A number of people have referenced the speech from Mark Chandler, Cisco General Counsel on State of Technology in the Law. He discussed three core questions:
First, how is technology driving change in knowledge-based industries?
Second, what are the key areas of vulnerability in the legal services business to these technological changes?
And third, what will it take to succeed in this changed environment?
Blawgers are interested in the whole package, but as a knowledge management consultant and advocate, the first is interesting by itself. (It doesn't hurt to read the whole magilla, though.)
Turning then to the first of the three questions, how is technology driving change in knowledge-based industries?
My core message is that access to information is being simplified. The price of information is being driven toward its marginal cost of production. Traditional command and control organizations – think the record labels – find themselves outmaneuvered by small decentralized organizations who know how to build networks – think of Kazaa.
All of his examples are associated with access to information. His message throughout the speech is that this significantly changes the game for anyone who makes money around controlling access to information. When that control is gone - because the information is available "for free" - what happens?
My take is that either the information controller will hold on with their last ounce of strength, or they will realize how little value there is to information delivery, and change their business model. To what? To knowledge and service as the key to the deliverable, rather than information. Chandler gives an example of spending US$ 10,000 for two days of advice in preparation for a grueling hearing in the US House. The information was available, but the expertise is what was worth $5000/day.