Ron Silliman recently linked to me and stated in his blog: One technology blogroll I like a lot â€“ because it focuses to a surprising degree on the social implications of technology â€“ belongs to J.P. Rangaswami, whose blog is Confused in Calcutta.
Ron, I appreciate the feedback. But it made me think. Am I unusual in this? I think not, except perhaps as a result of the extent my thoughts are influenced by the following books: The Social Life Of Information, The Cluetrain Manifesto, Emergence, The Tipping Point, The Future of Work, The Modern Firm , Open Sources 2.0 , Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital, Community Building On The Web, How Buildings Learn, 109 Ideas for Virtual Learning, The Cathedral and the Bazaar, Maverick, The Borderless World and Blink.
I could have made the list bigger, but this is enough to make my point. These are some of the most important books ever written about how information flows within an organisation, how to make the flow better, how to organise around it, how to get the best value out of people.
IT is about Information and Technology. ICT is about Information and Communications and Technology. Enterprises and markets are made up of people. If we don’t concentrate on the social aspects of what we do, we don’t do our jobs.
If only I had the data to defend the statements, I would say:
- 90% of the cost of implementing systems is about the social aspects
- 90% of the reason projects succeed or fail is to be found in the social aspects
- 90% of the value to be derived from ICT comes from the social aspects
- 90% of the joy of working in ICT comes from the social aspects
- 90% of the challenges in ICT come from the social aspects.
Well, I’ve said it anyway. So I might as well go further. If ICT was a new discipline today, it would (and should) be classified as a social science.