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Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow - The Vision

Presenter 1
Bo Wanschneider
University of Guelph

If any of you have ever read the popular book by Nicholas Carr titled, "Does IT Matter", you know that he is being intentionally provocative in challenging us to redefine how we invest in Information Technology. In his book he talks about proprietary and infrastructural technology, and lumps most IT into latter. The premise is that the true value of IT is not fully realized until it is broadly shared, homogenized and standardized. In essence, we lose our ability, or need, to differentiate ourselves and we are at a point where innovation on an individual/institutional level will not lead to a meaningful advantage. That does not preclude this innovation, it simply states that the true value lies in sharing the innovation. Although his book is geared towards the private sector, there are many parallels to the world of Higher Education and certainly the financial realities are prominent. Faced with inevitable budget constraints, the maturation of DDI, and advances in other technologies the need to articulate a shared vision and act collectively becomes imperative. In this part of the panel we will talk about commoditization of IT and how we painted a vision for shared development, resources and access with the ODESI project.

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