Also, how they prepare citizens for the future is essential.

There have been many attempts with all administrations since the Internet became a dominant communications revolution to create change, Democrat and Republican alike. Few big changes came about while the private sector has been completely transformed. Government cannot afford in an era of fiscal prudence, yes even under the Democrats not to innovate to reduce costs.

But agencies are very protective of their power and unless the White House takes a stand nothing will happen. So that is what this is, along with more then a policy directive, there are aggressive time tables for each deliverable starting in 90 days. Which is what this should be so it is not just policy directives with no metrics or deliverables.

I think this is a timely and relevant policy shift driven by cost and innovation, or the lack of it. It has been coming for awhile and when I advised under Bush I banged the drum of digital integration as did many more closer to power. Now it is clear that in this climate of Twitter, Apple’s rise, the mobile web, Facebook and this president who has the best record on alienating business of any president, he is trying to demonstrate that he is tech savvy.

Now, to why much of this may not happen. The agencies are traditional bastions of power and hold tight their fiefdoms. Meaning they will not change unless mandated to. Next. There is no additional budget as yet so in essence your asking the agencies to make this very innovative policy directive happen without any new funds. Challenging at best.

On the security, privacy and terrorism issues. This is now in the hands of Depart Homeland Security. I think that there is a confidential counterpart plan to this that addresses these issues as this is DHS’s role and when talking about interoperability and shared data etc. in government the legal issues on use of citizen data access and disclosures are hugely complicated. So rather then complicate the vision here, it is implicit DHS will handle it but this too could not be funded and therefore not a priority versus hard targets like terrorists.

Now a more sinister forecast could play into the intrusion dreams of shared data and preying on citizens and unless you have not been paying attention that horse has left the stable–Big Brother has arrived.

My forecast that I gave to about 80 agencies was that there were going to be three trends facing them within the next 3-7 years that would be driven by higher expectations of performance, customer demands and smaller budgets. There are about 430 agencies making up about $13 Trillion (around same as GDP) of which best accounts are that there is over 30% waste or irrelevancy that we could eliminate if anyone had any guts to do so.

The first is Reduce Government Forecast will affect the lower performing group of agencies that resist innovation and cost cutting and resist rethinking their agencies purpose, work, mandate and customer-facing quality controls (impact on citizens). They would go away. These agencies would be eliminated or be outsourced to private sector companies. FedEx and UPS can do the postal service, should mostly be digital. And on.

The second Government M&A Forecast affects the next group of agencies. They would for similar reasons, basically not performing, get merged and consolidated into other agencies or new ones that have rigorous metrics, like the private sector but around leveraging innovation and serving real needs, with highly intelligent government pros as opposed to special interest agents or providing jobs for political hacks.

The third Government High Performers Forecast, this rewards agencies who transform themselves into innovative, digital, inventive and cost-saving and even profit creating but certainly customer enabling agencies, that derive their power from empowering citizens via better health, education, technology, defense and employment services. I would have them compete with real metrics to win even more budget.

The key, now and whoever the next President will be, is to use this digital mandate to set the stage, get the metrics, see who gets it or not and carve up the rest and get rid of the dead wood. I know this sounds deterministic but this is what needs to happen given fiscal austerity or a growth scenario.

Enabling government to do more with less funds will require a Radical Rethinking of Government. In a recent keynote in Washington DC I outlined this vision of the future.

Impossible Facebook and the Future of Social Media

Posted by Dr. James Canton on May 30, 2012 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

Impossible to imagine that a billion dollar revenue based company that dominates social media and has over 900 million users has to endure all of this huge diversionary mirage about the dysfunction of their public offering. Whew!! There I said it.

Common wisdom is that drop in value has something to do with Facebook’s S1 public offering disclosures, their lack of desire to actually make money (please, does anyone actually believe this?). I cannot think that anything is farther from reality.

Facebook is developing, and I do mean developing a disruptive new business model that puts a value on connections, relationships, networks of communities. Over $1 million per 900 million. Over $3 Million per business. This is a new, yet to be proven business model.

So the fast R/evolution of web business is hard to see in real time. Microsoft dominated the desktop, Google blew up advertising, Apple conquered the apps world and now Facebook is a mega disruptor all over again dominating social media. This doesn’t mean there is lots of room in the business ecosystem for Twitter, Linked In, and others to play in the huge global web connected marketplace. Plenty of dinero. Plenty of time to grow new innovations with a long tail.

So back to Facebook. Impossible Facebook. Can they meet the mobile web challenge learning from Apple? Can they monetize advertising like Google has? I think they can and they can co-compete with other players.

