Archive for November 15, 2011

What a change five years can make

November 15, 2011

Predictions, predictions

Five years ago this blogger was in a very different place.  I’d just been made redundant from a third sector organisation thanks to the spectre of organisational bankruptcy, and were beginning my local government career as an SO2 worker (for those of you outside of the wonderful world of local government pay, this isn’t a sum that the Daily Mail would get too outraged by).  With no qualifications post-GCSE, no real experience of anything outside a very narrow and somewhat saturated field of work and no contacts, things were looking a little grim.

Fast forward on and things are looking a lot brighter.  Several career hops, a little hard work and a lot of luck sees me clinging on to a fourth tier role with an exciting team to lead and some very interesting work areas to own, shape and evolve as I see fit (within boundaries of course).  My ambitions in general are similar, but the world and my immediate targets have become very different in a relatively short space of time.

Why this trip down memory lane?  Well, I’ve recently been looking into some of our ICT and digital engagement strategies, which are coming up for renewal.  These are coming towards the end of their five year shelf lives, having been developed initially in 2007 and refreshed in 2009.  Reading through them has shown me just what a different place the online world was back in 2007.  Here are a few examples:

·         Facebook, which had been open to the public for a year, reached its first million users in the UK

·         MySpace (remember that) was the top social network by a fair margin

·         YouTube was officially launched in the UK

·         The first i-phone was released in the US, although the app store was still a year off

·         Twitter saw 400,000 tweets per quarter – today it sits at around 200million tweets.  Per day.

·         Internet Explorer 7 was a year old already (you hear that IT people – IE6 was even out of date in 2007!)

Now, I know 2007 is in the grand scheme of things a very short time ago; it’s not as if dinosaurs ruled the planet, Napoleon threatened the nation’s interests or even Man City were in the second division.  2007 was just a short time ago, yet the digital world has changed and evolved exponentially in the intervening half-a-decade.

Acknowledging this has happened is good, and reviewing how we work digitally is also good, but repeating the process of creating a single strategy that will shape and determine our IT action plans from now until 2017 seems just a tad strange to me, simply replicating the problems I am now coming across. (more…)