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Tuesday, December 07, 2004Ray Oziie writes in news.com about the technological progress that lay ahead of us as he reminiscences the progress made in last twenty years. Excerpts (with edits and my views added):
Fifteen years ago tomorrow, on Dec. 7, 1989, at an event at the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in Cambridge, Mass., Lotus Notes Release 1.0 was born. Thanks to IBM and thousands of its partners, a well-evolved Notes is still actively in use by more than 100 million people worldwide. By good fortune, Notes was introduced in an era when corporate re-engineering was in vogue. Within major enterprises around the world, internal barriers were bridged or eliminated as horizontal information sharing and process coordination became the mandate. The fundamental nature of the corporation was changing--catalyzed by a change in doctrine and deftly enabled by cheap commodity communications and information technology. By the late 1990s, the decentralization trend began to spread. The fundamental nature of business was changing--from vertically integrated powerhouses to a mesh of interdependent partners. The winners were companies that used information technology to create the most efficient and effective network of partners and suppliers
In a 2001 article he wrote for The Economist called "The next society," Peter Drucker projects the future of the corporation to be an extreme confederation of businesses--from the large to small to very small. These loosely knit confederations are held together by a common strategy--local economics--and a web of fine-grain alliances.
Moving forward, Ozzie writes,"The virtual office will shape our concept of the workplace. The new concept: a world of pervasive knowledge work, riding on the foundations of fiber laid by the ghosts of an Internet bubble past and enabled by cheap, self-service communications tools and technologies".We're only at the very beginning of exploring what can be done in the realm of using technology to enable joint work. How will Verizon's fiber-to-the-home change the nature of how we work? As terabyte disks appear in our PCs and gadgets, how will we use the storage? New concepts appear almost daily, emerging from both the distant parallel universes of paper-bound corporate or academic research and the "just try it and see what sticks" petri dish that is today's Internet ecosystem. Those universes have brought us the likes of ICQ, Skype, Blogger, Wikipedia and Flickr. |
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