The Importance of Being “Open”

By Rob Wenger posted May 17, 2010 09:17 AM


I am still giddy over my iPad.  I am amazed at how it has transformed the way I work and its simplicity in its portability and ease of use. It is in IMHO an elegant device worthy of MOMA status.   I was recently asked speak to a group of young architects and participate in a forum on what the office of the future may look like.  I see people trending toward more of an open workspace with interactive group areas, less  “boardroomy”  and a need to tear down those cubicle walls. The singular trend I see in social computing is a movement toward workspace collaboration and technology that makes it easy to access information anytime anywhere with no wires attached.

Now, I realize that Higher Logic is primarily branded as a social networking company, but we also pride ourselves on offering our clients the latest and best practices in technology.  I have spent my life in computing technology from mainframes to client servers to web based services and now onto mobile and cloud based computing.  I have to tell you that what we are seeing now is truly the most exciting time I have ever witnessed.  The adoption rate of new technology is staggering.  In a recent study by Morgan Stanley, they compared the adoption rates of iPhone/iPod touch to that of AOL and Netscape in the early 1990s. According to Mary Meeker, Head of Morgan Stanley’s Global Technology division, adoption of the Apple devices is taking place more than 11 times faster that of AOL, and several times as fast as that of Netscape. Helping to drive this is 3G technology, which Morgan Stanley says recently hit an “inflection point” by being available to more than 20 percent of the world’s cellular users.

The basic premise of this incredible movement and growth in technology I think is fairly simple. The companies defining this new technology era (Google, Twitter, Salesforce, Facebook and Apple to name a few) have realized that it is everyone’s best interest, consumers and businesses alike to promote a policy of openness and accessibility in technology.  I know there will be those who disagree with me and that believe that these companies represent nothing more than a new era of monopolistic entities. However these companies have demonstrated an extensibility of their services across platforms and hardware, (i.e. Google with its Android OS, Salesforce with its open integration) and continually promoted a genuine agenda of improving access and unlimited openness.

That doctrine of openness and extensibility is something we have tried very hard to follow at Higher Logic.  We have partnered with the best of the best of solution providers in the association space and we value those partnerships above all.  Looking back, it would have been easy to align with one AMS to promote our product (only one integration – yeah!) or to pick one reseller, but our belief is that our associations, just like consumers need the benefit of choices in the market place.  By integrating and forming strong partnerships within the collective of all who support the association space, we feel that we along with our partners can provide comprehensive set of solutions and choices in this new era of technology.  Providing choices has always been the basis of good and sound economic theory: competition promotes innovation, innovation is good for everyone.

1 comment



Jul 19, 2010 07:16 AM

Enjoyed reading this post. Couldn't figure out how to "rate" it though.