WE have never been more connected. Electronically. Virtually. Online.

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John Sheridan is the CEO of Digital Business insights.

 

In many ways now, we need to recognise what that means and adjust our offline connections, crossroads and meeting places to reflect that need.

The natural meeting places where we congregate outside of work, schools, universities, and home are shopping centres, libraries, sports stadiums, parks and entertainment or leisure facilities.

In the new digital economy, connection, collaboration and integration are the currents carrying us towards our destination.

So now we need to add this new capacity onto our built environment and extend the physical to match the virtual. It won't be cheap, but it needs to enter into the consideration of planners and architects more than it has today.

We need more real world collaboration spaces to match the virtual. And we need to integrate our living, working and activity silos together in the same way we integrate our virtual activities and processes together.

Where are the existing collaboration hubs?

University precincts, schools, hospitals, child-care and aged care facilities. Libraries, fitness centres and shopping centres. Transport hubs.

These environments are evolving already. Most shopping malls have offices attached, but this is still old world thinking.

Universities provide precincts for students and sometimes even related startup industries, but still old world thinking.

Incubators and enterprise centres also try to aggregate startups but still old world thinking.

Digital Work Hubs provide office facilities, meeting rooms, cafes and kitchens but still old world thinking.

City centre new commercial office developments are now providing a range of comfortable meeting space, cafes and board rooms to support the offices but it is still old world thinking.

It has to go one step further.

Add all the above into a number of carefully selected strategic suburban offline and online environments and connect to surrounding homes and the SoHo's.

Connect it all together with booking and payment systems, transport and delivery, virtual classrooms, meeting rooms, and collaboration environments, and you begin to get the idea.

It's happening online. Now it has to happen offline.

It's about adding extra and relevant "stickiness" to customer relationships for councils, commercial developers, retailers and small businesses of all kinds.

If your online customer relationships have just been stolen by competitors, or you have been disintermediated, then you need to consider your future.

You can review what you do or retire of course, but unless you are one of the lucky few, you can't continue business as usual.

Telstra retains customers through bundling a group of products and services together to add value to customers. The bundled offer can then be discounted if competition on any of the services arises to make the bundle even more "sticky".

Customers who are thinking about moving, find it all too hard and remain...at least for the time being.

Shopping centres have been steadily extending their offering to include entertainment, gyms, child-care and food courts and are now adding work-spaces into the overall environment.

This has the added value of not only delivering a greater number of regular customers for the centre management but also brings them into direct relationship with shops and traders who are being impacted by online sales.

It's time for councils, state government and developers to think collectively and more broadly about the issue, focused on the shared value outcome of building new knowledge centres based on suburban shopping centres, libraries, art galleries, lecture theatres, play centres, medical centres, gyms and meeting spaces.

And linking these new knowledge centres electronically to surrounding SoHo's and households intelligently.

The hard infrastructure needs to be supported by soft infrastructure - wired and wireless broadband, collaboration software, booking and payment software and IT support services.

The business intelligence "logic" of what collaboration can offer needs to be overlaid as well, so that the right connections, groupings, meetings and collaborations can happen actively as well as accidentally.

All supported by local business media - offline and online.

In the 21st century, we have to move beyond serendipity and accident, and incorporate the potential power of cross-pollination into our planning.

Digital gardening.

We can replicate and layer the online opportunities with real world opportunities, providing a rich layer cake of digital world and real world opportunity - the best of both worlds.

Providing the new meeting places for the 21st century.

 

- John Sheridan, July 2013

* John Sheridan is CEO of Digital Business insights, an organisation based in Brisbane, Australia, which focuses on helping organisations and communities adapt to, and flourish in, the new digital world. He is the author of Connecting the Dots and getting more out of the digital revolution. Digital Business insights has been researching and analysing the digital revolution for more than 12 years and has surveyed more than 50,000 businesses, conducting in-depth case study analysis on more than 350 organisations and digital entrepreneurs.

www.db-insights.com

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THE US Army has admitted to blocking access to parts of the Guardian website for thousands of defence personnel across the USA.

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John Sheridan, Digital Business insights CEO.

 

A spokesman said the military was filtering out reports and content relating to government surveillance programs to preserve "network hygiene" and prevent any classified material appearing on unclassified parts of its computer systems.

And all this in a country that has free speech built into its constitution, for what it is worth. Hmm.

Another example.

