(cross posting from Mike Riversdale: Enterprise 2.0 New Zealand style blog)

Will the Google revolution engulf IT departments? is the question posed by Jason Hiner:

Gartner has embarked on a wide-reaching new study of Google and its potential impact on IT, enterprise businesses, and society in general in the coming years. On April 10 at the Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2008 in Las Vegas, Gartner Vice President Richard Hunter revealed some of the first data points from this study.

The two most interesting points were:

1.) The best way to think of Google is as a disruptive technology.

2.) Disruptive technologies create big losers and big winners, and one of the biggest losers in the Google disruption could be traditional IT departments.

Listen to Kathy Sierra to find out why this picture is hereMy view – no, it won’t.

And not for the reasons that early commenter’s on the article have listed – IP security or sudden application of charging for the services.

It won’t because it will be a quiet, unassuming and quite natural evolution of IT Departments. Of course there will be those that will be left by the wayside much like there were some COBOL programmers that never quite made it from the old mainframes. Most however will go with the flow, change the way they are required and get along quite nicely.

There will be no “revolution” and it won’t “engulf” no matter how much we’d love to use these emotive words.

If the real question is – will IT Departments be the same in 5 years time as they are now? Probably not, not for those that service ‘knowledge workers’ at least. They will be much more end-user orientated, much more linked in with what the business is doing and probably be a part of the business in ways we can’t imagine now.

But there will also be the need for some ‘computer help’ – all this on-line stuff needs a permanent and reliable connection, it needs something to be seen on (normally this is a PC) and it needs guidance as to “why” use it.

Also, as I have stated before, a large proportion of what we talk about with the likes of Google and Microsoft Office/SharePoint is around ‘knowledge work’ – the shifting of generic information about. This stuff ain’t gonna move cranes, look after your bank account or monitor your elevators and most companies have something like that deep within in them.

What do you think – leave your comments here or at the original posting …

Once you’ve read the above article I would also direct you to:

* and why the gratuitous picture – to prove how right Kathy Sierra is (Webstock preso)

Mike Riversdale

I (Mike Riversdale, aka Miramar Mike) have worked all my professional life alongside users of information with my work with software vendors (Business Objects, Sydney), New Zealand government agencies (Department of Corrections, Ministry of Health, Christchurch City Council), charitable organisations (skylight) and private/public companies (Fronde, Etam). My focus is always on the real users and their information demands - I have been called the "people's poet"! Working for Fronde and as an independent consultant my role is to introduce the concepts, educate around the challenges and ultimately help deliver available, findable and useful information to those that need it. I am experienced in the full gamut of Enterprise 2.0 tools and, despite a leaning towards open source, I am totally vendor independent - whatever works for the client!

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