Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cyber Summit 2012

(Delivered by Dr. Randy S. Gamboa, PSITE President, during the Cyber Summit 2012 held at St. Paul University Learning Resource Center,  Tuguegarao City)

Thank you very much for that kind introduction.

Sr. Remy Angelia Junio, SPC-University President, Dr.  Evelyn Pascua,-Regional Director -Commission on Higher Education, Sr. Cherryve Dagairag, SPC, Dean, School of Information Technology and Engineering, Dr. Jaime D.L. CARO, Director, UPITCC

Other distinguished speakers, our dear Fellow IT educators and IT Students, sponsors, friends, ladies and gentlemen, Good morning.

I am honored to be given this opportunity to address you this morning on the opening session of the Cyber Summit 2012. The theme which is “Enriching Young Minds Through the 21st Century Railways of ITE Innovations” is very appropriate and it reflects the eagerness of the new generation, the young minds to get updated and to advance information technology and engineering innovations to a greater extent.  A lot of questions may be in our mind. How are we going to do this?  Who is our target market?  Will we do it for service? or profit or just satisfy ourselves?  What should we be working on?  How do we move forward?

The late Steve Jobs, Apple’s legendary co-founder and CEO, once said “That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity.  Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.  But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

When I learned about these words, the first thing that came to my mind was a question? Is Steve Jobs a yogi, or someone who practices yoga or follows the yoga philosophy with a high level of commitment?  I haven’t gone to the point of knowing the answer to that.  Maybe you can do it for me.

But whether he is a yogi or not, there is one thing for sure … he moved mountains.  He touched our lives to some extent without many people knowing it until he passed away.

In our era when people are flooded with information, simplicity is principally important.  Take for example the social media.  While social media gives every opportunity to reach a large audience easily, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they should overload their viewers with status updates.  It is better to post interesting and significant content than getting caught up with posting a certain number of times per day or week.  Social media marketing should be kept simple.

In innovation, there can be two different ways to approach it.  It can be that you focus on a specific target market by doing simple market research, know what the consumers want and then manufacture and do innovations.  Or it could be that you do what you want and then see if it gets into the market.

Steve Jobs was asked what market research went into iPAd.  He responded, “None.  It’s not the consumers’ job to know what they want … we figure out what we want.  And I think we’re pretty good at having the right discipline to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it too”.

For Apple, their team of highly skilled designers and innovators is the target market for Apple’s products.  If they create a product that they themselves would use, then there’s a good chance that the rest of the consumers will like it too.  Eventually, their focus on innovating to satisfy what they want creates a new market.  Well, sometimes it is useful to be your own target market.  This means that you put yourself in the shoes of the consumers you are trying to reach and think about how you would use the product or service that you or your company is designing and manufacturing.  Consumers might not be passionate about what you are designing, manufacturing and selling if you yourself are not passionate about it.

What caught my attention about that response of Jobs was when he mentioned about having the right discipline. When he mentioned that, he meant having the right knowledge, the right attitude and the right skills.

As manufacturing and computerized processes become increasingly complex and sophisticated, well-trained professionals are in demand.  Designers and innovators are sought after.  This is an exciting challenge in IT education.  How to produce graduates who will be equipped with the technical knowledge and social communication and critical thinking skills that are essential to succeed in today’s fast-paced workplace.

The 21st century poses big challenges to IT innovators. Among these are having the right discipline to work in all areas of production from research and design, to manufacturing, sales, customer service application, computer networking, programming, and digital media design.  In coping with these challenges come opportunities for growth and eventual success.  But Jobs said that sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes.  It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving other innovations.  I can also say that it is best to interrelate and intermingle with people of the same field to broaden your perspective and knowledge.

We, at PSITE, provide a venue for networking and sharing of ideas, primarily for IT educators.  PSITE is the nation’s largest professional IT organization.  From time to time, we hold education technology conventions and conferences.  It is an organization with great diversity that supports members and affiliates with information and networking opportunities as they face the challenge of innovation and transforming education.

In the recent years, PSITE’s thrust is geared towards Professionalism, Research, Partnership, Education and Extension.  This year, we focused on organizational development of PSITE.  For 2011, PSITE organized the annual national convention last February 16-19 at the Meralco Management and Leadership Development Center Foundation in Antipolo City, the National Conference of IT Education last October 27-29 at the Palawan State University in Puerto Princesa and co-organized other regional conferences, meetings and forums.

These activities provided a venue for presentation of research papers and active interaction of practitioners, educators, administrators and even contractors, service providers and consultants in the profession.  New ideas and innovations are being conceptualized and presented in these events. 

This year’s national convention will be on February 23-25 at the Family Country Hotel and Convention Center in Lagao, General Santos City.  The theme is “Strengthening Information Technology Education Through Organizational Development”.   You are most welcome to attend and participate in the convention.

Attending conferences like the PSITE conventions and conferences and also this Cyber Summit 2012 provides an opportunity to widen our knowledge on information technology and engineering, and likewise encourages networking and exchange of ideas with the hope of contributing to give the members and participants the right discipline and inspiring innovators.  As Steve Jobs said “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

I wish you all a fruitful summit ahead.  Knowing the organizers, I am confident that this gathering will be a great success.  Be focused.  Keep things simple. Have the right discipline. And you can move mountains. Good morning.