This is how Director of National Intelligence James Clapper responded in March to a question raised by Senator Ron Wyden.

"Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"

Clapper testified, "No sir, it does not."

Senator Wyden asked for clarification, and Clapper hedged: "Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps collect, but not wittingly."

Director Clapper later defended this stupendous lie to the Senator as the least untruthful answer possible.

Sounds like Newspeak.

Newspeak is the fictional language in the novel 1984, by George Orwell. It is a language created by the totalitarian state as a tool to limit free thought, and concepts that pose a threat to the regime such as freedom, self- expression, individuality, peace, etc.

Any alternative to the party's view is classified as "thoughtcrime".

Well, I guess a lot of us are now criminals under that definition.

Apparently, recent sales of the novel 1984 on Amazon have risen by 6000 percent. Surprise, surprise.

What is going on in the home of the brave and land of the free?

Not so brave any more. Everybody now needs a gun to protect themselves.

And free?

Well apart from the incredibly large population of unfree Americans in prison - over six million, which is more than were in Stalin's Gulag, there is of course the new surveillance society, which routinely snoops into the phone records of Americans.

And now we see the good ol' USA throwing its considerable weight into chasing and punishing the individual who brought this to everybody's attention - Edward Snowden.

We already know that the USA is the most powerful nation in the world. It has the most powerful military and an extremely strong and resilient economic base. It houses most of the world's leading corporations. It houses most of the world's leading IT companies.

Using that enormous power to openly pursue an individual, foolish or wise enough to expose internal government lies, newspeak and corruption, whilst leaning on everybody and anybody who may possibly get in the way is without any grace, wisdom or common sense.

Of course it isn't really aimed at us. It is for internal consumption. It is the big stick being waved for the American market and public. And especially for US government employees. Dare any other American follow in those footsteps and they can be sure what will happen.

Few Americans believe that they live in a police state of course, but the fact that police have the right to monitor the communications of all its citizens is an indication of something worth consideration.

If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck and acts like a duck then it's a duck.

The downside of course, and we can all see it only too clearly, is that the "government" of the USA can now reach out through its corporations, its IT companies, its media and its embassies across the world not just to gather intelligence but to lean hard on anybody suspected of telling people about this. And then deny that they did this in the first place.

That doesn't help the business and sales activities of Amazon web services, Google, IBM, HP, Salesforce, Microsoft and so on, all of whom are busy knocking on doors saying "Trust us with your business data and information, we will look after it securely and wisely."

Hmmm. I guess you will.

- John Sheridan, July 2013

* John Sheridan is CEO of Digital Business insights, an organisation based in Brisbane, Australia, which focuses on helping organisations and communities adapt to, and flourish in, the new digital world. He is the author of Connecting the Dots and getting more out of the digital revolution. Digital Business insights has been researching and analysing the digital revolution for more than 12 years and has surveyed more than 50,000 businesses, conducting in-depth case study analysis on more than 350 organisations and digital entrepreneurs.

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DEPARTMENTS are a throw back to the industrial revolution. At that time and throughout most of the 20th century it was the way we got things done. We put things into departments to be easily and sensibly managed.

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Digital Business insights CEO John Sheridan.

 

In effect, we built assembly lines in factories and in offices, staged and compartmentalised activities, and did one thing at a time in a straight line. In a paper based, manual filing and postal world, that was the most efficient way to operate.

There was a limit to the degree of complexity we could manage at any one time and breaking activities into their component parts made perfect sense.

Then along came computers. First a few expensive, giant mainframes in a few locations and today, an enormous choice of different personal computing devices owned and used by billions of individuals and organisations all over the world, connected by wires, wireless and networks of many varieties.

This degree of connectivity makes new things possible. Fast computing power and cheap storage makes even more new things possible.

It's a new game. But we are still thinking like the old game.

We are using the new power to enhance and enforce our old ways of doing and thinking.

The new computing power and connectivity allows us to handle things in a way our forefathers and foremothers couldn't have imagined.

The digital revolution doesn't only make our traditional actions and activities more efficient, it allows us to create and manage new actions and activities that extend far beyond what we have become used to.

Because the old limits have gone. The original reasons for organising ourselves into departments for efficiency have disappeared.

The limitations of the tools diminish every day.

The limitations of our thinking remain.

Every business leader has to build time into the week to look forwards now. Just a few big businesses do this systematically - Google, 3M, GE and some others.