Keep in mind that to 900 people today and over two billion people tomorrow, within five years, Facebook will be the Web for most people. Search, communicate, transact, locate and share all via Facebook.

So do I care that the stock is dropping? Or the valuation is questionable? No. This is a billion dollar company just growing up. Give it time, while your on Facebook or off Liking this or that.

Let’s let Mark show us what he can do. I bet he is a closet data scientist that has big plans for big analytics, big data and has a vision of the future of social media, maybe even the future of society and business.

Impossible Facebook is a fulcrum of change, electrifying the now and maybe the future of social media. Give them time to stretch and grow.

Futurology Event in Jakarta

Posted by Dr. James Canton on July 29, 2011 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

Interesting observations from Jakarta where I am presenting at the Futurology conference. My thesis is that advanced exponential tech innovations, S&T, nano-bio-neuro-IT-quantum are some of the prime tools to use to feed, provide health care, energy, manage climate for the 8 plus billion people coming soon on the planet. We can’t get there from here without new investments in S&T.

The Semantic Web Show: Future of the Internet is Mining Desire?

Posted by Dr. James Canton on June 8, 2011 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

Hanging out at the Semantic Web show http://semtech2011.semanticweb.com/index.cfm
in SF yesterday with Sandy Rosenberg, an IGF adviser made me realize how early we are in understanding the semantic web. The show was intimate and eye opening regarding the powerful potential for this technology.

Simply put, the Semantic Web is about tagging everything and linking every data, audio, image and video source to everything–including us. Also context pattern recognition–finding insight into data that is useful.

Then better search emerges, smarter analytics emerge and maybe we understand how to sell, profit, serve and help people better in everything we do–from health care to security to making new drugs and finding new customers.

The Semantic Web will either be a boon to business or a huge intrusion into life by forces that want to mine and predict your desires. You may say what’s wrong with mining my desires? If you have to ask you missed it.

Personally I think a super computing AI, think Google in the near future with the power of predictive analytic media, seductive, immersive, intuitive, sensing your Desires and then enabling your desires for information, products, services, experiences to be fulfilled sounds both fantastic and disturbing at the same time.

Are not happy in the Matrix? OK maybe that’s too much. But someone in a very undemocratic place like Iran or North Korea may use this Rogue Technology to exploit our desires in ways not happy.

Think neuromarketing meets social media meets the semantic web. Who will watch the watchers? In the manufacture of desire be careful what you ask for.

I do think the semantic web also and primarily will drive valuable new services in media entertainment and health care, to name a few.

See Semantic Web Show in SF, well done event
http://semtech2011.semanticweb.com/index.cfm

U2 Concert in Oakland CA: Future of Innovation Velocity

Posted by Dr. James Canton on under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

The most interesting thing about the U2 concert last night in Oakland was not Bono’s call to action for human rights in Burma or his crazy robust voice banging out all the songs we love. It was the real time (maybe) feed from space the last Endeavor space station of our Astronaut beaming in reminding us that it takes only one of us to with imagination to change the world for the better.

Very cool reminder, from space that tech innovations transform the our world and will transform the future.

So much of the world has been made better with technology innovation and we are only in the middle ages where computers, nano, neuro, biotech have just been invented minutes ago in the long history of civilization.

We must meet the grand challenges of a Sustainable Planet–economic, social, security and environmental sustainability. Especially as were are looking at 9 billion by 2050.

This futurist calls for Planetary Management of food, water, security and energy. We need more Fast Innovation, Innovation Velocity for inventing the next future we will all be living in.

Bono reminded us, and he’s right. The Bay Area helped change the world with innovations like the computer, networks and biotech. Now we need to build on this culture everywhere.

Innovation Velocity means faster tech inventions by individuals, more investments by government and private sector, faster products to empower the next billion people to learn, grow, contribute, collaborate and do business.

How are you creating Innovation Velocity?

One world. One Challenge.

Apple’s Future Cloud Strategy: Learning from the Customer

Posted by Dr. James Canton on under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

Apple’s strategy with the cloud is to learn from their customers. No less important is to lay the foundation of interoperability with Apple TV, the Mac, iPad and Mobile Me. Mobile Me is a work in progress but is moving in the right direction.

As a former Apple executive I know that Apple envisions the future by learning from its customers. This is a powerful lesson that more of my clients could benefit from–learning from customers about how they see the future applications of their products.

Apple learns more from putting out products to customers and then mining their experiences. Apple TV is the latest. But the cloud is an attempt to integrate all of the other devices into one platform–an intuitive interoperable platform.

Already users of Apple’s iPad can stream wireless to the TV programs. What’s next the iCar? Yes. So the cloud for Apple is already in play for the next generation, its laying the foundation for the integration of not just devices like the iPhone but the integration of knowledge assets like video, music and data.

