The recent New Zealand earthquake and Japanese tsunami provide similar examples. In both cases, cloud and crowd sourced systems were developed and commissioned within days, using the combined IT capabilities of citizens and volunteers.
In each of these examples, 21st century people power has managed to break down barriers. They delivered robust and pragmatic solutions where traditional development methods could not.
These are just the first tentative steps, in what may be a long period of change. Even so, a number of clear recommendations are emerging:
- Social networking is already a powerful force in the community. Now is the time to consider its use within existing business processes and systems under development.
- Large, risky projects are giving way to smaller projects that can leverage existing internal and externally sourced services.
- Citizens and business colleagues are now emerging as valuable partners. It is better to embrace their enthusiasm than hold back the tide.
- It is now time to tear down walls, not to build them.
Kevin Noonan is Research Director, Ovum.
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