They don't just give themselves time to think about today, they give themselves time to consider their future. They look down at their feet, desktops, machines, computer screens like most of us, but also look up at the sky. They look ahead and forwards to tomorrow, imagine and create their future.

Is this stupid? Is this something only they can do? Well, no! It is something that every business and every organisation needs to do.

Because, we exist in an increasingly connected business environment and we have to understand the disruptions and we have to make time to consider. To innovate, just like Google, 3M and GE. It should be standard operating practice. 10% or even 20% of time dedicated to the future...minimum.

Not just for businesses, but for government departments and for any and every organisation.

In a disruptive time like this, it is wise to look around. It is wise to think about today and tomorrow.

The processing tools we now have provide the support but the vision has to come from us. And we need the time to do this. So make time.

Because the operating environment has changed.

The walls have disappeared. Connections extend between silos and across the walls and across the streets and across the seas and across the planet. The digital revolution takes complexity and reduces it to 1s and 0s.

The values have changed.

Which opens a new door.

When things connect in this way, any entity wishing to negotiate a successful journey forwards into the future has to understand what the implications of this degree of connectivity means to them.

They have to understand what it means within their business or organisation. But much more importantly, they have to understand the external changing connected environment.

This is where most digital strategy falls down.

Understanding the position a 21st century organisation holds in relation to all the disruptive forces now in play is essential to plotting a course forwards.

You have to know where you are.

Strategy requires knowledge of "who we are" "where we are" "our resources" - then a clear vision of "where we want to get to".

In the past this was relatively easy. A bit like planning a round Australia tour. Up the road, turn left, drive for 15 miles, turn right, stop for tea, and on we go.

This easy to negotiate fixed environment has gone forever.

The new disruptive environment is like the sea. There are no landmarks. There are no seamarks - because it moves all the time.

But even in a permanently disrupted operating environment (which will get worse as even more organisations connect, collaborate and integrate), we can still use the digital tools - business intelligence tools, accounting tools, search tools, and web based tools of many kinds to inform us "where we are" "who we are", "current resources" and "where we want to get to".

The key is using these tools to inform us as to where we are on our journey relative to our destination - even when the wind blows, the waves get higher, the fog arises, the next financial crisis hits, the dollar rises, the dollar falls and so on.

Understanding what the new environment offers is the key to safe arrival. That is where most digital strategy falls down. Not understanding that the old game is now the new game.

That is why the media empires are struggling. That's why the "old school" IT companies are struggling. That is why all governments are struggling with this issue.

That is why property developers are struggling. That is why retail is struggling. That is why so many business categories are struggling - because they don't know the new operating conditions and continue to play as though this is just a phase...that things will return to business as usual.

Yes, it is a phase. But probably at least a hundred year phase, which makes it the new permanent operating condition where things will only get worse for those who can't or won't become more agile, decisive and adaptive.

That is hard for the big boys. Their strength was their capacity to reinforce and reward consistency and punish innovation with "firing" or encouragement to move on, " you're not fitting in well with our organisational culture, maybe you should look elsewhere".

Large organisations are good at firing the people they need most and keeping the people they need least.

These guys now have all the wrong kind of employees and an "immune system" culture that kills innovation like our bodies kill bacteria. That organisational culture is toxic in the new digital economy.

It all joins up. Understanding thoroughly what is going on and using the new digital toolkit properly offers a future.

Ignoring it, confirms failure.

So on all levels. "Should my digital strategy connect to my social media strategy, connect to my business strategy, connect to my HR strategy, connect to my sales strategy, connect to my staying alive strategy etc?"

Well duh! Of course.

Should my overall strategy be connected and informed by the larger digital revolutionary changes across all business sectors, categories, regions, states, countries?

Yes, as well.

And that is a brand new game.

- John Sheridan, July 2013.

 

www.db-insights.com

* John Sheridan is CEO of Digital Business insights, an organisation based in Brisbane, Australia, which focuses on helping organisations and communities adapt to, and flourish in, the new digital world. He is the author of Connecting the Dots and getting more out of the digital revolution. Digital Business insights has been researching and analysing the digital revolution for more than 12 years and has surveyed more than 50,000 businesses, conducting in-depth case study analysis on more than 350 organisations and digital entrepreneurs.

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NEW CSIRO research has revealed far greater productivity benefits from latest generation 'digital' agribusiness technologies than was previously estimated. Australia's science agency researchers believe Australian farmers are well positioned to reap a huge harvest by adapting these systems, energised by greater broadband access, to meet the needs of global food markets.