Who are you learning about the future from?

Cloud Computing Futures and Big Data: What’s Next

Posted by Dr. James Canton on May 25, 2011 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

Your going to hear more about cloud computing and big data impacting every organization and industry, especially government. This is the next evolution of network applications, mobile transactions and agile software services. The entire idea of information architecture, in a cloud computing future is coming very fast.

I have just given a series of keynotes to Cisco, EMC, IBM, Disney and Digital River. Everyone is embracing a cloud based strategy, why? cost-effectiveness of their IT spend and agility.

Business agility cannot evolve without IT agility. Write once, use everywhere. App’s that can be easily developed, deployed and delivered are the future and the future is now.

Now onto Big Data. I wrote a forecast on my website www.Futureguru.com about the coming Digital Tsunami, the convergence of tech and applications, from media to logistics to health care to personal genomics–an explosion of data–100 exobytes is coming FAST. Are you ready? No one is.

The storage, use, distribution and capture of 100 exobytes is insanely huge. Pardon the Apple pun. Being a former Apple executive is part of my DNA. but Big Data is the use of huge peta and exabytes of data to better serve customers, find value, develop products, feed the planet, protect the environment–you name it.

So our future is the Cloud.
For more see www.Futureguru.com

The Top 7 Strategies That Should Drive Cloud Computing

Posted by Dr. James Canton on April 23, 2011 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

Recently I gave back to back keynote presentations to Disney, Cisco and soon IBM. Cloud computing was on the agenda. A few things to help you think strategy about the Cloud. For more on this see my website and on the home page I have a Future of Cloud Computing thought leadership article for you at www.Globalfuturist.com

1. Consider a rationale and low impact transition strategy from your legacy infrastructure to the Cloud.
2. You have to be clear about the ROI on Cloud, why are you embracing this now/ What is the ROI?
3. I support Cloud Strategies but they must support and be driven by sound business strategy–not the other way around.
4. Keep in mind that a Cloud strategy should also support or better enable where you are going–how will the Cloud drive future value for customers, employees etc. You got to have a clear mission that validates the time, cost and resources.
5. The Cloud must support a mobile strategy which is essential to your future.
6. The Cloud must support a rich social media platform.
7. The Cloud must support security in the Cloud.

Get these right and you will be on your way to having a viable and rational Cloud strategy.

Stay Tuned

NeuroScience Futures and the Manufacture of Desire

Posted by Dr. James Canton on under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

Neuroscience is in its infancy. We are just trying to figure out where in the brain key functions, behaviors, emotions and needs are located.

Great progress has been made but much more R&D will be required to gain a objective map of the brain.

One thing to beware of is the intersection of neuroscience and privacy. Wireless fMRI, brain scanners if you will could potentially used to determine truth, honesty or even authenticity about belief or loyalty. Could this be a frightful 1984 scenario finally to come true? No doubt unless we are watching.

Neuroscience more neuromarketing will be used to not just understand and target the brain but to manufacture desire–the ultimate end game of business. This is beyond what science can do today unless you think you live in the Matrix now or advertising has already got you barking out loud.

I say that neuroscience will heal, fix and transform the aging brain, restore memories and manufacture desire to help sell more stuff to consumers. All things are possible in the Extreme Future..

In my last book I penned a scenario of the use and misuse of neurotechnology. Funny thing is like atomic energy, you cannot just have the good without the bad.

So the future of NeuroSci is also about learning about our minds, not just the biology of the brain. We will learn not just from scans but from simulations and learning how to improve and enhance learning in the 2st century.

Stay tuned

The Innovator’s Mindset

Posted by Dr. James Canton on January 27, 2011 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

So much talk about innovation. Innovations, from tech innovation to systems, culture and process all can make a a huge difference in a company or organization. But why is innovating so hard?

This is because we don’t know where it begins–where innovation is born is in the mind.

The innovation is about Inventing Something New, a fresh product, service, solution or some new way to bring value to a customer.

Innovation starts within the mind of the person. The Innovators Mindset is about the ways of thinking that cause innovation to be born.

These Innovative Mindsets are:
No Rules
Fiercely Experiment
Be Future Smart
Start Big
Take No No’s
Simulate
Create a Compelling Aha Vision

Innovation is about the mindset of open possibility. Real innovators, had an idea, a vision before they had a thing. Ted Turner, CNN. Apple’s Steve Jobs. Craig Venter mapping the Human Genome. Crick and Watson on DNA and Ratan Tata’s Nano car. They all had a vision of what what was possible and few supporters at first.

Think Big