Raising Awareness

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Digital Natives Run by Digital Immigrants

IT Services are Dead, Long Live IT Services 2.0!


Brian Kelly gave a presentation by video on "Digital Natives Run by Digital Immigrants: IT Services are Dead, Long Live IT Services 2.0!" for the UCISA Management Conference 2008 which was held at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Glasgow on 12-14th March 2008.

Note that the talk was part of a joint presentation, with Andy Powell (Eduserv) giving a live presentation at the conference, following Brian Kelly's video presentation.


The title proposed for the opening talk of the second day of the UCISA Management Conference was Digital Natives Run by Digital Immigrants. But a recent report on the Google Generation challenged the notion that there was a "Google Generation" which had significantly differing patterns of usage from those who have had been using IT over a long period. This, I feel, entitles myself (Brian Kelly, the opening speaker in this session), to challenge the title provided by the conference organising committee. And, in a manner befitting a Web 2.0 environment which encourages user-generated content, I will update the title of this session with IT Services are Dead, Long Live IT Services 2.0!.

"IT Services are Dead" - who could possibly make such a suggestion at the UCISA Management Conference? But it needs to be recognising that Web 2.0 services are rapidly changing users expectations and increasingly we are finding many users making use of externally hosted services - who needs an institutional email services when students arrive at University with their HotMail or GMail accounts? And is there a need for institutional blogging service or social network when there are well-established alternatives available?

But you can't trust such services, you may argue: "They're commercial"; "They may not be sustainable" and "They are funded by the CIA" are some of the criticisms being made. But our pension schemes also invest in commercial companies, remember. Just as in many aspects of our lives, making use of Web 2.0 will involve risk assessment and risk management strategies.

Stop worrying and use Web 2.0 where it can support the (complex) needs of your organisation, I would argue. But in addition, I would suggest that the softer collaborative aspects of Web 2.0 are of particular importance to the IT Services sector in higher and further education. The UCISA community has a strong tradition of sharing. And now that collaborative and sharing tools beyond email are available we are well-placed to exploit these technologies. SO just as IT Services as a maintainer of mainframes and centralised computing is well and truly dead, the IT Services departments which only concerned themselves with managing services provided locally is dying. Or to put it another way, welcome to IT Services 2.0 - which is only slightly behind Library 2.0!


Note that several versions of the slides are available for this talk:

  • Slides with accompanying soundtrack on Slideshare. This is the initial version of the slides, which was announced on a UK Web Focus blog post on Monday 3 March 2008. The aim was to solicit feedback on the ideas outlined in the talk.
  • A recording of the presentation (WMV format) with accompanying sound and video (recording made on 29 February 2008). This was a slightly updated version of the first set of slides. The aim was to gain experience of using the Camtasia software for recording a presentation.
  • The video presentation made on 29 Feb 2008 has been uploaded to Google Video (note low quality image compared with WMV version).
  • The video presentation made on 29 Feb 2008 has been uploaded to Zentation. This video is synched with the PowerPoint slides


[MS PowerPoint format] - [HTML]


Video Presentation

IT Services Are Dead - Long Live IT Services 2.0!
Talk on 'IT Services Are Dead - Long Live IT Services 2.0!' presented at UCISA 2008 conference.


Related Resources

Search Computing Service Documentation

A search interface of IT Service documentation (based on the UCISA Document Sharing Archive) has been produced using the Google Custom Search service.


Biographical Details

Brian Kelly Brian Kelly is UK Web Focus - an advisory post funded by the JISC and MLA (Council for Museums, Libraries and Archives) to support the Higher and Further Education communities and the cultural heritage sector in making best use of the World Wide Web.

Brian is a long-standing Web developer, having helped establish the Web service at the University of Leeds in January 1993) one of the first 50 Web services worldwide). Although instantly spotting the potential for the Web for providing what was then known as a Campus Wide Information Service, Brian was concerned that inferior, although more widely used solutions such as Gopher, would become the de facto standard. So Brian sought to convert the Higher Education sector to use of the Web by giving presentations and seminars at a variety of events.

Following the universal acceptance of the Web, Brian sought further involvement with Web technologies as the senior trainer at the Netskills, University of Newcastle. In 1996 Brian was appointed as UK Web Focus at UKOLN, a national centre of expertise in digital information management based at the University of Bath.

Having previously worked in user support in IT Service departments in the universities of Loughborough, Liverpool and Leeds but now a enthusiast for Web 2.0 technologies, Brian regards himself as a gamekeeper turned poacher. He particularly would welcome conference delegates to exploit the WiFi network at the conference and to access resources he will be talking about - and even to use a 'backchat' channel to communicate with Brian while he is speaking!