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New 'digital' farming techniques are part of the modern curriculum. Image: University of Qld, Gatton.

From monitoring soil moisture to measuring oyster heartbeats, a new CSIRO report has revealed Aussie farmers can help to tackle the global food shortage and significantly increase their productivity by taking advantage of new smart farming technologies enabled by next generation broadband networks.

The Smart Farming: leveraging the impact of broadband and the digital economy report compiles research from a number of Australian first agricultural projects which indicate that, by connecting farms to broadband-enabled sensor networks, farmers will be able to take more control of their operations by analysing the wealth of new information made available in easily accessible web tools.

"With food demand predicted to increase 50 percent in the next 20 years according to the National Food Plan Report 2013), the main challenge facing the agricultural sector is not so much growing 70 percent more food in 40 years, but making 70 percent more food available on the plate," said Colin Griffith, director of The Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation (ACBI).

He was referring to the United Nations 2012 report on Food Security and Australia's National Food Plan research of 2013.

"To tackle this challenge and help farmers make better decisions, we're trialling new broadband-enabled technologies such as cattle tags to track livestock as well as a range of sensor networks, which measure water salinity, soil moisture and even the heartbeat of oysters," Mr Griffith said.

"Initial studies indicate that these tools can help increase farming productivity in crop and pasture yields by targeting the use of water and fertilisers as well as in livestock production through better rotation of animals and pastures.

"For example, we have seen cotton growers using the soil moisture sensors almost doubling their yields per megalitre of water when they vary irrigation rates according to the localised needs of the soil and plants, rather than taking the one-size-fits-all approach for a whole field," he said.

National Farmers' Federation 2050 Committee chair, Hollie Baillieu said the digital economy presented a game changer for Australian agriculture.

"Not only will technology-driven productivity improvements help feed a growing population, but the innovations will also help improve farmers' bottom line and led to more profitable farm businesses," Ms Baillieu said.

"It doesn't matter whether we're talking about a cattle grazier from the Northern Territory or an oyster farmer in Tasmania, the benefits of emerging technologies provide opportunities for the entire farming sector."

The Smart Farming: leveraging the impact of broadband and the digital economy report is designed to help government agencies, IT professionals, farmers and related businesses to better understand the potential of smart farming technologies in Australia's agricultural and upstream service and processing industries.

It describes opportunities and benefits for Australia's rural sector from the broadband network and the digital economy. Some of these emerging opportunities have been explored through demonstration smart farm initiatives, outlined in the report.

These projects have also pinpointed the key drivers and barriers for adoption of this new technology in the agricultural and related industries.

The Smart Farming: leveraging the impact of broadband and the digital economy report will be officially launched to industry and government stakeholders during the Digital Rural Futures Conference on Wednesday (June 26)

INTO PRACTICE

CSIRO and the University of New England have set up a demonstration Smart Farm in Armidale, NSW to investigate and demonstrate the impact of broadband and related digital services for Australia's rural sector.

The initiative is lead by the ACBI, a collaborative research initiative established by CSIRO, and UNE's Precision Agriculture Research Group.

The Kirby Smart Farm is a 2800 hectare working commercial farm located 10km north-west of UNE's campus at Armidale. The farm focuses on merino wool and beef cattle but various grains for livestock feed are also produced.

At Kirby it is a mixture of native grasses, introduced clovers and developed rye-grass and fescue-based mixtures. Productivity on a farm of this kind is highly dependent on pasture management because it provides the main food source for the livestock.

The farm was also one of the first mainland farms connected to the NBN terrestrial wireless broadband service -- initially at 12 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream with a planned future upgrade to 25 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream.

Another research case study is taking place at the Queensland Digital Homestead.

Through CSIRO's Sustainable Agriculture Flagship a ‘Digital Homestead' in Townsville, Queensland, is being developed to integrate multiple disparate sources of information from on-farm sensing of soil, vegetation, livestock and the environment as well as from external sources such as climate forecasts and market information into a simple and usable cloud-based decision support systems for farmers and agriculture advisers.

The project collaborators include QLD DAFF, JCU & QUT, co-funded by the Queensland Government Smart Futures fund.

