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Boundaries, Social Capital and Cyberinfrastructure Vince Kellen CIO, University of Kentucky. Vince.Kellen@uky.edu February 21, 2010. Growth in business computer assets. Index of computer assets held by industry U.S. economy 1990-2007 31X increase in 17 years.

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boundaries social capital and cyberinfrastructure vince kellen cio university of kentucky

Boundaries, Social Capital and CyberinfrastructureVince KellenCIO, University of Kentucky

Vince.Kellen@uky.edu

February 21, 2010

growth in business computer assets
Growth in business computer assets
  • Index of computer assets held by industry
  • U.S. economy 1990-2007
  • 31X increase in 17 years
  • Brynjolfsson, E. & Saunders, A. (2010). Wired for Innovation. How Information Technology is Reshaping the Economy. MIT
progress progress progress
Progress, progress, progress…
  • Internet and web permeate engineering and science and of course, everyday life for everyday people
  • By the end of 2010, 5 billion people will have cell phones (73% of the world’s population)
  • Wireless broadband, with about 600 million users today, will be nearing 1 billion in the next several years
  • New medical imaging (real time, 4D, fusion) will be requiring HPC for pre- and post- processing, superfast networking
  • Petascale computing is here with its requisite challenges
  • Exascale is being contemplated and will require very different approaches to power, memory subsystems, interconnects, programming, organizations, management, etc.
difficulties
Difficulties
  • Fragmentation
  • Architectural inertia
  • Data integration
  • Old boundaries
  • Economic development
difficulties1
Difficulties
  • Growth in connectivity may increase fragmentation. Neighbors don’t read the same things. Fractionation of knowledge makes integration across domains harder, increasing fragmentation
  • Systems, built in haste, can be difficult to integrate. Old software doesn’t easily port to new environments, creating inertia
  • Data are being defined separately by each discipline making raw data reuse difficult
  • Sociological barriers and cultural boundaries can frustrate technology adoption and scientific collaboration
  • Building geographical clusters of research, industry, government and banking/investment is very difficult and time consuming and has its own ‘network effect’
it investments behave differently
IT investments behave differently
  • Research is an IT intensive, competitive market
    • Organizational capital investments magnify IT investments
    • IT can lower barriers of entry (Moore’s law?)
    • But as time goes by, the environment becomes inhospitable to smaller players
    • Competition in IT intensive sectors is costly
  • What may be going on
    • Over-optimism (we can do this)
    • Limited planning foresight (future, neighbors, competitors)
    • Organizational factors that inhibit good use of the investment
organizational capital and it assets
Organizational capital and IT assets

What is OC?

OC = how orgs do work

E.g., investments in training, process improvements, best practices, federated decision-making, TQM, etc.

Findings:

Organizations with both high investments in IT assets and organizational capital garnered a disproportionate share of market value from investors.

Leaders do MUCH better than laggards.

Brynjolfsson, E., Hitt, L., & Yang, S. (2002). Intangible Assets: Computers and Organizational Capital.

In Brookings Papers on Economic Activities, 137- 198.

why do silos persist
Why do silos persist?
  • Ever endemic, silos can prevent building large-scale architectures
  • Creativity is deeply personal. Tools and thought intertwine in the mind of the designer. Investigators and leaders naturally want to be in control of their designs and hence their tools
  • Old leadership paradigm: hire very smart people and give them what they need
  • Incentive systems typically reward individual versus group contribution
  • Organizations persist because the people within them are bound to some common concepts, terms and shared history. It is human nature to defend this organizational inheritance
things we will need to address these challenges
Things we will need to address these challenges
  • A cultural shift that values building transformative relationships between people and organizations. This is somewhat less developed in academia than in industry
  • Investment in people and organizations that can span the boundaries of business, academics and government
  • Ontological engineering, more controlled vocabularies, constructing maps that relate different taxonomies to each other
  • Well-orchestrated local, regional and national planning
  • Innovations in management. Use and development of incentives to promote continued teamwork and collaboration
  • Transparency so all parties can jointly understand and plan
going forward
Going forward
  • With the economic and budgetary challenges ahead, we will need some big ideas to build support around and advance
  • Just as increasing scale in hardware requires eliminating all algorithmic and process inefficiency, we will need to reduce similar organizational kinks to afford the future
  • To effectively prioritize we will need more relationship capital
  • The size and scale of future cyberinfrastructure will require collective resources. No one will be able to go it alone
  • Kentucky has some unique advantages of geography and government/education/industry relationships. This should be a critical ingredient for success