Impact of New Technologies
“Whether things will be better if they are different I do not know, but that they will have to be different if they are to become better, that I do know” (Lichtenberg, 1765, p.208)
According to Bitar (2003) innovation is a difficult and elusive process to manage and points at industries high failure rates of between 60% and 90%. However, he notes that innovation is still key in most organisations to enhance their efficiency.
The new solutions recommended for the Council libraries are: –
- Replace all desktop pc’s with thin client pc’s (See Figure 1,1)
- Migrate all servers and current solutions into the cloud. (See Figure 1,2)
- Replace basic IT classes with Fablabs and MakerSpaces (See Figure 1,3)
- Virtualise the servers and solution to reduce number of physical servers required. (See Figure 1,4)
- Introduce a new on-line customer renewal\reservation\payable fine system (See Figure 1,5)
The proposed innovations mainly revolve around migrating the current servers and solutions into the cloud. The introduction of cloud based servers will remove the necessity for servers to be held on site. RackSpace (2017) believes that this will reduce the costs of replacements, maintenance, security, upgrades, power usage and support costs.
Carbon Dioxide Emissions will be reduced by the replacement of all standard desktop Pc’s with thin client PC’s. This reduces power usage from 350 watts per computer to only 90 watts per computer which is a 75% saving in power consumption. Furthermore, the migration of physical servers to virtualised servers will provide further large savings in power consumption which will have the impact of benefiting the environment. This compliments the Mayors vision (2014) for a town which will continue to hold One Planet Town status. Encouraging local communities, services and businesses to adopt practices that promote a sustainable environment and the well-being of the citizens.
Secondly the introduction of online services such as a Reservation\Renewal\Fine-Payment system will not only generate income but will also reduce the overheads of dealing with cash payments. Quick (2012) explains that handling cash is expensive and on average libraries generate over £400,000 income a year from fines, overdue charges, hire of audio-visual material and room hire. Quick continues to show that 71% of councils already take Council Tax online and 51% are able to renew books online. The Society for IT Managers (2012) agree stating that costs drop from £8.62 per transaction to £0.15 per transaction when citizens use online payments
The third proposal is to replace the basic IT classes with Makerspaces and Fablabs. Makerspaces are collaborative areas for making, learning exploring and sharing according to Makerspace.com (2017). They provide hands on learning such as electronic skills, 3d printing, modelling, coding and robotics. Fablabs (2017) allow entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into new products and prototypes and give them access to a range of advanced digital manufacturing technologies. The replacement of basic IT classes with new interactive classes such as Fablabs and Makerspaces will encourage younger generations to visit the libraries further increasing income. The education of the public will be improved by the transferral of skills and it is hoped that this will make the towns citizens more employable in line with the Mayors vision (2015) .
Additionally, a technology in use that is now believed to be out of date is the Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) Wi-Fi. The government (2017) has recently introduced free internet and Wi-fi throughout UK libraries and It is hoped that this will have the impact of encouraging more citizens to utilise the library by encouraging the 30% unemployed gain free access to the internet.