The project focus is on building a ‘dashboard' that integrates and presents the information in such a way, so that better decisions can be made. The additional opportunity is to build new and adapted businesses in the service sector, and across the value chain, that can be delivered virtually, taking advantage of the two-way real-time connectivity of the system.

Sense-T has been established in Tasmania to test new generation digital sensor networks on farms.

Sense-T is building the world's first economy-wide intelligent sensor network. It is creating a digital view of the entire island by combining different data sources, including real-time sensor data.

Information will be available through easy-to-use apps to help businesses, governments and communities better manage their resources - to help them do more with less, according to the CSIRO.

Sense-T is a partnership program between the University of Tasmania, the Tasmanian Government, CSIRO (through the Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation) and IBM.

It is also funded by the Australian Government through the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement. Sense-T establishes Tasmania as a centre for technology and research excellence, where shared data drives new approaches to social, environmental and economic sustainability that can be scaled cost-effectively elsewhere.

www.sense-t.org.au

www.une.edu.au/smart

www.csiro.au

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I have said it before, but I will say it again. The customer has changed. Power has shifted to the customer, probably forever.

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Digital Business insights CEO, John Sheridan.

 

"We know," everybody responds. But do you really?

It is not enough just to say something. To be meaningful it has to be followed by action...appropriate action.

Because if power has shifted to the customer, then everybody with existing customer relationships (and that is most of us) has to consider what that means to them.

One thing it means is actually listening to what your customers are saying. Or doing. And responding accordingly.

Example:

Recent Adobe research found that only 8% of people paid attention to online ads. No surprises there. Print ads in newspapers scored 26%. TV ads scored 22%. Radio 16% and Billboards 14%. Ads in apps and games scored only 5%.

And I even managed to ignore completely the ads spinning and moving and trying to drop into my field of vision on the web page where I found the research described above.

I was aware of movement, but no clue what was moving. So I am one of the 92% who ignore online ads successfully.

So if that is what customers are doing, shouldn't that initiate a rethink by vendors on the value of their online investment?

Another example:

Over the last six or seven years DBi has asked businesses and non-profits how they get information and advice on ICT and how they would prefer to get information and advice.

The options range from friends, colleagues and families through media and industry and government websites, advisors and consultants.

Consistently, when asked about technology and innovation CEOs and other senior managers say they would prefer information to be sent to them by email, would like to experience new options "hands on" in workshops and seminars and would like to speak with somebody one to one.

These options out-perform all other options by a considerable margin and have remained consistent for many years.

If people have no choice they will compromise, but on the whole the preference for over three quarters of respondents is outlined above.

So does anybody listen and respond? Not usually. Government, for many different reasons (mainly cost saving) does the opposite and tries to encourage people to come to their websites.

This would be great if the websites were full of valuable and relevant information, but they are not.

Nearly all government information on digital economy is vanilla flavoured, generic and "cleaned up" by legal, PR and policy advisors, leaving little of any real value.

In the real world, there are "comparison-sites-a-plenty".

Products and services of all kinds from holidays to cars and insurance are rated and compared helping visitors make decisions.

It is still early days with this sort of web service and the validity of the ratings and information may leave much to be desired, but the popularity of the sites demonstrates a real need.

People don't seem to care much about the validity, they look at the comparisons, good and bad and make their minds up anyway. It seems that any advice is better than vanilla advice.

So, government is stranded in the 20th century and doesn't move on. It is not easy for them. It means doing things differently, thinking outside the box, even outsourcing services and that is not something they are good at.

This example is not unique to government.

There is a digital reality gap. It is a gap between what the new customer says they want and what the old vendor delivers.

The old vendor is not really listening and tries to carry on business as usual, but with a few digital bells and whistles.

Into the digital reality gap now marches a competitor. Somebody who hasn't just listened, but heard.

Example:

Appliances online. Australia's largest online appliance retailer marched into the digital reality gap left by Harvey Norman and other appliance retailers.

Now, they all have a new problem they could have done without.

John Winning created the site because of conversations he had with his customers. He listened. He acted. Now he employs 500 people to fulfil demand.

In the retail sector it will only get worse for retailers that don't listen. And it will even get worse for retailers that do.

The customer has changed and no sector can afford to leave a digital reality gap between them and their customers.

So talk to them. Listen to them.

And bridge the reality gap with action.

