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Realizing the Return on Individuals

Nadhan on ‎05-14-2013 02:46 PM

Less than a year ago, I blogged about my son starting a new phase of his life by going to college. You may recall my posts triggered by subsequent visits to his college concerning the right test environment for cloud computing as well as innovation being part of the enterprise bloodstream. And now, it’s that time of the year when college-going kids come back home for the summer and, for some of them, it’s graduation time. On my way back home with my son, I wondered why and how he's better off today than he was a year ago. This article on LinkedIn by Jeff Selingo goes so far as to question the returns from a college education. But is it the returns from the college education, or are we really talking about the return on the individual? Is this another definition for ROI — after the one on information, infrastructure, and innovation? I wonder.

 Return on Individuals.png

When it comes to enterprises looking to strategically innovate the planet by 2020, it’s all about having the right people with the right skills and work experience. These are the people who have to innovate and use the right information at the right time for the right business reasons while creatively using emerging technologies at reduced cost.


In order to maximize their Return on an Individual, enterprises must continuously ensure that their employees are trained with the right skills, and gain the knowledge that aligns with the emerging paradigms and market demands that drive the business needs of their customers. In the world of Big Data, for example, data scientists have the sexiest job in the 21st century. It behooves enterprises to ensure that their employees have the skills they need to apply the right tools for large-scale, complex, real-time analytics needed to turn the tables on computers by synthesizing various sources of structured and unstructured data. Doing so will position enterprises to realize the value of information.


It’s not the first time enterprises have had to take such measures. With the emergence of new paradigms, there is always a need to revitalize skillsets. Today, the pervasiveness of Big Data and the emergence of information analytics are catalysts for enterprises to take such measures.


Enterprises that don't do so will still have access to the data, but they will not realize the benefits of informationalization (as characterized by Harvard Business Review blogger Thomas C Redman). They won’t realize the informational value of the data they have access to, therefore they will reduce the returns they receive on individuals. Even a college education may not make a difference any more.


What kind of enterprise are you? Do you have the right individuals with the right skills to effectively analyze and process the Big Data in your enterprise?


The Return on Individual is all about what the individual knows when they know it, and how and where they are applying it. Are you realizing the Return on Individuals in your enterprise?


Connect with Nadhan on: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Journey Blog.




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