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Monday, April 18, 2005
Nicholas Carr writes, "Information technology, like steam power and electricity before it, is a general-purpose technology used by all sorts of companies to do all kinds of things, and it brings widespread and fundamental changes to commerce and society. Because of its broad application, a general-purpose technology offers the potential for considerable economies of scale if its supply can be consolidated". But those economies can take a long time to be fully appreciated and even longer to be comprehensively exploited. During the early stages ,by necessity its supply is fragmented. Individual companies have to purchase the various components required to use the technology, house those parts on site, meld them into a working system and hire a staff of specialists to maintain them. That’s been the traditional model of business computing. Such fragmentation of supply is inherently wasteful. It forces large capital investments and heavy fixed costs on firms, and it leads to redundant expenditures and high levels of overcapacity, both in the technology itself and in the labor force operating it. Now, exactly a hundred years later, the private data center faces the same fate.
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