- John Sheridan, July 2013

* John Sheridan is CEO of Digital Business insights, an organisation based in Brisbane, Australia, which focuses on helping organisations and communities adapt to, and flourish in, the new digital world. He is the author of Connecting the Dots and getting more out of the digital revolution. Digital Business insights has been researching and analysing the digital revolution for more than 12 years and has surveyed more than 50,000 businesses, conducting in-depth case study analysis on more than 350 organisations and digital entrepreneurs.

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In 1999, Scott McNealy was quoted as saying, "You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it."

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John Sheridan, CEO Digital Business insights.

That is now almost 15 years ago and what he said was true. Even more so today.

So why in 2013 is anybody surprised about Edward Snowden's revelations? These issues, including the NSA server farm have been discussed openly on Wired for many years. The Patriot Act just made it all possible.

A lot of things changed when the digital genie came out of the bottle and it isn't going back. Privacy or the lack of it, is just one of them.

Privacy doesn't exist in the digital world. It is that simple. So be aware of that and act accordingly. Think "postcard". Anybody who is interested can read it.

Is that a problem for most of us? Not really.

It is an aspect of the new operating condition and just has to be taken into account.

More to the point is whether anybody is really interested in us and what we do.

Mostly the spooks aren't.

But the larger multinationals and corporates are or might be. For obvious reasons.

They want to sell us things and the more they gather information on our movements, buying activity, likes, dislikes, friends, family etc the more easily they can target their promotional messages and offers.

That is how it is.

The other thing to remember and to consider more deeply is that all agencies and corporations with a capacity to gather and scrutinise data are full of people, just like you and me with their whims, their jealousies, their ambitions, their friendships and loyalties.

They are not perfect. They do not always act by the rules. The rules are bent and manipulated from time to time and always will be.

No matter, what sort of constraints you put on them, individuals will find a way to get around them. They always have and always will.

People will use information for personal advantage. Look at the current court action in NSW regarding ex Labor Ministers. Lots of cases like that all over the world.

So why are we surprised?

The major problem with all this is twofold.

One, in the good ol' USA, there is continual movement between government, military and commerce at a middle management and senior level. There has always been a blurring of the roles, there have always been porous walls between these entities.

So is it any surprise that allies at the G20 summit were spied on in 2009 in London? Not at all.

They weren't terrorists. They were allies.

Information was gathered for advantage, political and economic. By the British and the Americans.

It will continue to be gathered and not just by the USA.

As Scott said, "Get over it."

The only difference between then and now, which brings me to the second point, is that one of the by products of continued connection, collaboration and integration is the ability for somebody, somewhere to look at anything and everything.

There are always two sides to things, the good and the bad. Tools can be used both ways. We can't expect to enjoy all the benefits of the digital revolution without recognising the downside.

In the past, information overload dealt with that problem. Even though the spooks had data and information on the terrorists that highjacked and flew the planes into the twin towers in New York, they were unable to process the data intelligently in time to prevent the disaster.

There was just too much data - "noise" - and it was hard to make sense of it.

Today, as the power and speed of processing data increases and the cost of processing data reduces, there is a cross over where increasingly sense can finally be made of masses of information.

Information can be translated into knowledge. Decisions can be informed.

The NSA server farm in Utah has enormous capacity (and growing) and as Super Computers get more powerful year by year, the data sitting in the servers will be queried more often with more valuable results. Because they can.

It is happening and it will continue to happen. That is just how it is.

Is that a problem?

For most of us, not really.

Is it benign? Not completely. But we just need to be aware of what is happening. We can't change it. So use common sense.

Every business and every government looks for advantage. They always have. That is precisely what the Americans are doing. And the Chinese. And the Russians. And the British. And the Japanese. And so on.

The digital revolution just gives them another tool to add to their toolbox for gaining advantages.

Intelligence 101 - political, economic, social, environmental. Everything.

For us, here in Australia, the positive aspects of the digital revolution should be our main concern. Translating and transforming information into knowledge should be the goal for all of us at the single business level, the regional level and for the country.

Privacy? Get over it. It's a sideshow.

- John Sheridan, June 2013.

www.db-insights.com

* John Sheridan is CEO of Digital Business insights, an organisation based in Brisbane, Australia, which focuses on helping organisations and communities adapt to, and flourish in, the new digital world. He is the author of Connecting the Dots and getting more out of the digital revolution. Digital Business insights has been researching and analysing the digital revolution for more than 12 years and has surveyed more than 50,000 businesses, conducting in-depth case study analysis on more than 350 organisations and digital entrepreneurs.

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